Thursday, May 19, 2011

{do this!} I painted a couch last week {or} NO REALLY! I PAINTED A COUCH!

So, if you follow my VERY AMUSING musings on twitter {hint, hint} you may have seen the picture of this garage sale SCORE I bought a couple of weeks ago. For the low, low sum of FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS! Can you FREAKING BELIEVE my LUCK?

couch

When I saw her sitting there, in that nice man's driveway, I got the heart palpitations and sweats that only a true bargain hunter can understand. There and then, as I sat in my car, tangled in my own seat belt {there may have been some cussing involved} I KNEW I NEEDED to OWN her! As I walked up the driveway, I fretted that she might be out of my budget, but was already concocting excuses and justifications for the mister. I watched as another woman had a conversation about the couch and WALKED AWAY. 'OH GREAT!' I was thinking, 'this dude must have visions of GRANDEUR and wants a Antiques.Roadshow.Mint for this little beauty.' My garage sale compadre nudged me a little and said GO ASK ABOUT THE COUCH. {She actually more shoved me, bless her little heart.}So, up I trudged and casually asked, 'how much for the couch'. Oh man. He started out with a story which typically =  A TOTALLY INFLATED PRICE. He told me she was from the 40's, original fabric {which, I disagree} and that he just replaced the springs a year ago. And then he said it. FORTY FIVE DOLLARS!!!!!!??????!!!!! Uh. Yeah. I'll take it. {and for the record, it was in VERY CLEAN condition. No smells, fabric could have been left as is, if it weren't so hideous. SCORE!}So, I kinda knew I was going to paint her from that moment. {did you see that episode of trading spaces where the couches were painted but got ruined by the rain? Yeah. I still wanted to attempt it.} It took a bit of convincing the mister, but he eventually agreed with me that this was the only way she was going to fit in with out COMPLETELY NOT SHABBY CHIC HOUSE {that was for my galpal Heather}

before

Just my luck?  My dad was in town to help! {Its almost like I PLANNED IT} 

 So, here are the supplies we used:
supplies

*Glidden flat black paint {color -Ebony}- I started out with just one quart, but ended up having to go back for another, which I used half of. So, if I ever paint a couch again? I will just go for the gallon.

*2 - 8 ounce containers of Delta Ceramcoat Textile Medium - this paint additive keeps acrylic/latex paint flexible enough to use to paint a couch, without all of it just flaking off. It was supposed to be 1 part medium to 2 parts paint. I got lazy doing the math, so I ended up using the 2 - 8 ounce containers for a quart and a half of paint.... that adds up, right??? {It turned out fine, regardless...}{Kids, are you listening? YOU DO NEED MATH SKILLS IN EVERY DAY LIFE! STAY IN SCHOOL!}

*Painters tape {Don't be buying no dollar store tape. It sucks. The extra moolah is SO worth it.}
blurryfoamroller

We also used this foam roller. {OMG I know this is the worst picture ever to be posted on the interwebs, it was just the only one I took.} {Sorry.}{I love you.}We also went through several of these type foam brushes, mostly to get in the nooks and crannies.
dad painting the couch

My dad was in charge of masking the wood base. {YAY FOR FARMING OUT THE TOUGH LABOR!} There was some discussion about painting the wood as well. We didn't, mostly because I am lazy, it would have involved priming and sanding and I am nothing if not a crafter suffering from a MASSIVE case of A.D.D. So, YAY for NATURAL WOOD TRIM!
dadpaintingthecouch

I rolled all the bigger, flat areas, and Dad used the foam brushes to get in the tufts on the back and around the trim. It took both of us painting about 4 hours total painting time over 2 days to finish. {My dad actually did most of the work. THANK YOU DAD! I APPRECIATE YOU!}
reversible cushions!

It took me the LONGEST to figure out what fabric to use to cover the cushions. {I knew right along that I didn't want to paint those....} I settled on reversible cushions, trimmed in polka dots. {Perfect.}

after

Didn't she turn out beautiful???!!! You can still see the texture of the original tapestry {original?} fabric, which I actually love. The back feels a bit like you might imagine a painted couch would feel like. Stiff, like a new screenprinted t-shirt. I might not attempt this on a 'fluffy' couch. I think it worked so beautifully because this was a tight, tailored design. {which is why I did not want to attempt to paint the foam butt cushion covers. It sceered me.}

before and after


So. To review. Look. The prettyness. The beauty. Total cost? A little over $100.

$45 - couch

$16 - 2 quarts black paint

$7 - 2 containers textile medium {both purchased at Joann's with coupons $5ea is reg price}

$2 - foam brushes 

$36 - Damask and Floral from Joann's with coupon {had the dots in the stash}

$3 - 3 upholstery zippers from SAS
Painters tape, plastic tarp, rollers {I already had}

-----------------------------------------------
Total price - $109

finished sewing room

I think this couch is just what my sewing room was missing, don't you?


{linked this project up}

89 comments:

  1. I'm telling you ... you're one brave woman for painting a whole couch! It turned out fabulously! :)

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  2. I must say I've NEVER heard of painting a couch... or any other fabric-y furniture. But it looks awesome! I especially love the cushions!

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  3. Looks much improved! How does the fabric feel now that it has been painted?

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  4. It feels kind of like a screen printed t-shirt... a bit stiff/paint-ish. I predict it will get softer as we use it...

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    1. Did it get softer over time? If so how quickly. Any changes you would have made to the mixture? Tia

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  5. AMAZING!! And did you 'put a bird on it'? The pillow, that is.

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  6. You are a brave woman! I totally saw that painted couch Trading Spaces episode. No way would I dare to attempt this. Beautiful results for you. I have a dad that I put to work too. Last time he was in town I made him help me make pink, plastic poms.

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  7. Wow, I think it's perfect in this room and looks like velvet in the pic. Very cute and affordable idea!

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  8. So I have to ask you where are you from? I sold a couch identical to that a few years ago at a garage sale. The reason I think it's the same couch is my mother had it reupholstered in identical floral fabric to that. Did this come with a small ottoman??? Or Chair??? I am itching to know if it's the same one!

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  9. Holy moley! Love love love it! I have a wingback chair I'm painting out in my garage and I'm loving your choice of black with that fabric! Great job!

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  10. Your couch looks amazing. I would be way too scared to attempt painting one.

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  11. I painted a sofa once. I picked a chocolate brown and everyone thought it was leather. It was really amazing. I love the black paint. Did you have to mix it with a bonding agent? Well done.

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  12. I love it, and it totally makes me want to paint a couch. Why didn't you want to paint the cushions, too?

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  13. Looks AMAZING!! But, 2 questions- 1) does it smell like paint even after drying? And 2) does the paint rub off if, let's say someone that is a little sweaty sits on it?
    If you say no to both of these, i will buy a couch just to do this!

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  14. @Dusty - I am in Arizona. That would be WEIRD if this is your mother's old couch. {and awkward. The fabric isn't. that. ugly.} ugh. :)

    @AC - I just used the textile medium. Is that what you mean?

    @Ashley- I think it works so well and doesn't feel icky because the couch fabric is so tailored aka not fluffy in the least. The fabric on the body of the sofa doesn't move a lot when you sit on it, so I wasn't worried in the least about painting it. The foam cushions, on the other hand, do have to have give. I was worried the paint would flake or crack with too much stress. I opted to just recover.

    @Acrim :) It does NOT smell like paint at all. And, it really feels like a screen print. A bit stiff but its definitely not coming off on you once its dry. I have had to wipe drywall dust off of it {hung a light fixture over it without covering it} just used a damp cloth and it was fine. GOOD LUCK!

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  15. As an avid thrifter, this post has turned my world upside down! Now I'll want to bring home every cool couch i see just to try this out! How do you think this would do on a silkier fabric??

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  16. what a fabulous job! Super idea! I clicked over from Apartment Therapy, your couch was featured there!

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  17. Wow this turned out wonderful! How is it to sit on the paint though? Does it feel stiffer? I've painted fabrics before and it never feels soft enough.

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  18. Why did you use interior paint instead of a fabric paint for screen printing on shirts? Was it a price issue? Because that may resolve some of the issues with the paint texture feeling. Also, I love it. I always see these old sofas and lust but then I have to remind myself how much reupholstering a couch costs and cringe. You make me feel like being a little more adventurous!

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  19. A gorgeous makeover! I don't watch all episodes of Trading Spaces and totally missed the one you're referring to. Kudos on the bravery.

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  20. Wow! This is so impressive! And I can totally relate to the sweats and heart palpitations. I get those too when I see something I HAVE to have. Loved the post and will definitely be trying this on my boring off-white Ikea loveseat. Thanks!

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  21. This is amazing... I think I love you..

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  22. your post is amazing for several reasons, partially because of the beautiful couch & partially because i was laughing the whole way through. i've been wanting to paint a piece of furniture for awhile, this has inspired me. xox

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  23. Awesome job! I recently painted a couch as well-- however it has not turned out so well. We thought it was a vinyl couch instead of leather, so we purchased vinyl spray paint. It has since been chipping and flaking off. Would you suggest painting over it using your method? thanks!

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  24. Wow I cannot say enough how awesome this is! I've been on the fence about whether to paint an ottoman of mine. I ran across the painted upholsetery idea here http://www.aliceindesignland.com/blog/diy-an-upholstered-chair-gets-painted.html not too long ago but was skeptical.After seeing your post I'm totally sold! seriously GREAT job.

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  25. Thank you!! I have a very similar couch - LOVE the swirly victorian lines, HATE the nasty floral pattern - and was lost for a solution. I'll be doing this to my couch this weekend! You've saved my living room!

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  26. Stumbled here from a few other weekend round-up posts. I am so in love with your couch. $45 is a steal. I have been lurking Flagstaff yard sales and have never been so lucky as to find anything as salvageable as that gorgeous couch.

    Now I am inspired to revamp our our oversized southwest/hieroglyph themed love seat (free). Was the back of your couch very stuffed, or more taut against the frame? Also, did you paint the whole backside as well?

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  27. Yes, mam, she is BEAUTIFUL! You rock and i love your choice of fabrics!!!!
    ~Pam
    pamspaintparlor.typepad.com

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  28. So glad I found this as I've been planning on doing this with a chair and ottoman. Question: did you heat set it or just let it dry? The fabric medium I found says it needs to be heat set---at which point it releases formaldehyde, fun!---after application. Thoughts?

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  29. I love it! Just what I wanted to know how to do? Do you have any ideas on applying fabric to wood -
    I've seen some really cute desks and dressers with fabric covered drawers
    at shops, but not had the nerve to grill the owner while not buying the furniture.

    Deborah

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  30. wow! I love how it turned out! I still have a vintage style sofa very similar I got for 45 last year as well and have not recovered it yet. Mainly because the fabric is pricey and the project is intimidating. This turned out so cute! Good job! Also, I LOVE your sewing room. So cute! I will definitely be back. This was my first visit but not last. :)

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  31. Well I'm stunned. I never knew you could paint a couch. Wish I could see and touch it. It looks fabulous. Yes, you scored a bargain, even with the paint costs. I'm currently trying to buy furniture for DS's first apartment, alas too far away to visit in the car. He has no car, hence, he must rely on delivery from Ikea. Just the delivery cost is $99. So, you couldn't come close to this cost for an Ikea sofa, which probably is nowhere near the quality of this sofa. Great job; great inspiration.

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  32. You are going to make me a dangerous man. There is no upholstered furniture safe from my paintbrush from now on. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  33. This is awesome! I'm featuring this at womenwhodoitall.blogspot.com

    :) Jill

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  34. What a change! Way to be so courageous and make it work. And for the record, I did see that episode and have been scarred to painting fabric ever since!

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  35. This looks so beautiful. Congratulations.

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  36. Now that you have lived with the sofa for six months, can you tell us if it has softened up? How does it wear now? Are you still happy with it?

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  37. This turned out beautifully! A good friend of mine has a similar couch to the before picture. So I showed her this nifty, little project. She can't wait to do this to hers!

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  38. Absolutely amazing. How is it like now? I would love to do that to a chair!! Is it cracking?

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  39. I've been swooning to buy one of these couches for awhile now, never thought to paint instead of reupholster! What a great idea.

    I'm wondering, why did you decide on flat paint though? I already have a gallon of some paint I never used that I would most likely go with, but it's semi gloss, not sure if that would ruin the whole project?

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  40. We have an older couch that had even uglier fabric on it! (dingy green brown with fruit and birds and flowers!) and a few years ago we reupholstered it with that exact same damask fabric! The entire thing! We loved it at first but I've been begging to do something different to it. The cushions are a bit torn from our dog and the cat seems to have taken to scratching the arms and sides.

    I was thinking about this until you said it probably wouldn't be good for a fluffier couch which ours is. :( Oh well!

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  41. that is soooo cool! i may have to try this when i'm ready to purchase a couch.

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  42. This is so fabulous! I've been curious about painting upholstery, and this gives me courage.
    For more ideas do a google image search for Jane Hall hand painted upholstery.
    Stenciling could be cool too....

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  43. It looks wonderful. I have painted several pieces. I use kilz on them first then do a light sand to get rid of the burs, then a coat of whatever color of satin latex paint I have or like, another light sanding and then a coat of paste wax worked in. It is wonderful and soft and lasts forever.

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  44. Thank you so much for your awesome post and tutorial! You gave me the courage to do it myself! :) You can check my sofa here (with credit and links back to you!): http://blog.monpetitstudio.com/?p=1122

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    1. Omg GORGEOUS! You've made my couch look like Crap :) love it and thanks for posting a link!!!

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  45. wow! I had NO idea you could paint fabric! this would have been so much easier to do, and less expensive then all the fabric I got to slipcover my couches.. nice job!

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  46. Couch...$45.00
    Paint....$16.00
    Rollers and tape....$9.00

    A father who will help you paint AND look adorable in his socks while he's getting the job done....PRICELESS

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  47. This is just amazing....and I have just the candidate couch in mind :)

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  48. Your couch looks great! Several years ago I painted my mauve plaid couch (barf)...figured it couldn't be worse!.. I used Kilz and then latex interior paint...then topped it with a few layers of different glazes. The glaze made it less sandpapery...looked like genUine leatha. Because I didn't want to sit on stiff cushions, I wrapped the bottom cushions all together with and old sheet and then made a contour 'sheet' to cover it all. That worked out great for when my dog would put muddy paws all over it...or I spilled wine on it--just pop it off and throw it in the wash. After many years, it now lives in my love bunny's house. Indestructible!

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  49. Nice work! Looks great an your commentary is hilarious. Added to my blogroll indeed.

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  50. I'm looking at buing a couch just like that with a matching chair... but it's this awful lavendar colour.
    It's very reasonable priced, but I would paint it for my living room.
    Very curious how this is after some use!

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    Replies
    1. I posted an update - its held up fine. I am constantly on the hunt for more fine furniture pieces to destroy with paint :) go for it!

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  51. Love it, nice craft room!

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  52. I have this EXACT same couch I baught but my fabric was a bright purple with ebony colored legs and trim. I like the color but it's in ROUGH shape! So I'm going to paint it a dusty blue? Maybe....I'm a photographer and just couldn't pass it up!

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  53. I just need you to know that you need to change your font for this blog. I know it sounds silly, but it's a terrible font and it is distracting from the content of your blog. It would probably help your blog's popularity to change your font. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. I hate to make eyeballs bleed so I will consider making some design changes next time I get around to actually posting on a reg basis again :)

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  54. omg! you always need a couch in your craft room. you have to have a place to lay down when you take a break! That is amazing, my husband would approve.

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  55. Umm... This seams like a terrible solution. First off it is going to be rough, almost a stucco feel. Second over time the paint will compress and people sitting on it will make it crack due to the paint flexing. This is a great solution if your couch is a piece of decoration, and not a piece of utility.

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  56. This is a great idea! We just got a pair of ugly floral couches from a thrift store and now I can't wait to paint them! I have 4 kids and this is the perfect solution. Who cares if the fabric is a little stiff? It sure beats spending hundreds of dollars on new furniture!

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  57. I'm going to paint our living room couches today. They're an ugly sage green color and I've been dying to get new modern gray couches but we are broke, so I'm going to restuff the couch and paint. Hopefully it turns out. I have been researching paints and decided to go with your technique and get wall paint and add a medium.

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  58. Wow .....who knew that a couch could be painted ! I must say that it is awesome , now I love , love , love it .......Wish I was that brave .......

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  59. OMG!!!! It looks WONDERFUL!!!!! who wudda thunk?

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  60. Love it! I just bought 2 wingback vintage chairs. Upholstery is super expensive. (Rolling my eyes)
    So, Ive heard that I could paint it. Came across your site and wha-la! Love your verbage. As an ADD member, you made reading your instructions fun. Now Im dyng to try it. Brave? Crazy? Whatever you want to call it....it was brilliant! Thanks:))
    Leigh S. of Eastman, Georgia

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  61. Woo hoo - your couch looks beeeuuutiful! Nice job and I've got this linked to my sofas post as well today, for inspiration!

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  62. Jen!

    So SO happy I found your post! I saw the idea for painting furniture in a design book but once I started researching "how to's" online I couldn't find any clear instructions. Stoked I found your post! I have a set of leather chairs I found on the cheap at Salvation Army and I cannot wait to paint them a crisp white!

    -Nico

    www.SatinandSalt.com

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  63. This is so great! we're being given a couch just like this and the fabic HAS got to go. thanks for sharing your cheap alternative for making a modern antique couch :)

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  64. Any ideas on how long it takes to dry? Does it feel weird or stiff to sit on?

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  65. I went yo hobby lobby and they were sold out of the textile medium but I used all purpose home decor acrylic and it turned out just as well

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  66. I'm not sure whether or not you are still checking these posts (Jen)...however, I am going to attempt this this project, I don't mean to toot my own horn but I'm extremely artsy (& craftsy) so I think I can pull it off okay. And I'm going to do it on a sofa that I got for free so if doesn't turn out I'll just end up chucking it or paying to reupholster so I figure, what the hay, right?!

    My questions for you is regarding color: Did your color change significantly in shades from the paint color you started with versus after you added the medium?

    In your photos it looks as though the paint is black but the sofa is off-black; I'm just trying to accurately assesss which color I should choose.

    Thanks for anything you can share, Jen. All advice will be helpful, I'm quite sure.

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  67. I am so.impressed.right.now.

    Fabulous. I am hyperventilating with excitement about all the things I could paint....
    muahhahahhahahahhahahaah

    GREAT job!
    Laura
    www.youaremynewdream.blogspot.com

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  68. I found almost this exact same couch (even uglier) for $50. I think I may have to try this.

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  69. Love the blog! Funny, detailed, and so so informative! Great font too! Lol!!

    I was looking around for some more ideas and yours is so simple. I love that about it.

    For those concerned about stiffness on cushions...they DO loosen up and they do NOT flake or rub off on clothing. I tried this on a set of dining room chairs. Even after a spill, I could wipe it off with a damp towel and no paint came up. But I DID use a wax sealer.

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  70. That is so coooollll. I just purchased a chair that is kind of an acrylic fabric... hmmm how can I explain? Well, I was wondering if I have to worry with different types of fabric?

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  71. I like your wall color. Do you remember what color it is and where you got it?

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  72. I love that this was for your sewing room.

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  73. I was wondering if you could tell me if I can paint suede, I have a really ugly chair that needs vamped up!

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  74. Hi this is Connie im looking to do the same, paint a free couch , my question is do you put the textile medium into the paint

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  75. Love this couch so much! Do you by any chance know the dimensions (height and diameter) of the Ceramcoat Textile Medium 236ml bottle? Many thanks!

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  76. Ok im so loving the paint couch (waytogo)ThankYou for posting Question i have peeling black fake leather sofa n loveseat could i paint both black what kind of paint

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  77. I paint houses frequently. I have several different paint sprayers. Do you think using a sprayer would work out as well? I am very interested in trying it.

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  78. This is really cool. Did the fabric soften over time? Honestly, were people uncomfortable with how stiff/rough the backing was? Maybe it's best for furniture that isn't used a lot? Or did it soften and people didn't find it rough? Thanks!

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