Yesterday my husband said to me “Ashley, the guest room needs some spice, it isn’t quite as done as the rest of the house.” And I realized- he was right! My mind started racing- what should I change to make it look more like me? How can I pull this room more together? And then I zero’d into that sad brown bed and I thought- could I paint it? So I did! Here’s how to paint vinyl furniture.
Whenever I walked into this room, I hated the brown bed. I’m an all pastel and white kind of girl and the dark brown isn’t for me. I had placed a Moroccan Wedding blanket over the headboard to hide the brown, but I still saw it. I wanted the bed to disappear so I decided to paint the frame.
If you have an old vinyl chair or bed, this tutorial will work!
And the best part if that by extending the life of something you already own, you save money and it’s better for the environment.
how to paint vinyl furniture
- White Lightning Cleaner
- Slick Stick Primer
- Paint Brush
- Fluff Chalk Paint
- Easy Peasy Spray Wax
- Applicator Pad
Clean the furniture. Mix 2 Tablespoons of White Lightning or TSP in 1 gallon of hot water. Use a rag dipped in the solution to clean the entire surface of the furniture you’ll be painting. Wipe the piece clean with a damp rag to remove any White Lightning residue. Let dry prior to painting. Make SURE to prep well- the better the prep, the better the paint will stick!
Lay a drop cloth on the floor. Put a towel or drop cloth on the floor underneath the furniture you’re about paint. This will protect your flooring from paint drips. I’m a messy painter and so this saves me on cleanup time. Paint can always be scrapped off the floor, but skipping that step is nice!
Use painter’s tape to cover up the hardware and where you don’t want the paint to go. This ended up working really well and I got a nice crisp line! Plus, if I ever want to move the bed, I can still remove the hardware without paint filling the crevices.
Since the vinyl finish was slick, I primed. I used two coats of Slick Stick to prime the piece. I let that dry throughly before continuing to paint. THIS step is key in making the paint stick to the bed. Don’t skip it!
Spritz your brush. With chalk paint, you always want to start with a damp brush. Continue to spray the brush and furniture piece with water while painting.
Start painting. Dip the paintbrush in the chalk paint and apply it thinly on the furniture. Brush in long strokes until you’ve covered the entire piece. Note, you WON’T get full coverage with the first coat. If it’s streaky, don’t panic! I used Dixie Belle’s Fluff for this project. I wanted something beige to match with the Moroccan wedding blanket.
Let the paint dry. Usually you only need to wait 20 minutes between coats. While it’s drying, wrap your paint brush in a wet rag or plastic bag so the brush won’t dry out between coats. If you’re painting a big piece, you might be able to begin the second coat immediately without waiting since it’s probably been 20 minutes since you first started painting.
Paint a second coat. Repeat the instructions for the first coat of paint. This time though, you should get full coverage. If you don’t (which can happen if you’re covering dark wood with a light cover) continue with a 3rd coat of chalk paint. Since I did two coats of primer, the two coats of paint ended up giving me full coverage.
Wash out the paint brush. Usually warm tap water will remove all wet paint. If needed, also use mild soap. Rinse the brush until the water runs clear.
Seal the furniture. If you’re using a clear coat, apply it with a paint brush thinly to all surfaces. If you’re using wax, apply it with a lint free rag or applicator pad all over the furniture. Buff it in with the rag after. I like to use Easy Peasy Wax Spray for sealing furniture. And that wraps up our “how to paint vinyl furniture” tutorial!
rug / bed / sheer curtains / ceiling fan / wall paint / quilt / peony wall art / lumbar pillow / lamp / night stands are thrifted / Moroccan wedding blanket and throw blanket are no longer available /
Do you see how the bed is no longer the focal point? I love that!
I’ll be honest, my husband didn’t think this project would work. He didn’t want it flaking off and making the whole piece garbage. Which- neither did I! But after the chalk paint was dry, I tried the old fingernail test and I couldn’t scrape up the paint.
What’s next for the guest room? I’m thinking about adding an arch over the bed. I’m hoping the old chimney stack won’t be too big of an issue. I’d like to find a bigger nightstand for the left side of the bed. With spaces like this, I like to fix one thing at a time and then do the next right thing in the room.
I’m contemplating making a scalloped window valance. Maybe take the flowers off the closet doors and paint some rainbow stripes? I’d like to add a decorative detail over the front door. Like I said, I’ll do one project at a time until I feel happier about the guest room/office.
This room has been a struggle for me with lots of changes over the years, but sometimes that makes it more fun!
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