Before & After: Chalk Paint Sofa

This week’s before and after is from Kimberly, a seriously creative DIYer. She transformed a sofa from blah to beautiful – using chalk paint! Read on to learn how she did it.

“The Couch began as your basic Queen Anne Style Sofa, with a neutral, linen/blend upholstery.”

Here’s the before of Kimberely’s sofa.

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“I first steamed it and then jumped in head first with painting the fabric! This was actually my first chalk paint project…what can I say I am a brave woman if nothing else! I wanted a kind of emerald green look, inspired by the beautiful, velvet deco-style couches that are about $4k out of my budget,” said Kimberly.

“So, I mixed 4 parts Antibes +1 part Florence to get a gorgeous Emerald shade, with the help of Annie’s colorways and the lovely and brilliant Heather at SP! I actually had about a quarter of a can left which was surprising. I think technique is so key here,” said Kimberly.

“After watching some Youtube videos and winging it, I realized that the best way to paint fabric (luckily this one did not have a real nap to sand down afterwards, like velvet would) is to first think of the paint as a wash or a dye which can change the base of your fabric, and then apply it as paint. So I blended down the paint, with about 2 cups of ASCP to 1/4 cup water. This made is really easy to get down into the niches and crannies, especially the welting. Oh the welting! My goodness I swear I went over the entire couch several times in varying lights, finding new missed spots each time. Daylight is of course best, but don’t we always end up finishing projects late at night?! So good work lamps are key here I think,” said Kimberly.

Here it is, after the first ‘wet’ coat:


“I would note that a common tip online is to use a spray bottle to moisten the fabric and then paint it with the water/ASCP blend. Myself, being of the “let’s get on with it variety”, (like Annie!) decided this took too long with my pitifully tiny spray bottle, so I moved more toward the “dippy” method, i.e. dipping brush in water, then paint+water mix and applying. This worked beautifully. The paint really spreads nicely with enough moisture. I also painted the wooden legs, which of course ASCP covers beautifully,” said Kimberly.


“Then, by my 3rd and final coat, I simply painted with a damp brush, using a full paint mixture. I didn’t have to do that many coats, but with the brocade patterning in my fabric and the dark red stripes which I did not want showing thru for the look I had planned, three were necessary. The darker, monochrome color really brought out that brocade, in the same way that dark wax kind of brings out the architecture of a piece in a completely new way. This was even more enhanced by the clear wax coat,” said Kimberly.

Here’s her sofa with the final coat of paint, no wax yet (keep scrolling, you don’t want to miss the final product.)


“I finished up with a generous coating of clear wax, wiping away excess as I went, but fabric absorbs more than wood, just like with the paint. I did two coats of clear wax, then distressed the legs with sandpaper. It’s true that the clear wax actually gives a leather-like finish, especially once buffed. I almost didn’t believe it until I saw it myself. Also makes the piece a bit more ‘life-proof’ as it’s a sealant,” said Kimberly.

Here’s the sofa with it’s coats of clear wax (just a few more steps until this beauty is complete!).

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“I sort of hemmed and hawed about whether to apply dark wax as I originally planned, because it looked so cool. I decided to give it a try. It looks amazing. A bit scary though at first.  I did have to remove some with light mineral spirits as the wax doesn’t blend very well upon application, but the effect was well worth it. Now if only no one spills anything on it over the next couple weeks while it cures,” said Kimberly.

Here’s the sofa with its first coat of dark wax, before Kimberly worked her magic with mineral spirits.


And…here is the final product. A seriously chic green sofa!

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Thanks for sharing your DIY story Kimberly! The sofa is simply fantastic.

Feeling inspired? Purchase chalk paint in our online or retail store, click here. Need to sharpen your skills? We’ve got classes for this – click here to register for our chalk paint classes!

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2 Responses to Before & After: Chalk Paint Sofa

  1. Yelsin Carpenter says:

    I have ano old couch that I was given a few years ago. The couch was made in the early 1900’s. I don’t want to get rid of it but it’s not cute.. I’ve tried washing it but that’s about it. I loved the idea of the chalk paint, but what I want to know is, if there’s anyone who does it. I won’t have the time, patience nor the creativity to do it myself. My couch look similar to this one.

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