Furniture Makeovers

Bench Makeover: How to Paint the Frame and Fabric

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Hello Friends, 

Ever started a little project and then had an ooops moment?

I know! Right? Sometimes DIYing is all about winging it.

And this, my friends, is one of those times.

Bench Makeover: How to Paint the Frame and Upholstery Fabric

When I laid out the makeover plan for this outdated bench, it looked like any other. Simply paint the frame and change out the fabric. Easy peasy.

And so, I got to work.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fusion Mineral Paint, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own.

This bench makeover explains how to distress paint using Vaseline and how to paint heavily textured upholstery fabric | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

How to Paint the Frame

Step 1 – Prep the wood surface

For this particular bench, begin by removing the cording that covers the intersection of the upholstery and the bench. I did not do this and had to backtrack to paint the wood after the cording was removed. It wasn’t a big deal, but proved I didn’t have my head in the game. Ooops#1

Otherwise,

  • Always begin by giving the wood a good cleaning with TSP or Simple Green. 

  • Wipe away all residue from the cleaner. 

  • Gently sand.

  • Wipe away dust from sanding with a tack cloth.

Because this frame was in such good shape and was from my own stash, prepping the wood surface was a snap. After a cleaning and sanding so that the wood would accept the paint, this little bench was ready to go.

Step 2 – Layer on the paint

The first color added to the frame is Ash.

  • One coat is added and allowed to dry (about an hour).  

  • Slightly buff (not sand) with 240-grit sand paper.

  • Wipe away the dust from sanding with a tack cloth.

  • Apply a second coat.

The second color added to the frame is Inglenook.

  • After the second coat of Ash is dry (I allowed several hours), apply Vaseline where you do not want the second coat of paint to stick. This process is fully explained in an earlier post. Click here to review “How to Distress Paint with Vaseline.”

  • After the Vaseline is applied, apply the second color of paint. In this case, the color is Inglenook.

  • Allow the paint to dry and then wipe away the bubbled-up Inglenook and Vaseline with a soft, clean cloth.

The third color added to the frame is Champlain.

  • Now apply Vaseline again to the areas where you do not want the Champlain to cover.

  • Allow the paint to dry and then wipe away the bubbled-up Champlain and Vaseline with a soft, clean cloth.

A bench makeover begins by layering three colors of paint and distressing with Vaseline | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

Step 3 – Buff to a velvety finish

  • Wipe and wipe with a soft, clean cloth until all of the Vaseline residue is removed.

  • Then gently –and I mean ever so gently — buff with 240-grit sandpaper. The goal here is to buff to a buttery finish, not to remove more paint.

This bench makeover frame is painted with three colors gently layered and distressed using Vaseline | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

Meanwhile, the search for just the right fabric continued. I don’t know why I didn’t find the fabric first. Ooops#2

This is totally a rookie error, but for some reason I thought the neutrals in the refinished frame would be easily matched.

But hello…. they weren’t. Especially not in remnant pieces. And I wasn’t going to pop for $40/yard for this particular makeover. I just wasn’t.

And so the idea of painting this heavily textured upholstery fabric was born.

A two-part bench makeover that layers paint on the frame and paints the highly textured upholstery | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

How to Easily Paint Upholstery Fabric

Turns out, painting heavily textured upholstery fabric is super easy.

Step 1 – Prep the fabric

  • The fabric on this bench was in perfect condition. There were no stains of any kind, so prepping the fabric consisted of vacuuming the dust using the power nozzle on the vacuum.

  • Trim away all threads and globs of hot glue from the cord removal. Also check for tacks or staples that need to be nailed in, pulled, or replaced.

  • Do this on the bench and the cord since both pieces will be painted.

Step 2 – Paint the fabric

  • Apply the Fusion Mineral paint (color Ash) as if painting wood. I did not spray the fabric with water, but did dip the paint brush in water to keep it damp. 

  • The process took two coats of paint using a regular paint brush. Each coat was allowed to fully dry between coats.

  • Then an artist brush and thinned paint was used to fill in little areas where the big brush missed. This step was a little tedious because of having to look at the fabric from every angle, but was easy to accomplish in terms of painting between the textured areas of the fabric.

  • Please note that the frame and the bench required only one 500ml container of Ash paint.

A bench makeover that includes painting the highly textured fabric | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

Step 3 – Reattach the cord

  • The painted cording is reattached with hot glue or some other equally strong adhesive.

  • Caution to make sure to measure and stretch, if necessary, the cording so that it fits the piece perfectly before beginning the gluing process.

  • The paint can be touched up with an artist brush if needed after the cording is hot glued to the frame.

Step 4 – Nourish the fabric

After the paint on the fabric is thoroughly dry, apply Fusion’s Beeswax with Hemp Oil to create a soft and supple surface. The final fabric is not quite as soft as the original fabric, but it still looks and feels great. This is a bench that will be dragged all over the house, including the patio. Since it will get lots of rugged use, the fabric needs to be tough.

  • Apply Fusion’s Beeswax Finish with Hemp Oil to the painted fabric as if applying to wood.

  • Let it set for a couple of hours.

  • Wipe away any excess product with a soft, clean cloth.

This bench makeover includes painting the fabric and then topcoating with a nourishing beeswax and hemp oil blend | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

And that’s all there is to it.  Oooops and all.

A bench makeover includes distressing the frame using Vaseline and three paint colors AND painting the highly textured fabric | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

Resource List

Fusion Mineral Paint in the colors Ash, Inglenook, and Champlain

Fusion’s Beeswax with Hemp Oil

Paint brush – I used Fusion’s horsehair paint brush

Artist brush – Just a cheap one from a multi-pack

240-grit sandpaper

Tack cloth

Several soft, clean cloths

Hot glue and glue gun

This bench makeover includes a three-step paint layering on the frame and painting the upholstery fabric | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

This bench makeover is also part of the dining room makeover that will begin going live in October. As part of the One Room Challenge, this bench will join three other pieces of refreshed furniture to help create a completely new dining room.  I do hope you will join me for this exciting reveal.  

In the meantime, if you’d like to keep this makeover idea, please…

A bench makeover that uses Vaseline to distress the layers of paint on the frame and paint to refresh the outdated textured upholstery | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | www.thechelseaproject.com

For more ideas using PAINT in a variety of ways, please check out my bloggy friends.

 

Join us the last day of each month for a different Inspired Makers Challenge
Follow with #InspiredMakers and #InspiredMakersChallenge to see more amazing projects each month!
August Challenge: Paint Changes Everything, with your hosts:

Lisa @ The Purple Hydrangea | Sarah @ 1915 House | Kim @ Farmhouse Made
Ann @ Duct Tape and Denim | Kimm @ Reinvented | Janice @ Sawdust Sisters
Denise @ My Thrifty House | Suzanne @ Shop at Blu | Susie @ The Chelsea Project | Susanne @ Pearl Street Designs | Toni @ Small Home Soul |

Anika @ This DIY Life
 


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25 Comments

  • Reply Marie August 31, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Just proves that instead of replacing a piece of furniture that may be dated, by simply looking at it with a fresh new perspective, it can be completely transformed and given a new life with paint. You have injected so much personality into this bench, Susie – stunning makeover! Looking forward to seeing your dining room reveal during the Fall ORC. Pinned

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Hi Marie and thanks so much! I wondered how this whole “painting fabric” idea would fly. So thrilled to have your kind and encouraging comment. You’re the best. XO

  • Reply Toni | Small Home Soul August 31, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Ok, just wow. That is a gorgeous bench now. I love the layers of paint you gave it to really create depth. And the painted seat really tops it off. I don’t think any color other than black would do the bench justice. Love love love it!

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Toni and thanks! I must admit that the plan in my mind and the result are two entirely different things. But I’m diggin’ the whole vibe now. You are so sweet to stop by and comment. Thank you!

  • Reply Anika | Anika's DIY Life August 31, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    WOW!! This bench turned out so amazing!! I love it! The texture from the layers of paint …. just love it!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Anika and thanks! Your words are high praise and are very much appreciated. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Reply Uneven Wall Paint Color and How to Fix it - Anika's DIY Life August 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    […] Janice @ Sawdust Sisters | Denise @ My Thrifty House | Suzanne @ Shop at Blu | Susie @ The Chelsea Project | Susanne @ Pearl Street Designs |Toni @ Small Home […]

  • Reply Janice @sawdustsisters August 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    This bench is oh so beautiful thanks to you! That fabric before did not do it justice! I love the black and the chippy frame. Beautiful job, Chelsea!

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Janice and thanks! Sometimes I am surprised what a little paint can do! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Reply Susanne August 31, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    That is amazing!!! You would never know the fabric is painted. So classy, I love it <3

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Susanne and thanks! I love the neutral look and think it will be fab to drag around for seating anywhere. So happy to have you stop by!!

  • Reply shopatblu August 31, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Susie I love the color combination! And soft painted fabric??? I’ve got to try Fusion on fabric. Beautiful piece!

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Hi Suzanne and thanks! I think soft is an overstatement, but sorta soft could be accurate. LOL. Plus, I think it is really going to be durable. Yes! Do give Fusion a try on fabric. I think you will find amazing coverage. Appreciate the visit and sweet comment!! XO

  • Reply Denise August 31, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing how you did this bench makeover. Great job.

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      Awww Denise. You’re the best! Thanks so much. XO

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 August 31, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    This looks beautiful. What a great update and so much easier than reupholstering.

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      Hi Debra and thanks. Well, I thought reupholstering would be super easy, but turns out –not so much. So yep…this is a great alternative. Appreciate the visit and kind words.

  • Reply Kimm at Reinvented August 31, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Beautiful job Susie! I am amazed at how well the fabric turned out, and the paint layered beautifully.

    • Reply theChelseaProject August 31, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Hi Kimm. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the kind words. You’re the best!

  • Reply Angie ~ ambientwares September 2, 2017 at 9:38 am

    This is beautiful in every way, Susie! The colors you chose were meant for this bench. Pinned!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 2, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Oh Angie, you know just how to make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your encouraging comment! XOXO

  • Reply Sarah September 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Great job!!! Love the new look and feel it give your space!

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 3, 2017 at 5:56 am

      Hi Sarah and thanks! Love having you stop by and leave a sweet message. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Nancy September 2, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    It turned out so fabulous. The finish on the wood is amazing! You are so patient! Love this whole makeover.

    • Reply theChelseaProject September 3, 2017 at 6:01 am

      Hi Nancy and thanks. You really bless me by saying I’m patient. It’s tough to have the house torn to shreds and projects going in every direction. Patience may be the most important sustaining element as I SLOWLY journey on. Thanks so much. I am encouraged. XOXO

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