I'm not kidding.
For several years I've had a sofa that looks a lot like this one from Ikea:
|Karlstad sofa. Ikea.dk|
Notice the word "white".
It was not anymore.
After painting the walls in the livingroom the sofa looked gray and dirty and I knew I had to do something about it. All kinds of cleaning did not make it white again - I tried.
Long ago I bought some fabric for the cushions so they were not a problem to reupholster. I can sew those. But what to do about the fabric covering the shell of the sofa?
I could not re-opholster that. Firstly it would mean I had to disassemble the bastard completely (and for sure not be able to assemble it again!) and secondly my arthritic hands do not do things like that anymore. Bying a new sofa was not an option. Or a fitted cover as there was no one that fit my sofa - or sew the cover myself as that would be too heavy for hands and shoulders to manouvre in the sewingmachine. No - I liked this sofa - my own :-)
So - the wallpaint was not put aside (lazy me)... and I got creative and painted a bit of the back of the sofa. Just to try it out.
It was gorgeous!!!
Superwhite - dried fast - and it was easy!
The fabric on the shell of my sofa is a coarse wowen cotton. I used un-diluted waterbased wallpaint and a small quite thick and narrow foam roller. Made sure the paint covered the wowen texture without being too wet and sink all the way through the fabric but sort of just covered the surface -without layering it too thick. I wanted to still see the wowen structure of the fabric. So the paint must be thick - no diluting.
Next day I painted those spots where the paint was not covering the fabric too well. Not too much paint on the roller but rubbing it gently in. Worked super. I believe I used about 1/4 liter in total.
And day 3 I got the sandpaper out.
Yep. You'll need to sand the darn thing. Just a bit and with very fine sandpaper. Otherwise the surface of the sofa will rip aunt Jane's nylons next time she's around for a snack and a movie.
The painted surface gets a bit coarse and stiff, the sanding makes it smooth. But just a tiny workover with the sandingpaper - don't go bananas - you don't need to. Oh - and my sofa has cushions around the armrests, so I will practically never ever touch the painted areas using the sofa. You will have to think about this as the painted areas do feel a bit funny:-)
It does not smell. At all.
It does not flake. At all.
It does not break or crack. At all.
It costs litterally nothing - very cheap.
It looks great - and superwhite.
AND - you can wipe it down with a damp cloth - Yeahhh!
The only thing I wonder now is:
How about painting it orange? Or Lavender?
Or maybe use some ducttape and paint a plaid pattern on the thing? Or cover it with painted stars?
I read somewhere that very creative people in the US had painted their sofa with latex paint. A US store sells latex paint in spaycans - but as far as I remember this was meant for painting leathersofas. My paintshop did not know about that kind of paint. The guy in the shop advised me to go to craftstores to get it - but I did not, so I don't know if they carry that sort of paint at all - my sofa just had to get painted right away, so I went for the wall paint. All regular normal white wall paint. Water based, of course.
Latex paint contains some sort of elasticity so it does not crack on fabric. Apparently it is very good for painting cotton rugs - take a look here and here but I have not been able to find that sort of paint here in dk.
I took a photo of the back of the sofa - just to show the rather shocking difference before/now.
from beige to white