Blog, DIY Home, DIY Project, Home Decor


In an effort to hoard collect decor for A’s room until he is ready to move in, I came across this IKEA SKRUVSTA swivel chair on one of my favorite selling/buying apps.

How to paint a fabric IKEA chair

Quick side note, there are a few apps I love to use to buy and sell things on. My favorites are Let Go, OfferUp, Facebook Market Place and on the rare occasion I do still search through Craigslist. I am very careful when meeting people to buy and sell things. If no one is available to come with me, I will have my sister on the phone or send out a screenshot to my img_0419family of where and when I will be meeting someone because you never know. Our house is ever evolving so these are great places to sell what we don’t use anymore and buy other things we are looking for. I would say I’ve sold just as much as I have bought from these apps so it evens out. Well at least that’s what I tell my husband.

Back to the IKEA chair. So after finding this chair for $40 in brand new condition, I started searching  Pinterest for how to paint or reupholster it. I found a great and detailed tutorial here from 2 Bees in a Pod. I decided to paint it because I actually love to paint and the fabric was in such great condition I figured, if I messed up the painting I could always go to Plan B and reupholster it. I always have a Plan B.

As with any of my DIY projects, I start out “trying” to do them exactly as directed but somehow I always end up doing my own thing-Gotta go with your gut. Now it was time to ransack my craft room for supplies. A lot of tutorials said to spray your chair down with a water bottle before starting, I did not. In my stock pile of paints I found Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in Matte Linen. I love this stuff! I use it on my hand painted pillows and t-shirt or any other fabric painting DIY project. With a stiff paint brush, I applied 1 coat over the chair in effort to dull down the colors.

How to paint a fabric IKEA chair

I let that dry overnight pretty much because it was night and I didn’t have the rest of the supplies.

Next day when buying the red paint, my mom instincts must have kicked in because I bought the paint in a semi-gloss finish. With 3 boys in my house I’m always thinking about stains on furniture and walls. If I was really smart, everything in my house would be the color of Cheetos because those are the ones I find the most. This is what I used plus a stiff paint brush.

How to paint a IKEA fabric chair

So now with supplies in hand, I mixed 1 part paint, 1 part textile medium and 1/2 part of water. I added the water instead of spraying it down, I figured it would do the same thing. I used a 20 oz. disposable coffee cup because I didn’t want to have to keep adding to my mixture as I ran out. So here are the steps.

  • Paint
  • Let it dry
  • Sand
  • Paint
  • Let it dry
  • Sand

Sets to painting a fabric chair

I did that processes up to photo #4 and then I stopped sanding because, to be quite honest, the sound of the sandpaper on the fabric gave me the heebie-jeebies and I didn’t feel it was making a difference in the feel of the chair. At this point it felt like canvas.

After photo 5, I was starting to get a little worried because I could still see the black pattern coming through and I was starting to loose patience with this project. So after about 5 minutes of staring at the chair questioning “What to do? What to do?” I remembered I had red chalk paint in my craft room. I remember reading something about painting fabric with chalk paint in one of the tutorials so I went for it.

Photo 6 is after just one coat of chalk paint. Yes! I can see a very slight pattern but it definetly made a difference and probably saved me from 5 more coats of paint.

I then ditched the mixture of paint and textile medium and did the last coat right from the paint can. This is when the I knew picking semigloss finish was the right way to go.

DIY how to paint a fabric IKEA chair

The fabric now feels like leather, ok ok pleather. I feel like the semigloss gave it a slight barrier against boy stains and I’m so excited to see how it holds up against a 10 year boy and I will be sure to post updates. Now on to my next DIY project.

DIY painted IKEA fabric chair makeover

DIY painted fabric chair/painted IKEA chair DIY/how to paint a fabric chair

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