The Trick To Painting Over Velvet

UPDATE! I have created a new tutorial here because many of the products used in this older post no longer exist. Thank you, Julia.

I found this sweet little French chair at one of my favorite neighborhood yard sales, we have some really good ones, and I initially passed on it because of the price & its condition. However, I could not stop thinking about it and decided to see if it was still there a couple days later & to my sheer delight it actually was! So, after a bit of negotiating (or should I say begging & pleading) they came down on the price and I took it home…pretty sure my husband thought I was nuts. No matter.IMG_5534 The velvet fabric was badly faded and I had to glue one of the arms back in place, but I knew a fresh coat of paint would make a world of difference and thankfully it did!IMG_5560 I had a few sample pots that I decided to mix together in order to create a custom color. I used colors from Vintiques and Heirloom Traditions to create a pretty teal color. I applied it normally to the wood frame, using 2 coats of paint, and then I added Vintiques black wax to deepen the color. However, when it came time to paint the velvet I added equal parts of Heirloom Traditions FAB Fabric Medium to the paint and then added about 3 parts water. You want to keep your paint in a watered down/thin consistency. It will end up cracking if it’s too thick & it won’t have a soft finish.IMG_5626 If you’re going to paint over velvet I suggest using a darker color, this way you can use less paint and cover any stains better. And be sure to paint in one direction only, go with the nap if you will. Otherwise, you will make a mess of the velvet.IMG_5629 The painted velvet is just as soft as the original and I’m very pleased with its makeover.IMG_5635 I was originally planning to use this for my desk chair, but it’s too low & made me look like a toddler sitting behind a desk (ha ha, short people problems), so it’s now hanging out in our hallway and I really like it there. Anyhow, this is my $40 yard sale find with its new makeover. Bonne Nuit πŸ™‚


Beautiful chair! Did you put an initial coat of the Fab medium on the velvet before painting, or did you only add the Fab to your paint?

Thank you Linda πŸ™‚ No, I did not apply FAB on the velvet first, I only added it to my paint.

So you don’t have a topcoat of FAB either? Did you need to sand it smooth, or was it thin enough to work more like a dye? Thanks.

I mixed the FAB with my paint, added water, and then applied it to the fabric. I did not sand it, although that is always an option if you feel your fabric isn’t soft enough. I always list whatever steps I have taken to achieve a finish πŸ™‚

Thank you for this wonderful guide to painting velvet…I’m bookmarking it so that when the time comes I have all the skinny! Your chair turned out beautifully, and I can’t wait to try this with Heirloom Traditions Paint + FAB!

This looks awesome — so impressed! I do have what may be a dumb question… So if you had a quart of paint, you add a quart of FAB Fabric Medium, correct? But when you are saying add 3 parts water, would that be 3 quarts in this scenario?

That would end up being a whole lot of product, especially after adding 3-4 times the amount of water, but yes. I started with around 1 ounce of each (FAB & Paint, for 2 ounces total), and then added a lot of water πŸ™‚

Yes, it is for pieces that get daily use…it will wear in time the same way any piece will, but it helps repel stains & water.