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How to Paint Upholstered Furniture Piping With Fabric Paint

DIY: Pimp Your Piping

Here's a post from CasaSugar Community member itsgreattobehome from the Su Casa group:

Hey! I'm Liz (from It's Great To Be Home) and I did it, y'all: I pimped my piping. Remember this guy that looked so very sad? Well, now he’s had a makeover and he’s ready to strut his stuff. For only about $4, here’s how I gave this chair a major makeover:

  1. Pick your victim. In my case, this slipcovered Ikea Ektorp armchair was the obvious choice; the all-white slipcover was pretty blah, and the oversized/overstuffed nature of the chair made it look like a big marshmallow.  Bottom line: you’ll get the biggest impact with a piece of upholstery that has piping and could benefit from a little definition. (Of course, this same technique could be used to add pizzazz to just about anything you want to tackle.) Continue reading to see the rest of the steps.
  2. Assemble your supplies. For this project, you need:
  3. - Fabric paint in your color of choice. You really don’t need that much, a single paint tube should do the trick. Note: I used fabric paint because I wanted to be able to wash my slipcovers without washing away my hard work. If you’re painting upholstered pieces that don’t have removable covers, you could probably just use regular craft paint to achieve the same result, but without the washability factor.
    - 1 craft brush
    - Small strips of stiff cardboard (I just cut up a few advertisements that I got in the mail)

  4. Set up shop. Although this project is cheap and easy, it is pretty time-consuming.  Plan on spending at least a few evenings in front of the TV working on painting your piping. Maybe more than a few evenings if you’re like me and get distracted easily!
  5. Paint away. I thought the easiest way to tackle the piping was to leave the slipcover on the cushions and chair frame — this kept the slipcover from being too floppy and hard to work with. For the cushions, I just hauled them over to the couch, but for the chair frame I sat on the floor in front of it and painted away. As for technique, this is where your strips of cardboard come into play. I wedged the cardboard between the piping and the cushion fabric so that the cardboard formed a barrier. This let me paint somewhat sloppily without worrying about getting the paint onto the fabric of the cushion.

That’s it! I’m really happy with how this project turned out. This is a chair that I’ve had for seven years that has never really worked in any of my rooms, but now I feel like it could work anywhere!

Be sure to post photos and tales of your own DIYs in the Su Casa group!

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Join The Conversation
EricaJane EricaJane 5 years
i would never have thought to do this! great idea, and great job! i'm going to find something to pimp now, too.
skigurl skigurl 5 years
where did you get that stellar pillow?
seefree seefree 5 years
Great idea....looks fantastic!!!
itsgreattobehome itsgreattobehome 5 years
ADD, Looks fab! Such a sleek look and the piping adds a ton of personality. Love it!! ~ Liz
diywithadd diywithadd 5 years
I love this! So snazzy. I never would have thought to paint piping. Thanks for the tip. Check out my contrast piped sofa makeover and let me know what you think: http://www.diywithadd.com/2010/06/02/grannys-sofa-gets-a-facelift/ Best, ADD
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