I recently acquired a lovely turn-of-the-century settee. When Kennadi begged to have it in her room, it was challenging to “Imagine” (stay with me, it’ll click) how this…
could possibly be made to go in a room that looks like this…
We couldn’t just “Let it Be,” so I told Kennadi “We Can Work it Out!” (see what I did there? You know, the Beatles…)
Anyone who knows me knows that most problems in my life are solved with BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder.
It “Can’t Buy Me Love,” but it can do virtually everything else…
Including turn a french settee with stained and faded silk into a hip new piece fit for a teenager with a tiny thing for the Beatles. Yay!
Time to “Come Together” (okay, I’m done with the references…) and get this painted-fabric-party started!
Step One: Start with a piece that has good bones and fairly decent fabric. What I mean by “decent fabric” is this: a chenille couch from the 80s will always be a chenille couch from the 80s. No amount of chalk paint can turn an old beast into a french settee. So, your fabric can have wild and crazy colors, but you’ll have better luck with fabric that is somewhat smooth.
Step Two: Pick a color, ANY color paint. My favorite thing about chalk paint made with BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder is that I can make chalk paint in ANY COLOR I want. Even if it’s the color of a “Yellow Submarine.” Sorry, last reference, I promise.
I went with a custom-matched shade of gray I just happened to have on hand from a previous project. As always, start with a FLAT finish paint. I like Behr interior flat, low odor, zero-voc, without primer.
Step Three: With BB Frösch Chalk Paint Powder, I can mix up only as much as I need. I only needed about a cup of paint from my quart because chalk paint has such awesome coverage. Click here to see how easy it is to make your own chalk paint.
Step Four: Paint the fabric! I used the same “hashtag” strokes I always use with chalk paint–no painting with the grain for this girl! I preferred using a slightly wetter brush than usual because it seemed to make my paint go further. Just keep a jar of water handy to dip your brush in. I got pretty impressive coverage with one coat, but there were a few spots I went over again once the paint was dry.
The nice thing was, I didn’t have to tape off the wood frame because I knew I was going to paint the frame a different color anyway. Even if I decided not to paint the wood, I knew I could use a wet cloth to wipe off any chalk paint that hadn’t been sealed. Yay for no taping off!
Step Five (Optional): Paint the frame. Two coats of chalk paint in navy did the trick for me, but I also think a piece like this looks amazing with the original wood frame left as-is. Like this chair.
Step Six (Optional): Distress painted frame. The painted fabric, of course, doesn’t need any distressing. I know not every piece calls for distressing, and I wasn’t necessarily going for a shabby look, but I wanted to highlight some of the detail work in the wood. With a dark color like navy, a good way to get the intricate grooves to show up is to lightly “sand” with a damp cloth.
Did you catch that? I said “sand” with a damp cloth! How easy is that?
Step Seven (NOT Optional): Using a wax brush, wax away! That’s right, wax the fabric! BB Frösch just came out with the most incredible wax EVER! I’ve been lucky enough to test it out on several pieces, including this one, and it is HANDS DOWN the best wax on the planet! Seriously, it’s enough to make you “Twist and Shout!” Sorry, couldn’t help myself with the totally fitting reference!
This creamy goodness glides on like butter, and it dries quickly. The best part is, the wax CURES IN MINUTES–not weeks like some other brands. I’m telling you, you will never want to use another wax again for your chalk paint projects!
Waxing not only protects, it makes the chalk painted fabric feel a little like soft leather–especially over time, after a few bums have parked on it. Trust me on this one! Check out the sweet action shot of me pouring water onto my “new” settee just to demonstrate for all of you the cool protection properties of waxed fabric.
Step Eight (Optional): Since I’m not a fan of taping off, I painted over the awesome nail head trim. I didn’t love how the nail head trim blended in, so I grabbed a pot of copper gilding paste and rubbed it on the nail heads with my finger. This step took about three minutes.
Hello gorgeous nail head trim, nice to see you again, looking better than ever!
Step Nine: Enlist the help of a talented photographer to make your painted-fabric piece look as awesome online as it does in person. I provided room and board, and zero home-cooking, for a week to the talented @Whipperberry in exchange for this amazing photo.
There you have it! Now go rescue something with ugly fabric!
Follow me for more chalk paint adventures on Facebook and Instagram @theshabbybride.