I was shopping at our local Salvation Army 6 months ago and I saw a swivel chair for $25. It seemed solid, but the fabric was completely faded. I had an idea! What if I went over it with fabric markers? I really didn’t even know what they were, but I thought they might be my solution.
As it happens, there was a craft store right across the street from the Salvation Army, so I bought a set of fabric markers. It seemed like a good idea to buy the set because I didn’t know what the colors would look like. Plus, I was worried about whether the colors would rub off on whoever sat on the chair. In other words, I had no idea whether this was going to work or not.
I tried some of the colors on the bottom of the seat cushion (where no one would ever see) and they didn’t rub off. In fact, they looked great.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good pictures of the chair before I started, because I didn’t intend to write an article about it. However, when I realized this was going to transform the chair, I took a few:
After I had run out of the colors I wanted to use in the set, I started buying the regular bold tip markers individually. I found them at craft stores in the area- Michaels, Jo-Ann’s Fabrics, Hobby Lobby and A.C. Moore.
Then, I accidentally bought a different kind of marker- the DecoFabric series. These are more of a paint and less of an ink. They’re opaque so you can color over a darker color with them.
This opened up a whole new palette of colors, so I ended up going over a lot of areas I had already done with the regular markers. In the picture below, the violet, light green and gold are among the Deco colors I used.
I couldn’t find these colors at the local stores, so I began ordering them online.
Now for the down side: As you might have guessed, this was not an inexpensive project! I worked on it in my spare time over the course of 6 months, so I don’t know exactly how much I spent. I ended up with a lot of unused markers, so you could make a case for it not costing all that much, but … I had fun!
If you think you might try this- here are a few tips:
- Don’t start with a set because you won’t use most of the colors. Plus, some of the colors in the set will not be available any other way, so you will have to continually buy sets when the colors you like run out.
- Experiment with colors on a part of the piece no one can see. For example, I used the bottom of the seat cushion to try ideas.
- Be careful when you shake up the Deco markers! Sometimes, drops of paint go flying.
- If possible, start with a smaller project than I did – like a seat cushion or a small rug. Then you can tackle that sofa!