Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Painted couch???

I thought I’d show you a before and after that I did about 4 years ago. My living room was stuck in the country look from the early 90’s. I think it was actually 1990 when we bought this sofa set in all of its blue and white checked country-ness. The walls were a carefully chosen boring creamy white and there was lots of blue and mauve throughout the room.

My 1st introduction to the online world was through the bulletin boards on AOL. We had been members practically since its inception and as things developed I found their home decorating boards as well as some wonderful gardening boards and boards for collectors. Way back then there was a poster who I knew little about but loved to read his posts. At one point in time He even posted about painting his couch. Hmmmm I filed that little tidbit away in my head. As time went on those boards on AOL went through their own ups and downs and people came and went.. I hadn’t seen anything from that poster for a while and had moved away from following that board even before its demise because of some of the peoples attitudes. Then I discovered the message boards on HGTV.COM and soon noticed the same unusual name posting there. You couldn’t mistake a name like Magnaverde.
While I followed that board religiously Magnaverde posted there about how in a pinch when expecting company he had painted a couch with great bones but whose print the could no longer stand, Some of the other people who followed that board decided to follow in his steps and I watched as 1 poster painted a chaise lounge and another painted 2 wing back chairs. The poster with the wing back chairs took pics and documented her progress as she tried to religiously follow Magnaverdes process for painting his upholstered furniture.

Fast forward to 4 years ago … I was sick and tired of the country décor in my L shaped living room /dining room combo area.. The biggest factor in my burning desire to do something different was the newest piece of furniture that resided in my LR. Hubby had bought me a baby grand piano as an anniversary gift a year earlier and the classic old lines of it simply didn‘t feel right with my old décor. I had the shadow of of an idea of what I wanted but nothing definite.

I started putting together a file of pics and ideas that I liked for the room. In the midst of this I found House fabric online and one day noticed that their brick and mortar store was just a few miles from where I worked. The people there were wonderful and through looking at all their wonderful fabrics I came up with a plan for my living room and dining room. They even gave me the phone number for someone who could make me custom slipcovers for my furniture. Woohoo!! I was on a roll.

After numerous phone conversations with the lady who was to do my slipcovers I bought the fabric and we had a date scheduled for her to come out and measure and pick up the fabric. Then a few things happened. The 1st was that she had a family emergency and needed to reschedule, but "could I call her back in about a month?" As disappointed as I was with all that, I understood that things out of our control happen. Then … the 2cnd thing happened. My cell phone died. Yep … deader than a doornail and … one of the phone numbers that was only stored on it that was lost forever, was the slip cover lady’s number.

Soooo I went back to House fabric … but it turns out that as a company they don’t give out phone numbers and that it was one employees decision to give me that number and the final kicker …. That employee no longer worked there.

(the great slipcover that never happened fabric)
Once again I was back out in the stores looking at living room furniture … so much of it is so oversized … and doing research and making calls trying to find another seamstress to make me slipcovers, I came across a post on the HGTV bulletin board that referred to Magnaverde’s painted upholstery technique. I decided that it was time for me to consider this as an option. I figured that the next hurdle was telling hubby what I wanted to do. He actually agreed to it!!! And so the experience began.
I took the loveseat from this set.

(the loveseat I kept, the couch I gave away)
And this wingchair
(the before of my wingchair, notice I'd started pulling down the wallpaper in on the dining room side. There's nothiing like running with multiple projects started all at once )

And an ottoman that had matched another chair that didn’t live a long life.
I cut the skirt off of the loveseat and started painting …
The basic technique as I did it.

  • Paint … I brushed the paint on with a cheap synthetic brush
  • Let cure for 24 hours
  • Sand (I would have never survived this step without the use of hubby’s palm sander which I’ve now commandeered for many of my projects)
  • Wipe away all the sanding dust.
  • Paint
  • Let cure for 24 hours
  • Sand
I guess that you get the idea that this went on for a few coats. I think I used about 5 coats of paint letting each cure for a minimum of 24 hours before applying the next and then sanding well.   Once all the coats of paint were in place. I once again got into hubby’s power tools and borrowed the machine that he waxes the car with. I applied a coat of Johnsons paste wax and used the power tools to buff it. I picked up some trim at Hobby Lobby and hot glued it onto the love seat to cover where I had removed the skirt. Then gave everything a nice little pat down with talcum powder.
The above pic shows the trim glued to the love seat. Everyone that sees my furniture thinks it is cream colored leather. Since I'm notorious for starting multiple projects ... and I was anxious to get my new piano into the room. During the 24 hour cure time between layers of paint on my furniture Hubby and I removed the baseboard and painted the living room and dining room. I painted the baseboards and new crown molding and he installed it. We made our own curtain rods using small iron plant hanger brackets and black iron pipe cut to length. The above pic shows those details and the window treatment that I had in place until my panels were ready. I also painted a few other things around the house with the same wall paint that I used on the couch, wingchair, and ottoman.I started with the lamps. One was gold left over from an old set that used to be in our bedroom and the other I purchased on clearance at Walmart for $3. It was green, but I figured what did I have to lose if painting it didn't work. You see what was the gold lamp in the picture that showed the braid trim on the loveseat. The corbels were gold and I painted them cream, but wasn't happy with that so I dry brushed on a little bit of gold craft paint. Another shot of the wingbackchair And a straight on shot of the loveseat and ottoman. Here is a link to the blog of someone else who has tried this. Mary Ruth has her own pics and comments. She includes an in depth quote from Magnaverde detailing how he completed his sofa. The last pic I want to show you today is the piano that made me actually make the changes that I'd been planning.Photobucket I'll show you more pics of the room another day. The way it ended up was just what I wanted ... at that time. But you know how we can be with changes in our home ....


  1. What a project. It was worth all that work though, turned out really nice. How thoughtful of your hubby to give you that baby Grand piano....Christine

  2. it was cute before...but it is gorgeous now!!! great job!

  3. Wow the transformation is great.

    I love your blog, I follow.


    PS Stop over when you get a chance and enter my giveaway.

  4. I am so wanting to do this...I HATE my living room furniture...I suppose if it doesn't work I can re-upholster it myself...but I am just seriously scared!!! How did it wear? I have three kids and a it durable? does it crack if you sit on it? fill me in!!!

  5. I cannot believe this!!! You have a gorgeous loveseat and chair, which look like expensive and soft beautiful leather. We must talk more!!! Please link this project to my boardwalk bragfest on Wednesday. The instructions will all be listed. People will be flocking to see this because it's something that is almost impossible to believe! You're amazing.

  6. wow! That does not look painted! I had no idea you could paint furniture! That is just AWESOME! I'll be back!


  7. Wow! What an undertaking. I think I would have been out of mind scared to death to tackle a project like this, and I've taken on some doozies. lol It turned out fantastic!! It was a cute room before.. but gorgeous now girl.. Love the little one helping you... :-))
    Thank you for swinging by and saying hello. Pop in any 'ole time.. hugs ~lynne~

  8. I hope you saw my painted are the inspiration for my project...just didn't know if you were blogging or not so I didn't link you in...when I share the loveseat I am working on...(I did it with a twist on the process) I will brag your sofas up!

  9. That really is a true transformation - I had just seen some 'fabric paint' for car upholstery online yesterday...i was wondering if it would work on furniture - guess regular ole paint will do -your pieces are great - Back to my daughters' house - she has many pieces I would like to re-paint..thanks

  10. woooooooohooooooooooo it looks terrific~! I bet you look in that room and feel immense pride and rightfully so. I painted a wingback 3 years ago and my DH almost freaked, till he saw how well it turned out. I plan to paint it again soon and when I do I want to link over to you so folks will see your brilliant work..

  11. This is genius Jeanne!!!!!I have seen it on TV but you did a better job!!
    You have a heart of gold about the Maltese. I have to say, i fell in love with the breed. If i had to breed a dog it would be a Maltese. I am so glad we found him too. Spring is calling him and my hubby had to chase him in the snow a couple of mornings. HAHAHA
    Gros bisous
    Thank you for stalking my blog LOL

  12. Oh forgot...I am following your blog. Follow mine. We can keep touch better like that. Post about the puppies...I would love to see them :)

  13. Oh my word, it's just incredible. You did a wonderful job. I appreciate your comments on my blog. I don't know how to answer you as I am new to this whole blogging thing, but as far as the daisy dishes, the plates and cups are not marked other than "Italy" on them (and they are pretty crazed), the teapot, sugarbowl and creamer are a pattern called Daisytime from Lefton China. I'd love to find some other pieces of it, but so far, no luck.

    At any rate, I just adore what you have done in your living room.

  14. Hi Jeanne...

    Ohhh my goodness...your sofa and chair look fabulous, my friend! This is just incredible! I had never heard of painting upholstered furniture till just this week when a blog friend did the same thing! I'm just blown away! I'm thinking about all the furniture that need a fix and this could be done so inexpensively with just a little work! What a GRAND idea! Your sofa and chair look just like a beautiful creamy white leather! I'm really impressed!!! Thank you so much for sharing this idea and your beautifully remodeled living's gorgeous!!!

    I also wanted to thank you for stopping by and taking a peek at my Spring Green tablescape and for leaving such a sweet note! Thank you, my friend!!!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  15. Well, I never!! Never have I heard of painted upholstry. This is way past amazing! It looks so so good. I have 2 little club chairs and an ottoman that I just may try this. Where can I get the exact instructions? Thanks!
    xo bj

  16. I'm so shocked that painting fabric could turn out so well! It does sound like it was a tonne of work, though. I get awfully impatient after 2 coats of anything :)

  17. Thanks for stopping by! I just love Pier 1's dinnerware. Thankfully, my husband does, too. So, we are of one mind when we make a dinnerware purchase. Love what you did with your furniture. I remember Tootsie doing the same to hers! Everything looks beautiful!

  18. What a great transformation. You went from country to elegant with a can of paint!

  19. I am amazed at this make-over. Amazed at the project. Amazed at the procedure. Most of all . . . Amazed by you. What an awesome under-taking. I found you through mutual followers and I hope that you will become a mutual follower, too.
    Your new blogging sister, Connie :)

  20. What a beautiful transformation! So much nicer and brighter now. I love it!..Christine

  21. Get out!!! That looks wonderful, and I can not believe you can paint upholstery to look that good. I'm in the exact fix you appear to be in, in that I am trying to update my home from the 80s and 90s. I have told my husband a hundred times that he is never again to allow me to purchase a patterned piece of upholstery. All I want in front of my eyes right now is neutral.

    BTW, I found you through a comment you made on a blog post on my blog about painting furniture. I totally relate as you know to the story of the chairs. I DID find some for my room this past weekend. They aren't vintage, but I liked them anyway. Here's hoping that you can score some before they are painted. Ugh!!

  22. Hi Jeanne! You really took on a challenge and your loveseat, chair and ottoman look beautiful! They do look like leather. I've heard of folks doing this but was always too skeert to do it! :) Congratulations on your pretty new piano!
    I loved your Barbie stories! I would love to see your collection sometimes. Have you ever posted about them? If not, I hope you will and let me know!
    Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)