How To Paint a Sofa
Guidelines on painting upholstered surfaces
The subject of painting fabric-covered furniture is by far the one we are asked about most frequently. "Will the paint work on my sofa? How many cans will I need?" We put together this page to help answer some of these questions.
Those wishing to save money by painting their furniture instead of reupholstering may be able to do exactly that with Simply Spray Fabric Paint. Fabric Spray Paint is an easy and inexpensive way to bring new life to your old sofa or recliner. It also works great to add decorative designs to furniture, or redress smaller pieces like cornices and chairs to fit your redocorating color scheme. Simply Spray paints air-cure nicely and do not require heat-setting, making them wonderful for use on furniture. They are non-toxic, water-based and water soluble before they cure, making cleanup with soap and water a piece of cake.
Important information and disclaimer regarding painting upholstery fabric:
Simply Spray's upholstery fabric paints were specifically designed for decorating furniture. The 8 oz cans cover about 18 square feet of fine-grained, flat white fabric. However, the fabric on sofas and recliners typically are not flat, having folds in the fabric which may require more paint to get in all the nooks and crannies; neither are they always fine-grained, nor always white. Please keep in mind that our experience with Simply Spray paint cannot cover its interaction with all the various types of upholstery fabric you may encounter. We can affirm that vinyl and vinyl-type fabrics were designed to resist any kind of staining and are NOT paintable with fabric paint. Nylon and 100% polyester fabrics are also dye- and paint-resistant; their color has to be manufactured into the fibers themselves. Simply Spray will not work well on those fabrics.
An easy test for a fabric's compatibility with our paint is to sprinkle some water on the fabric. If the water beads upon the surface, the paint will not work. If it absorbs, you can then proceed to test the paint in a discreet area of the furniture, such as the bottom of a seat cushion or pillow. Results will vary, so before you start painting, ALWAYS test it first. FabricSprayPaint.com and Sunshine Joy Distributing cannot be held responsible for the furniture you paint.
If you wish to try out Simply Spray paints on your furniture, we recommend that you first purchase one can and try it on a hidden area. When you are satistfied that it works, you can order more fabric paint. Measure the test area to determine the coverage that you got from the 8 oz can. You will then have an idea how much paint you will need to finish your whole sofa, love seat or divan. Yield varies by material, coverage, and user. Wait three days, then rub the test area down vigorously with a white towel or terry cloth to ensure that it has dried completely and has bonded to your fabric. Any patterns or colors on the original fabric may remain visible after painting. Dark paint colors hide the old fabric more completely than lighter colors.
Proceed when you are satisfied with the paint's interaction with your fabric. Use the chart at the bottom of this page in conjuction with your estimate from the test you performed to calculate how much paint to have on hand. Vacuum your furniture very well and ensure that it is dry before beginning to paint. After painting, allow 72 hours (or more if humidity is high) for the paint to dry completely before using your furniture.Always make sure the results are dry and permanent before sitting your furniture in your white tuxedo or dress. To be sure, rub the surface down with a white towel just as you did for the test area. In addition to verifying the paint's dryness, this rubbing action will soften the surface and make your furniture more comfortable. You may notice that fabrics with thick nap need some touching up.
Wait one week to allow the paint to air-cure before attempting any cleaning. If necessary, clean non-upholstered areas with mild soap and water or a mild type of furniture cleaner. Test all cleaners first.
You can use Simply Spray on outdoor patio furniture and awnings. It will withstand the sun and rain as well as any paint can. However, be sure to allow the paint to dry completely indoors before exposing to the elements. You may have seen the home improvement TV show where they left their sofa outside overnight only to be ruined by the rain. Fortunately, this undesirable result can be easily avoided.
Question: "Will Simply Spray work on my sofa?" Answer: Maybe so, maybe not— you need to test first. The most likely answer is yes, unless it is a shiny material.
Question: "How many cans will I need?" Answer: Every piece of furniture is different in both size and fabric material. Again, you will have to do a test to see if the product works on your piece, during which you need to measure a section to estimate the coverage yield on your piece of furniture.
For the coverage of the paint, please refer to the usage page. There are 16 colors available in upholstery paint, to view the upholstery paint color chart click here. For video demostration, please visit Upholstery Paint projects, you might find some useful tips and tactics for your project as well.
If you have any other questions please call 1-877-769-8800, 10 am to 5:30 pm Eastern Time.
Remember, these are only rough estimates, the number of cans you will need may vary due to material, coloration, buttons, and folds.