Well, it happened. I joined the ranks of the crazy people who looked at their couch and thought, “I should paint that.” I had seen a few examples of people painting their couches online, and after reading all of them, I decided I would just forgo the textile medium and just use latex paint. My reasoning was that latex paint was already very flexible, so I wouldn’t need the medium for that. Also people use the medium to heat set the fabric, but from what I know about that stuff, it’s to set the paint so it doesn’t wash out in the washing machine. And I’m not throwing my couch into the washing machine any time soon.
This whole thing happened when I went to Goodwill to look for a coffee table or dresser. So of course I found an awesome love seat and couch that I couldn’t just leave there. The only bad things about them were the grandma floral fabric and broken springs. Both easily fixable. I made sure we would be able to get them home somehow (we have a small sedan… not really fit for transporting a love seat and a couch) and then bought those suckers. Here’s a breakdown of this project:
Love seat and couch – $115
Uhaul(we need a truck…) – $55
Oops paint (grey, eggshell finish) – $5
Total – $175
Really, I only painted the love seat, so I didn’t know if I should include the couch in the prices and everything, but I did anyway. If you wanted to split up the couch cost and Uhaul cost between both couches, it would be around $90 for this love seat project. Anyway, here’s a picture of these guys at Goodwill:
I didn’t get any other decent before pictures of the love seat unfortunately because I was so excited about ripping the bottom out to fix the springs. I didn’t get any pictures of that process, but it was pretty easy. I removed the legs and the fabric on the bottom and it revealed that one of the serpentine springs had come loose. Easy fix. I just used some pliers to work it back into place. I’ll try to get some pictures of the big couch when I work on it so you guys can see what I’m talking about.
I had planned to paint the legs so when I had taken them off to fix the springs, I slapped a few coats of some white spray paint that I had laying around. I ended up leaving the legs off the couch for the entirety of the project so I didn’t have to worry about taping them off.
Here is everything before I started painting. I got some “oops” paint from Lowe’s for just $5. It was almost $20 off. Super awesome deal, it was in the color I wanted, the finish I wanted and was the only miss-mixed paint that they had at that moment. It was meant to be.
I knew I had to take it slow… I wanted to err on the side of more layers rather than less. Patience is rewarded. If I had just tried to slap it all on in one coat, it would end up blotchy and uneven. What I ended up doing was three layers. Layer one was about half water and half paint. Layer two was about 1/4 water and 3/4 paint and the last was only paint. This process worked out well for me. Of course, I cleaned the crap out of this thing before painting. It took a while because the couch has deep tufts and a lot of wrinkles and folds that I made sure to really get in to.
First things first, I took a small brush and tackled the tufting. I made sure I pulled each fold open and painted in there too. I didn’t want people to sit on the couch, only for the folds to shift and expose flowers underneath the grey.
After getting in to the tufting and folds, I painted one layer over the whole couch. For the broad areas of the couch, I used a foam roller.
Day one, layer one. You can still see the colors from the fabric showing through.
Day two, layer two. Getting better. The fabric isn’t showing through -as- much, but the paint is also pretty blotchy.
Day three, layer three. Pretty much right after painting. The wet paint is slightly lighter than what it ended up drying to. I waited a day to make sure the paint was completely dry, and then reattached the legs.
And here she is! I love how it turned out. It has a neat texture now. It’s slightly shiny and at certain angles you can see the flower pattern of the fabric. Not the colors, mind you, but the way the fabric was woven.
A lot of people question whether or not painting a couch is a feasible option because they think the fabric will get “crunchy.” I knew this was a possibility, but I figured that since I wanted to change the fabric anyway I could just try this painting thing out and if it didn’t work I could just reupholster it, especially since the paint I got was so cheap. As of right now, the couch is kind of “crunchy” but it’s been getting better as it’s being used, which I expected to happen. So for the foreseeable future, this thing is staying painted.
All in all, it was a neat project that I saw somewhere and knew I had to try for myself. The original plan was to paint both couches, but I’ve recently decided that I wanted to try my hand at reupholstering the big couch. I thought it would be a neat dichotomy to take the matching couches and show an example of the painted couch, and an example of a reupholstered couch.
I hope you all enjoyed my painted couch journey!