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Whimsy Chair Makeover: How To Paint Fabric, Distress With SurfPrep Pads, Paint Polka Dots, and More!

Meet “Whimsy Willow”

Let's Learn how to paint fabric using chalk mineral paints! This vintage chair spoke to me with her feminine curves and tufted upholstery, I knew she would be perfect for this whimsical furniture makeover!

To start, I cleaned the wood with White Lightning then rinsed with water, sprayed disinfectant on fabric, and used vinegar and water spray to lightly mist and remove any dust in the button holes! I grabbed my synthetic round brush and a mister bottle to begin painting the fabric.


I sprayed the upholstery until damp, then I sprayed the brush! I used the chalk mineral paint color The Gulf, by Dixie Paint Company!

I painted two coats like this, before I began painting the wood in Holy Guacamole, again with two coats!

(watch my video of this fabric painting step, at the bottom of this blog)

Next, I decided to paint the back of the upholstery in Soft Pink, for the background of my polka dot design!

How fun and whimsical are these polka dots! I applied these by hand using a round synthetic brush tied off at the end to create a stencil brush. Dip, stamp, dip, stamp, I go... making imperfect dots using the brilliant cherry red color, Honky Tonk Red!

(watch my video of this stamped polka dot step, at the bottom of this blog)

I stood back and thought, she does not remind me of vintage 1950's upholstery, she was too clean... so I decided to give her some grit with her grace! I did this by making a wash from half water, half paint in the color Pine Cone. I applied using a dry premium chip brush in vertical stripes with a super light hand to get the aged look a tea bag might give to a t-towel!

The final touch to this "romantic grunge" upholstery back, was to add the beautiful bronze gilding wax to those nail heads using a small artist brush to apply! It still needed more dirt, so using the same brush, I lightly went over onto the fabric a couple inches out from the nailheads to complete an authentic vintage vibe! (watch my video of this gilding wax application at the bottom of this blog)

Have you ever heard, It's all about the details, well it's true... these Woodubend Mouldings added the whimsy character that make this chair a statement piece! I painted each moulding in Soft Pink, then hit the raised spots with Honky Tonk Red and dripped some of the Pine Cone Wash over them for age! It's amazing how a couple of moldings really take you to a place back in time... where a woman's hair was adorned with ribbons and bows, and her hands stay covered in by dainty lace gloves... as she sat, legs crossed, waiting on her suitor to ask her dance...

I finished up the details with a line of soft pink inside the carved grooves and allowed the Pine Cone wash to drip down the lines, completing the look!

Finally, I sealed all the fabric with Easy Peasy Spray Wax, and the wood with Clear Coat Flat!


And her debut...

her official photoshoot, taking us to 1953, you can almost picture the dancing going on around this chair...the kiss on a hand as he takes a knee... the sudden rush of red to her cheeks as she smiles with anticipation...


Recipe of Dixie Belle Paint & Woodubend Mouldings to create this Whimsy Willow Vintage Chair Makeover:

-White Lightning Cleaner:

-The Gulf:

-Holy Guacamole:

-Soft Pink:

-Pine Cone:

-Gilding Wax Bronze:

-Woodubend Mouldings Bow:

-Easy Peasy Spray Wax:

-Clear Coat Flat:


ORDER ALL your Dixie Belle and Woodubend Products here:

WATCH the step by step video tutorials below on YouTube:

Part 1. Fabric Painting Tutorial:

Part 2. Painted Polka Dots and Refinishing Nail Heads with Gilding Wax:

Part 3. How to Distress Fabric and Grunge with Bronze Wax:

*Some of these links may be affiliate links and I may earn a small credit for those orders, this blog/video are not sponsored by anyone.

Happy Painting



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