How to Spray Paint Fabric

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Oh yes, you read that title correctly….the answer to can you spray paint fabric is a resounding YES!  Over the past few months I had been desperately trying to figure out how to handle this situation with my patio furniture:

Dirty outdoor patio sofa cushion with white cushions and decorative pillows
outdoor couch with very dirty white cushion and pillows

While I love my World Market patio set I must have been thinking crazy when I ordered white cushions last year because they quickly went all to heck with the dirt and grime of three boys and a dog!  Replacement cushions were $$$ and my aversion to sewing left me reluctant to make my own covers.  Y’all….I even cut them open on the back so that I could take the fabric off and wash them.  It helped.  A little.  For a few days.

You might also be interested in how to paint plastic or how to paint a plastic playhouse.

Simply Spray Fabric Paint Review

Anyways, during a late night google search I happened to come across the answer I had been searching for: Spray It New’s Simply Spray Fabric Paint.  Seriously.  It is an actual spray paint for fabric.  Like, really made for fabric.  Not some mixture to concoct with fabric medium, this stuff is actually absorbed into the fabric and leaves a dyed surface-no crunchies whatsoever.  I was all over this.  I had to try it.  And so I did! (I bought my Simply Spray Fabric Spray Paint at Walmart but you can also find it on Amazon as well!)

Outdoor cushion after one coat of blue fabric spray paint

How to Use Upholstery Spray Paint

I decided the Navy Blue Upholstery Paint would be the best option for the cushion.  Maximum camouflage for future stains and it will look just dreamy next to that pool we’re putting in this month.  You should have seen me rip open that box when it arrived! I immediately went and laid out my cushion and got to spraying.  Here it is after the first coat.

I had to admit, I was feeling a little nervous at this point.  This is a large cushion and it was looking a bit streaky.  I was worried it was going to turn out looking like old 80’s denim but after {many, many} coats here is the end result!!

Outdoor patio sofa with navy blue seat cushion and beige and coral cushions

I am so tickled with how it turned out! What do you think??

Review of Outdoor Fabric Spray Paint

Okay, back to the fabric spray paint…here is my no-holds-barred low down on using the Spray It New paint:

1. Overall it is fantastic.
2. It took me a LOT of fabric spray paint to get the deep non-streaky look I wanted.  I anticipated needing two cans for the one large cushion and it took four.  I could have used a fifth and will probably end up ordering an extra can just to get the few little spots out that I can still tell aren’t even. It’s still cheaper than a new cushion!
3. I found the best way to use it was to spray continuously.  Whenever I stopped and then when I started back up I got some splatters which I then had to rub into the fabric to fix (which required stopping and starting again-eventually I learned to stop and start away from the cushion!)
4. The little trigger hurt my finger like crazy.  Small price to pay though.

A before and after collage of dirty white patio cushion then spray painted blue decorated with pillows

Got paint on your hands after your project? Learn how to remove spray paint from skin!

Fabric Spray Paint Update: 2 Years Later

 Update 2016: I no longer have these cushions but for the two years after this post the paint never faded or bled so I still highly recommend this fabric as an option to update furniture!
You might also like this fun spray paint transformation!
 two picture of plastic painted toys one scratched and the other a playhouse that is nicely painted with text reading how to paint plastic so it looks like this not that

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  1. I wish I would have read that it takes 5-6 cans per cushion. I bought 20 cans for 12 cushions at 19.99 per can! I thought…better to return the unused than go back and buy more-right? 1 1/2 can per cushion I figured…lol

    I can only get 2 sprays before the tip would clog. The can says use hot water but it does nothing (Because it’s “water-resistant” FABRIC paint…is my guess) aacetone or other type of paint thinner work’s with a wire brush and elbow grease (a Lot of work) two coats minimum, 30 minutes between dries, and yes, I have no more fingers to sacrifice for these poor cushions. I managed to get two done front and back two coats each. The math doesn’t figure do it?
    Just buy new ones people.
    The cushions I have $1,200 for the set (averages @ $100 each)
    I used 6 cans per cushion ($20 x 6 cans = $120)
    Yep. I feel like a victim Any suggestions or tips about … clogged tips? thx

  2. Why are people so rude just move along if you don’t like the idea vs wasting my time to read your ugly comment!

  3. Thank you Melissa, I have an expensive sofa thats in great condition in my living room, the color is white and I had been thinking about having it painted a light gray with fabric spray. Thanks for sharing your experience, I will take a piece of my sofa fabric and try Spray in New. Also I cannot remove the inter cushions from the seat cushion, how long did it take to dry.

  4. Thanks for pointing out that spraying continuously will be better since stopping will create splatters. With that in mind, I will be seeking the help of a professional just to be sure. I know my self well that I can’t trust it with any artsy stuff. I just need to have a shirt painted with the logo of our company to give it to my colleagues on Christmas.

  5. I like what you did with the cushion. I do hope that by now that you have one of those handles to put on a spray can now. They really save your finger when you spray paint and make it so much easier to hold the can..

  6. This is new idea. I have never listen before spray painting for fabric. I will use spray painting for my outdoor cushions.

  7. Hi, so I’m assuming yours took a lot of cans because you went from white/cream to navy, my existing cushions are a darker grey color, so I guess I could maybe go with a darker shade. Do you think it wouldn’t take as many cans then? Thanks!

  8. I had the identical cushion. I cut off the fabric from the back and dyed mine with RIT fabric dye. Very cheap. The cover looks great after 2 years.

    1. Hi Sheila, Did you dye your outdoor cushion? If so, how is it holding up with sun fading and rain streaks? Any advice will be valuable.


      1. It seems to be the same as my non-dyed outdoor cushions. There’s always a little sun-fading gradually but mine are sheltered from the rain in my lanai.

      1. No, just follow dying directions exactly to be sure the dye is set. I do caution doing a separate laundry if you are washing dyed fabric, but that wouldn’t apply for upholstery

  9. Hi, thank you so much in making me want to finally decorate my home how i visioned it. I just came in from doing my first project. I want to paint my small sofa in grape purple, so i primed it first. Is it normal to finish a WHOLE can of primer on a small sofa or did i go overboard?

    1. It’s called Spray it New and it’s linked to in the blog post above if you have trouble finding it, you can get it on Amazon and I’ve seen a few at Walmart in the craft section.

  10. I love how compact this sprayer is. My boyfriend does professional painting and his industrial sprayer is sooo heavy and clunky. Also, the fact that this one does not require an air compressor is so handy! I might have to convince him to get one of these for his “smaller projects” {but then really just use it for MY home DIY projects ;). Thanks for sharing!

  11. Wow – this is genius – however, for 6 cans (which might do 2 of my chair cushions – maybe) would me $100.00 plus shipping – so do do for chair cushions – $200 + – lets say $250 with taxes and shipping. I can get some pretty decent new cushions for half that… LOVE the idea, but I think I’ll pass (and your cushion looks amazing)

    1. Are you outside of the US Marlene? In the US it’s about $10 a can. I’ve seen it for less in my local Walmart craft section as well but the color selection is pretty limited. I’m not sure outside of the US though-shipping spray paint is always a pain so that may be the reason for the higher price.

    1. Sorry you didn’t like it Sal…if you had read my post you would have seen that the fabric I spray painted was not removable from the large cushions that I had that were stained. So putting it in the washing machine was not an option. I appreciate your kind words and feedback though. Merry Christmas.

    2. You are just rude! Why don’t you just move on. My couch doesn’t fit in my washer machine.

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