Painted Velvet Chairs, Easy Update with Spray Paint

My ugly velvet chairs got an upgrade this week! These spray painted velvet chairs turned out better than even I expected! This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.


We have had these old velvet chairs for several years. I have never really liked them, but they were free, compact in size and they seemed to fit in our small home rather easily.Painted Velvet Chairs

They are our favorite places to sit for watching TV, reading books and knitting.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with them: they are clean with solid construction, no rips or tears.

Nothing wrong, other than they have a rather dated look to the upholstry.

If I had all the money in the world, I would probably not think twice about giving them away and buying something new.

However, I do not have a budget for new furniture. Perhaps someday I will.

But, not today.

These chairs have been an eye sore in our living space for so long that I have spent lots of time trying to decide what to do with them.

Slip covers would be hard to make for their awkward design.

Re-upholstery is too expensive.

So, I decided that Painted Velvet Chairs were the answer.

painted velvet chairs tools

I have read a number of blog posts on Painted Velvet Chairs. Many of them were very involved and complicated.

The fabric had to be wet first.

The paint had to be mixed with additives to get it to adhere to the fabric.

Many used paste wax to soften the fabric after it was painted.

Multiple coats of products required days and days of drying time.

With all the various steps and multiple products involved, I was reluctant to proceed with painting the chairs.

That is, until I spotted this Rustoleum product on the shelf at the store.


WOW! Leave it to Rustoleum to come up with a GREAT idea!

When Rustoleum offered to supply me with some product to try, I was thrilled to accept and give it a go.

This particular product is designed for automotive use. Since many cars have velvet upholstery, I decided it was a perfect fit for my velvet chairs.

I also decided that this product would probably be very durable, as our family of 6 can be rather hard on things.

Yesterday was sunny and cool, a great day to work outside on the chairs, I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Supplies Needed:

•6 Cans Charcoal Grey Rustoleum Automotive Spray Paint.

•Tape measure


•Silver Upholstery Nails

•Needle Nose Pliars

•White Chalk Pencil

•Spray Paint Nozzel

You can buy your paint here through my affiliate link.

Because it’s a beautiful neutral shade I knew it would be dark enough to cover the denim blue chairs.

Painted Velvet Chair Directions:

•The first step was to remove the “skirt” on the bottom of the chair. I decided it made the chair look dated and would be hard to paint.

•It was easy to remove with a screw driver and a hammer.

•Then I removed any remaining staples with a needle nose plyer.

•The chair cushions were painted separately, I leaned them up against a tree while working on them.

Painted Velvet Chair half way done

Once I began to paint, I got more and more excited.

This picture shows the color difference from blue to grey, it is rather subtle, but I love it.

The paint can attachment (pictured above) made all the difference for this project.

This attachment allows the paint to spray on completely evenly at multiple angles, with even coverage and no dribbling.

It also is far more comfortable on the fingers to use the attachment when spraying for long periods of time. I will never spray paint without it again.

Each chair took 3 cans of paint, and was enough for 2 coats per chair.

The paint dried quickly to the touch, but I left the chairs outside for several hours to be sure they were completely dry.

(Recommended drying time on the paint is 6 hours.)

Nail Head Detail

In place of the skirt, I added 3/4″ nickel nail heads (order here from my affiliate link). I used 3 packages per chair, and spaced them 2″ apart along the “seam” where the original skirt was attached.

•A fabric pencil and a quilting tape made for easy placement.

•Hammering them in place was easy.

•Next, I added nail heads to the arms of the chairs in  a staggered pattern. I could have purchased smaller nail heads to fit the dainty arms, but I decided I liked the larger ones better. They created a staggered effect and I like the unexpected pattern that they make.

•I forgot to mention that I also painted the feet of the chairs the same color, I like the modern look it gives them.

Final Notes

I love how these painted velvet chairs turned out!

The original blue upholstery undertones give the new grey color depth and interest in my opinion.

I could have given them more than 2 coats of paint, as the velvet is rather absorbent, but I like how they look.

The paint makes the velvet slightly stiffer, it now has more of a corduroy fabric feel to it. I am okay with that.

My kids say the chairs are “more manly” this way.

Perfect for our Man Cave.

This project was easy to complete in the scope of an afternoon. Even though the fabric felt dry, we did notice an odor to them for a day or so. If you are chemically sensitive you may want to keep them in the garage for a day or two to air out before using them indoors.

We love these chairs, and they will be a part of our home for quite some time!

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Painted Velvet Chairs|Cozy Traditional Home|


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  1. Lori says

    You did a really nice job !!! O have 2chairs that I have been wanting to paint them, now I have to try your way! Did you brush them after to help soften them up?

    • designerssweet says

      Thanks Lori! I did not brush the chairs at all, I really don’t mind how they feel. Some people have used paste wax to soften painted velvet, any coating is going to change the feel of the fabric a bit. Thanks for reading!

  2. Andrea Parker says

    I would love to try this paint on a 1995 Tahoe we had stored and are now getting fixed up to drive again. But the burgundy upholstery is faded as is the dash and I think this Rustoleum product may be the answer. Will have to use lots of plastic sheeting,however, so it doesn’t overspray. Is this product readily available and is it in regular home stores or solely in automotive stores?? You did a great job on the chairs.

  3. Maija says

    How long ago did you do this?
    I’m curious as to how well it stands up to use.
    I also wonder if a person’s clothing might get stained while sitting on it.
    Maybe someone with a damp sweaty t-shirt, for example.

    I bought a super nice couch for $20. I love the shape and style of it,
    but not the colour or print. The fabric is just like a smooth cotton
    broadcloth type of stuff… not the velvety sort. It’s a very pale pastel
    colour so it wouldn’t be hard to cover it… I would think.

    • designerssweet says

      I did these chairs last week. We have been using them every day, and I have not had any paint rubbing off, nor are they looking worn so far. Sounds like your couch is a perfect piece to experiment on. Good luck with your project, I would love to see how it comes out!

  4. debbie says

    What an amazing job you did. They look fantastic, so updated with the nailheads, the gorgeous gray and look original. I did not know Rustoleum made such a product. So glad to find it out from you and thanks for sharing a great job and great product.

    New to your blog and very impressed with your work.

    • designerssweet says

      Hi, thanks for your question.I would think the fabric paint would work just fine on your rug, let me know how it turns out.

  5. Renae says

    I’m really impressed with your chairs. I have a large otttoman that I’d like to paint. It has lots of nooks and crannies and since your chairs do also, I wondered how you did the painting in there, around the buttons and between the back cushion and the back side of the chairs. Was it hard to hold while painting? did the paint dry slower in those areas? Your answers will let me know if I can paint this beautiful ottoman that is now the wrong color to go with our house, as I bought it in 1985…lol . It’s a rose color…nuff said… Thanks for all the info!

    • designerssweet says

      So glad you liked the chairs! The truth is, they were easy to paint. The spray paint works great in those nooks and crannies! My paint dried fast, within a few hours, but it did have an odor for several days afterwards. The spray paint nozzle tool made all the difference in the world in getting a nice even coat. It also made the cans much easier to hold for a long period of time. I went through many cans of spray paint and the tool was a life saver for the fingers! I would love to see how your ottoman turns out, I have been thinking about doing one of those myself!


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