Painting a Fabric Bench

When I was new to this world of blogging, I had also just moved into our townhouse.  We worked with the furniture that we had, but I wanted to update the dining room table that had become part of the great room.  (I am now on the look-out for an old and worn dining table).  Anyway, I bought a brightly striped bench at Homegoods to add to the dining table to freshen up its look somewhat.  The bench was colorful but was still missing some colors that I was using in the room.  No problem, I thought.  I just added the stripes with fabric paint, and it was a done deal.

Fabric painting

This spring I decided that the bench needed some navy in it, and today was the perfect day to do it.



Fabric painting

I remembered to take a before photo for you.  The thin stripes of yellow and red are the ones I added with paint already.  And yes, the lines aren’t perfectly straight, but the swerves don’t really show up when you look at the whole thing.  At least, that’s what I tell myself.  Also, someone dropped a big ole splatter of red sweet and sour sauce on one of the white stripes one evening, and I was just itching to get rid of it.  I tried one of those bleach products in a pen, but it didn’t work.


Navy chair

Back to the need for navy, I specifically wanted  to tie the bench in with this navy chair……


Rug from Morocco

…..and this antique rug Jordan and I bought on a bicycling trip in Morocco a few years back.



Fabric paint

To eliminate the sweet and sour splatter, it was necessary to widen the red stripe.  This is the brand of paint that I used.


Fabric painting

I dutifully taped it off and applied the paint.  It turned out great – not perfect – but it will be fine.  After the red dried, I taped off the areas where I planned to put the navy paint, which took two coats.  By the way, my friend Mary tells me she still can’t believe I painted this bench fabric.  Well, I’m doing it again, Mary.  This one is for you.


Fabric paint

To make it all easy, I used disposable plates and throw-away sponge brushes.


Painted fabric on bench

The final results are just what I was expecting.  There are a few teeny smudges, but I will toss a throw over them, and no one will ever know.  Well……except all of you and me.



Painted fabric on bench

Let me emphasize a few points.  If this were a fine piece of furniture, as opposed to a bench from Homegoods that was less than a hundred bucks, I never would have painted the fabric in the first place.  Next, after the sweet and sour sauce incident, I have been playing with the idea of sewing a cover for it.  I have the directions and can do what needs to be done to make it happen, and that might happen in the fall.  And finally, I think this brightness is perfect for summer.


Painted fabric on bench

For now, this bench adds a little less formality to the table and the room.  I can even move the bench to the kitchen table and put another bench here.  That could happen at any time.  But meanwhile, I will continue to look for the dining table of my dreams.  The one we have was the dining table of my dreams as a young bride, but we live life a little less formally now, and something more casual would look better in the great room.


And before I go, a few weeks ago I wrote a post about the doves in our courtyard.  Well, the babies hatched, grew up quickly, and flew away.  There were two of them, and it just breaks my heart the way the dove parents go about weaning their young.  They just take off and leave the young birds in their nest.  When they get hungry enough, they fly out.  Last night I saw the mother dove high in a tree above the nest.  I think she was watching out for one who was just sitting under the tree.  I put out some water and dry cereal for it this morning, but by afternoon it was gone.  Now, momma dove is back on the nest ready to have family number two for 2014.


Take care.


  1. says

    As my mother always said – “A man on a galloping horse would never know the difference.” I don’t think that quote applies to this however, as only you would be so critical of your work. From the pictures it looks great! Nice project!