Ottoman Transformation Using Paint

I’ve never really liked this ottoman. I think it’s kind of ugly. I bought it from Target in London when the chain was shutting down its Canadian stores. It was on sale, well made and served a purpose. It stood at the end of the guest-room bed so Spice and Miss Sugar could make the leap up more easily.

Ottoman on its side. It is beige with various shades of brown and rust geometric patterns. An open jar of dark grey paint and a brush sit on it.

We don’t need it for its intended purpose here, and it doesn’t mesh with the decor, so I decided to paint it. Chalk paint enthusiasts claim painting upholstery is easy-peasy. I consulted my paint pals at Stan Portley’s in London and although I wanted to use Van Gogh paint, they were out of stock on my preferred shade. Instead, I grabbed some Cottage Paint in Anchor Grey.

Step one is to clean the piece thoroughly by vacuuming and using a sticky roller – whatever it takes. Then, mist it with water. I used my plant mister and gave it a light shower in sections as I worked. Mist then paint. Mist then paint. The paint soaks in, obviously, and even though I watched my work carefully, the first coat still came out uneven. Derek wanted me to stop at coat number one but it was too blotchy for my liking.

Top of ottoman shows uneven results and blotchy and somewhat bare sections of grey over tan and brown..
Top and right have one coat, bottom and left have two coats.

I was starting to think it was a failed experiment but I kept going. Two full coats didn’t cover the pattern but it looked a lot better, to my eyes. Then I remembered what Bobbi at Stan Portley told me about the finish. Waxed chalk paint on upholstery ends up feeling like leather.

A close-up of my hand on the fabric as I rub on wax with a white cloth.

It was challenging to keep the wax coat even and remove any excess before it dried, which takes about an hour. But I think it looks a lot better with the finish coat on it. After it dried, I gave it a thorough rolling with a sticky roller. And here it is in its natural habitat.

Ottoman looking like it fits in with the grey colour scheme, sits with a basket full of fuzzy throws on top. Nearby is a silver egg chair, a tall lamp with a grey shade and a round mirror on the wall.

I’m glad I kept going even though it was tempting to quit partway through. Sometimes you can’t imagine the result until you get there. It certainly fits in better with the room.

If the question is, can you chalk paint upholstery, the answer is definitely yes. As long as the piece is for occasional use. I wouldn’t advise painting a favourite couch or chair that you like to lounge in every day.

2 thoughts on “Ottoman Transformation Using Paint”

  1. Oh, thanks so much for this post. There’s a built-in bench along one wall in the basement that is covered in fabric and it’s not going to go with the wall colour when we pain down there. This looks like a great solution!

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