Painting Fabric with Granny B's chalk-finish paint (chalkpaint)

When you're in a makeover mood, nothing can stop you...have you ever had that urge to paint everything that crosses your path or stands still for long enough?

That's the feeling you get when you paint with Granny B's Old Fashioned Paints. 

One of the projects I am often asked for advice about is painting fabric, and more specifically upholstery. The short answer is 'yes, absolutely it can be painted with Granny B's'. There are however a few steps involved, and a warning that all fabric behaves differently, as well as a the fact that some fabric of surfaces should just not be attempted by any paint.

Firstly, fabric that should never be attempted: velvet, also suede leather, that won't turn out looking great as it tends to leave you with a clumpy looking and feeling surface. As for the rest, in most cases you'll get a surprisingly beautiful result if you follow the steps set out below.


The first thing you want to do before you start; is to get hold of a spare piece of fabric that's identical or as close to the fabric you want to paint. You'll want to do a practice run on this fabric to make sure it gives you the look you are after before you tackle your project.

A few key things you need to know about painting fabric with chalk-finish paint in general; the first being that whilst the paint wont necessarily appear to need sealing, it is better to seal as it allows you the protection you need when the surface needs a gentle wipe down to keep it looking clean and as good as it looked the day you painted it.

Also, since you want the paint to penetrate into the fibers of the fabric; you will want to paint onto a damp surface, the water facilitates this bonding and pigment transfer from the paint to the fabric.

So, let's get down to it!

You'll need; Granny B's Old Fashioned Paint, a water spray-bottle, a scrubbing brush, Granny B's Waxing Cream, a soft cloth and your favourite paint-brush.

Step 1

Ensure your surface is free of any loose threads, has been wiped down and is ready to be painted. Spray the surface with your water spray bottle and get the surface nice and damp. 


Step 2

Mix your Granny B's paint with about 30% water (ensure it's mixed well), and begin painting over the damp surface. Always make sure the surface you are painting onto is damp, spray again if needed. 

The diluted paint, onto the damp surface facilitates a deeper penetration of the paint and pigment into the fiber of the fabric.

(this pic courtesy of Ellen Foord)


Step 3

Between each layer and after having dried for an hour, you can use your scrubbing brush to really work your paint into the fabric by scrubbing the surface, or if you prefer a slightly smoother finish, sand lightly between layers with medium grit sandpaper.


Step 4

Repeat steps 1 through 3 as needed to ensure coverage, in most cases only one or two coats are needed. Once you are satisfied with your final layer, you can now seal with Granny B's Clear Waxing Cream

Step 5

Apply your Clear Waxing Cream using a soft cloth and applying in circular motions.A second application can be applied after about 4 hours. Clear Waxing Cream will give you a natural soft and supple finish which won't crack, is water resistant and is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth to keep your item clean.

All of our products can be found at your favourite Granny B's Stockist, if it's not in stock, just ask them to order it for you or shop online. For a list of our products, stockists and ordering info, please visit


Please be sure to share your projects with us via Facebook, or email us at


 We'd like to thank our Fans and Stockist Family for contributing their projects and pics to be included in this post: Alicia's Atelier, The Vintage Corner, 360 Designs.


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Transfers... what's the deal?

There are dozens of ways to add transfers to painted furniture, ranging from traditional methods, involving, transfer gels, Mod Podge, Granny B's Armour, tracing, acetone, wax paper, carbon name it!
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What is 'wood bleed' and how can I fix or prevent it?

Wood bleed has affected almost every experienced painter more than once in their careers. It presents itself as that orange or brown streaky effect that comes through shortly after painting or sealing
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How to paint kitchen cabinets

Paint kitchen cabinets like a pro!
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What makes up a good quality chalk-based paint?

Real chalk-paint, has a chalky finish!
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How to Distress An Ordinary Timber Door

We had such fun with this project which we used as a demo during our launch at The Yard in Queen Street, Kensington.

Although, we used Daisy as the final colour, there is nothing stopping you from using any colour within our amazing palette of colours to achieve a similar look.

To start with, we had an ordinary timber door. 


Step 1:

Next we applied Chocolate Cake strategically on both sides of the door, focusing on the corners and edges, where a door would likely pick up knocks and bumps, as ultimately we wanted to achieve as authentic a look as possible. Allow approximately 20 minutes before moving onto the next step.

(Please also consider that when working with very knotty pine or mahogony or any red wood for that matter, it is advisable to seal the wood first by applying a coat of Granny B's Finishing Lacquer before you paint)


Step 2:

Before applying the first coat of Daisy, we rubbed hard candle wax over all the areas where we had applied Chocolate Cake. Any ordinary candle will do.

Once you are satisfied that there is wax where required, you can begin to paint the final colour.

Step 3:

We wanted an authentic shabby look so we only applied two coats of Daisy, a third coat would have resulted in full coverage and would have given the door a more modern look which we felt would not have worked as well with the distressing.

Step 4:

As our final step we lightly sanded with a low grit paper (around 80 grit), concentrating on the corners and edges. You will notice that when you try this yourself, not a lot of pressure is required to remove the paint as the wax will assist in the areas where it was applied. The reason why this works is because the paint sits on top of the wax and not the wood, if a little bit of the wood timber is exposed when applying this technique, it's not the end of the world as this is the look we're after. 

If you make any mistakes and want to correct them, simply paint over the area in question, allow to dry and start again. That's the great thing about our paint, it is very forgiving.

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Country Style Half Moon Table

The marvellous thing about Granny B's Old Fashioned Paint is that you don't need to be a professional to transform just about any piece of furniture into a work of art. Added to that, our paint is extremely forgiving and there is no need to sand or prime beforehand.

Just take a look at how we transformed this Red enamel half moon table into a country chic work of art.

Here's a look at the table before we commenced any work on it.

Step 1) Start with the main colour first. In this case we used Midnight as our main colour and used Mushroom for the detail and both surface tops, we used a new green for the stencilling that we will be launching soon.

In this case, we weren't too concerned about finishing the detailing as this will be covered using Mushroom.

We did however mask using masking tape so that we could get a clean line.

Step 2)

We also masked the drawers once painted, in the below photograph you can see the mushroom being applied. Once the Mushroom was allowed to dry overnight, the masking tape was removed.


Step 3)

Once the Mushroom was allowed to dry overnight, we could start the stencilling.

We used a new colour which we will be launching soon, it's an olive green which was missing from the range.

Stencilling is quite an easy process, the trick is to ensure that your brush is almost dry when it is applied, a paper towel can be used to get rid of excess paint. Too much paint and the paint will bleed beneath the stencil. If you make a mistake, simply allow to dry  buff and start again.

In the image below, a stippling technique is used to apply the colour to the stencil, the stencil has also been affixed using masking tape to keep it in position.

In order to ensure that the stencil design was designed in a symmetrical pattern, we marked out measurements with a ruler. Each new design was applied within these measurements to ensure that everything was in proportion, this takes a little trial and error but the end result is worth it.


 Step 4)

For the side panels, we're going to give you a sneak preview on a product that we recently tested and will be launching soon...

Embossing Paste:

It allows you to add texture by simply applying it over a stencil. The end result is a raised (embossed) design of the stencil and it is so easy to use, we're certain that you will just love it !

Firstly measure out to ensure that the stencil is applied to the centre of the area, once again we used masking tape to help us keep it affixed in the right place.

Embossing paste has the perfect consistency to apply using a stencil, it really holds its shape and dries rock hard. A little cracking a texture is normal. Simply apply a reasonable amount to the end of a paint scraper and using a little bit of pressure, smear over the stencil until the entire design has been covered.




Once you are happy that the design has been correctly applied (i.e. full coverage) simply remove like a plaster. Gently remove the tape whilst holding the design in place, take care for it not to move as it will smear and smudge the design otherwise.

The below image is what you will be left with once the stencil has been removed. It is advised that you wash your stencils immediately to keep them in good nick.

Step 5)

Once the embossing paste has dried, we gave it a light sand to smooth it out slightly.

We then simply painted over it, paint adheres beautifully to the finished product.

Our final completed project, once everything was dry, we applied two coats of our Finishing Lacquer and also replaced the hardware (Knobs).

What a stunning country chic half moon table.

Another look at what the table looked like before Granny B got hold of it :-)


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Farmstyle Coffee Table, Two-Tone Distressing Technique

So Granny B herself commissioned me, her son to revamp her damaged coffee table. You'll notice wood filler on the first few images where her dog chewed off the corners.

TIP: If you try to fill a big hole with wood filler, use panel pins to support the wet mixture. This gives the wood filler something to hold onto and makes it stronger when dry.

Once the wood filler is dry, sand using a coarse grit to shape the area you are trying to fill. Once you are happy with the shape, use a fine paper to smooth it out. (This sounds more difficult than it is, you'll be amazed at how easy this is to achieve).

Now it's time for the base coat. In this case we used Daisy White which will come through when we distress as the final step.

Once completely dry apply the top coat, in this case we have used Tropical Cocktail.

(We suggest waiting about an hour. However, the paint will be dry to the touch within 30mins. If it were the same colour, 30mins wait time is sufficient for the next coat).

Once you are happy that you have complete coverage and the paintwork is dry, you can begin to distress.

There are a number of methods that can be used to reveal the bottom layer a lot easier. In this case we used steel wool and rubbed gently which also deposit some of the iron filings of the wool from the process. This is what creates the soft silver streaks.

We then sanded the entire piece using a medium grit paper. It's best to start slowly as you can always go harder if necessary. If you make a mistake simply buff lightly and start again.

Once the distressing process is complete, the stencil can then be applied. Per the image below we used masking tape (painters tape) to keep the stencil in place.

Do not stroke the brush, but rather stipple. This ensures that the paint does not bleed under the stencil and cause smudging. Stippling is a gentle banging of the tip of a dry brush until the design has been completely covered.

Allow the stencil to dry for about 15mins or so and then slowly remove, revealing the beautiful design.

We allowed the piece to dry for 24 hours to ensure that no moisture was left behind. We then applied the Granny B's Finishing Lacquer and job done.



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Vibrant Golden Yellow Butter Cabinet

Oh Golly we had so much fun transforming this although beautiful butter dish into a more vibrant example of the same piece.

This is what it looked like before we got hold of it with Granny B's Old Fashioned Paint:

After applying two coats of Daffodil (Golden Yellow)

And applying a Fleur De Lis stencil design in a slightly smaller size on the doors, larger on the top, this is the finished product.

You may have noticed that we also changed the hardware (the door knobs) with black numeral resin knobs which are also available online to purchase.

Here's another look with the before and after pictures on the same image:

This project took us an evening to complete (approximately 3 hours)



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Metallic Paint Colour Technique

How stunning is this cabinet which was refurbished using a two tone colour technique using Old Fashioned Paint and our Metallic Paint?

Posted by a customer, the base tone was Dove Grey and the final layer was Charcoal Shadow.


This look is so easy to achieve.

Step 1:

Apply two coats of the base colour, in this case Dove Grey was used (This is the darkest colour on our palette and is almost black).

Step 2:

Pour a cup of tea and enjoy ;-)

Step 3:

Apply the final layer, using the Metallic paint, Charcoal Shadow in this case.

Allow to dry.

Step 4:

Lightly distress using a medium grit paper, take your time to apply gentle distressing. You can be as creative as you like, start off slowly as you can always go back and apply further distressing if required.

If you make a mistake don't worry, our paint is so forgiving ! Simply buff lightly to get the surface as smooth as possible and start again.

Step 5:

Invite your friends over to admire your clever skills after you have achieved this beautiful furniture makeover !

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