DIY Painted Couch- A One Year Update!

Something I’ve been dreaming about doing for over a year (but have been too scared to do) is finally happening this week!! As we speak I have the first coat of Benjamin Moore Simply White painted throughout my entry and 2 story foyer and I am loving how it looks (huge sign of relief)!

Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117


I will definitely talk more about the foyer and hallway progress in the future! Today though I want to share a 1 year update on my DIY painted couch.

Living Room Makeover Painted Couch


It’s been a year and 2 weeks to be exact and I still cant believe that I actually painted a couch!:-) I have received a lot of questions about this particular project and I really feel I owe it to you guys to do a 1 year follow up post on the subject!

If you are new, you can find the original ‘How to Paint a Couch with Chalk Paint’ tutorial, HERE.  As a refresher this is what the couch looked like before I painted it.

Couch Headshot Before Painting

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do this post and I think a Q&A will work well.

These are the questions I’ve been asked the most.

So let’s begin!!

Does the paint come off or rub off on your clothes? No, absolutely not! Once the paint dries it is there to stay.


Will the paint chip over time? No. The couch looks just as good as it did a year ago. No chipping and no signs of any other kind of wear.

You Can Paint a Couch

Is the couch rough after painting? If you follow the tutorial (which states to sand a lot after painting) then the couch is not rough. It is stiff but not rough.

Paint a couch review

Have you washed the fabric since its been painted? I did try it once (to see if it would soften it). The paint got a bit splotchy though in a few places. I don’t know if it was caused by the water or the liquid fabric softener I used with it. Anyways I ended up repainting the splotchy areas.

What grit sandpaper did you use and, what do you think about using a power sander?  I started out with 120 grit and then finished with 400 grit. The super fine grit sandpaper is what really smooths it out the best. I’m not sure about using a power sander. I think you could try it but just be careful not to push too hard into the upholstery.

Is the painted couch comfortable?  Yes and No.  It is comfortable enough to sit on but it is not cozy.  It it similar to the stiff feel of outdoor furniture.  It is fine to sit on for an hour but it’s not something you want to cozy up on and read a book or take nap.

Living Room Makeover Take 2


Should I use chalk paint on my favorite chair or couch?  If it’s your go to chair for relaxation and comfort or a piece of furniture you use multiple times a day then maybe don’t paint it. I don’t use the couch I painted very much because it’s in the living room and we spend much more time in other rooms. It’s comfortable enough to me for occasional use but it’s not what I want to cozy up on multiple times a day.


What would be the purpose of waxing it? Would waxing come before or after sanding?
The purpose of waxing is to seal the paint and protect it. This would be extremely important if you want to use the furniture piece outside or if you feel the upholstered couch or chair is at risk to getting spilled on (like if it was an upholstered dining room chair).

Waxing can also add luster or shine which can look great but it’s not what i wanted for this project so I did not wax my painted couch. Waxing comes at the very end after sanding.

Paint a Couch Durability


Did you try spot washing the couch to get rid of stains before you started painting?  I didn’t try spot treating the stains other than the water I sprayed on before I started painting it. The paint covered the stains without me having to do anything special to them.

How bad is the paint smell, and about how long does it take to go away? Or does it not have much of an odor?

It’s just like painting a wall…it smells for the first couple of days and then goes away.

How long does it take the paint to dry?  For me it took between 4-6 hours.  However it really depends on how wet you make it with water beforehand and the moisture/dryness in the air.  I painted mine in a basement in Ohio which tends to be somewhat humid.

Living Room Makeover Final



Can you paint leather and microfiber?  Yes, I have read that you can paint these materials.  The fabric on my couch is chenille and it worked.  I can’t say for sure if it will work on other types of fabric .  If you are wondering about a specific fabric your best bet is to google.”can I paint …….. fabric?”

If your fabric has a pattern will painting it get rid of it?  With enough coats you can cover a colored pattern but not a pattern created by texture variations. My couch had a texture and it still does even with 3-4 coats.

Paint a couch review

If you ever paint upholstery again would you do anything different?  If I do it again I would like to try using my paint sprayer.  I didn’t have a paint sprayer at the time but I think it would have made the process less tedious and time intensive.

I also wonder (but am not sure) if it would make the fabric less stiff to spray it.  When I have painted rugs the rug is less stiff if I spray it rather than if it is painted with a brush.

Also, one reader recently suggested using liquid fabric softner mixed in with the chalk paint to soften the paint.  I don’t know if this works but I would probably give it a try if I ever do it again.:-)

Well, that’s my update!  I hope you have found it helpful!! If you have any lingering questions feel free to ask them in the comment section below!

Also if you are interested I have recently updated my Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Review (the product I used to paint my cabinets from cherry to white)  post.  You can view how the cabinets are holding up, HERE.

Have a wonderful weekend and as always thanks for being here!! 🙂


DIY Painted Couch Update 1 Year Later

I Love Hearing from You!

  1. Hi Tamara,

    Many thanks for the update. l have been contemplating painting a lovely old 2 seater that is in my study. The only one who really uses it is the dog and I have it covered in throws for that reason. My concern was how the couch would look after minimal wear and you have now answered my question and it is full steam ahead.

  2. I used to paint on t shirts and sweat shirts- I used textile medium mixed in the paint and it was soft and washable. It would take a LOT for a couch but maybe it could be purchased in larger sizes online?

    • Hi Marianna! I considered using fabric medium but when I priced it out at fabric stores it was going to be too expensive for me. I didn’t research out though if it’s less expensive to buy in bulk or a larger size online. Not a bad idea!!

  3. Ohhh, thanks for the update! I had read about you painting the couch when you had posted it originally and – naturally – I wondered how comfy that would be in the end.
    You described it perfectly and now I know whether this is something I want to try or not. 🙂

  4. I love posts like this that really tell you how things have held up. I have done many a DIY project that didn’t look so great a few months later. Glad your couch has held up!

    • Fay, it’s all painted now and I’m really happy with it. I’m not ready to do a reveal post yet (I still need to do the woodwork in the hallway) but I’ll see what I can do to put a sneak peek shot in my next post.:-)

  5. Just curious, have you used this recipe to paint furniture with? And if so, did you sand it before waxing? I’ve made chalk paint with plaster of Paris but I’m really interested in something with less grit. Thanks and beautiful job!!

    • Hi Traci! I did paint an accent table with it and found that there was a bit of grit and needed some sanding. I am wondering if getting the paint shook at Home Depot of Lowes would help it be less gritty and more smooth. Or mixing it with an electric beater or something better than my hand stirring? Perhaps that’s the difference in grit rather than the actual materials. Just a thought but I don’t know!

  6. Hi Tamara, I am really interested in doing this to my couch! I have read both of these articles, but I am wondering how much latex paint you used! I would like to estimate how much I need to buy and which method is cost effective! Thanks! This is has been the best post I have found on painting fabrics!

  7. Hi,
    Thanks for the update…one thing that I don’t think that you mentioned. Have there been any spills, food, drink, pen or anything else that got anywhere on the couch? If so, what was it? How did you clean it? Did it stain? If you haven’t had anything spill on it, etc., do you know of others who have, what it was and whether or not it came out and what did it look like after trying to get it out? Thanks, again, and I look forward to your reply. 🙂 PS. The couch looks sooooo much better! Great job!

    • Thanks, Alena, and great question! It hasn’t had any spills or stains (mostly because it’s in a room we don’t use very much). Also I haven’t heard from others on the subject. However, I would guess spills would come out with water. For stains I would just paint over the stain using the same steps you used to paint the couch the first time (wet down the stain and then paint it and sand it a little once it is dry).

  8. I am eager to paint a couch but am wondering about taking the removable covers off and painting the naked couch. If its a failure for any reason I can put the covers back on. Any advice please

  9. I have a comment and a question.

    Re: calcium carbonate, I heard that you should ‘slake’ it before adding to the paint. I’m wondering if that may help with the grittiness. I’m about to try the recipe. I have a ’30’s gold velvet love seat to update.

    My question is: do you let the paint dry in between coats or just keep going? And, can you take a break of, say, weeks in between if your back should give out?

    • Hi Elaine!:-) I’m not sure was it means to “slake” but I can imagine that if you put the calcium carbonate through something like a flour sifter that it would help the mixed consistency be smoother. Yes, let the paint dry in between coats. It doesn’t have to be absolutely completely dry but at least mostly dry before you start a new coat. I don’t see why you couldn’t take a break between coats as long as you spray the love seat down again with water after your break (which is what you are suppose to do anyways between each coat). Thanks for your questions! Let me know if you have anymore.

  10. Following your instructions, I painted an ugly dining room chair with great results!!! I’m not sure how to send you pix or I would. 🙂 Thanks for all the helpful details.

  11. Hi! Great post. I have a couch I’m thinking of painting…but we have a pool and people often sit on it with wet clothes…so you know if the paint would come off on their wet clothes?

  12. Thank you so much for your original post and the 1st year update! I had not heard of this before. I have been in a dilemma for two years regarding the stained worn fabric on my kitchen chairs. It just so happens that I have almost a whole can of chalk paint leftover from another project that should work perfectly. I am so excited to try this. Thanks again!

  13. Hello
    I just wanted to say…this is the BEST DIY Fabric tutorial I have personally seen. Thank you for being so thorough by not only providing step by step instructions but also matching visuals of photos as wel, by process. Having the pictures is worth a thousand words.
    You stated in the original tutorial that you painted the couch with a small brush and did so in a circular manner.
    Was there a reason you did it that way as opposed to the thought of using a “paint sprayer”? Do you think it penetrated the fabric and covered better or was it necessary to devote that much time?

    Please let me know, at your convenience, as I am anxious to try this method on a lazy boy chair I have from the 70’s.


    • Hi Courtney! Great question! I didn’t use a sprayer mostly because I didn’t have one at the time. I think that using a sprayer would work if you still did thin coats and perhaps worked the paint into the chair with a brush after each coat. It’s important that the paint absorbs deeply into the fibers of the chair material. Wetting the material with water helps the paint absorb so you may not need to come in with a brush afterwards but you may want to. Hope this helps!!

  14. Just letting you know because i’m updating a beloved velvet tufted ottoman that as a young woman was one of the first pieces of furniture i bought myself…so i don’t want to screw it up…just wanted to say i’m going to try your way first…because you so awesomely described every step and showed up dated pics…thank you so much….i am the type of person that if you put the directions very clearly and step to step i can follow…i can’t fill in the lines…just not me…but you went over every detail so yes, thank you. i feel very confident i can’t mess this up. I have researched so many other pins and none of them are as well written and descriptive of details as yours. Happy creating!