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.


Back to blog


Hi there,

I bought an office chair but after using for a few years the so called black leather started to peal of leaving a white under layer.

Would the above mentioned method work, or should I try something else?

Your advice will be greatly appreciated.


Have you ever painted an outside umbrella that had some mildew and mould on it? If so, what steps did you use and paint.
Thank you.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.