How to Change the Color of Vinyl Fabric

Changing the color of vinyl fabrics can occur before the textile is upholstered or can happen on an already upholstered piece. The process is simple but requires the right paint and preparation in order to create a solid bond between the fabric and the paint. Vinyl is notorious for chipping and peeling when paint is incorrectly applied. Paint manufacturers have taken note of the problems vinyl and plastic surfaces present and have developed paints designed as one-coat applications without the need for a primer.

Things You'll Need

  • Ventilated work area
  • Safety glasses and mask
  • Spray paint designed for vinyl
  • Painter's tape and drop cloth
  • Acetone cleaning product
  • Double stick tape


    • 1

      Choose a one-step, vinyl spray paint product and color.

    • 2

      Set up a well ventilated work area. Use drop cloths and painter's tape to protect the work surfaces and surrounding area from over-spray.

    • 3

      Use an acetone product to remove all grime, wax, grease and dirt from the vinyl fabric.

    • 4

      Mask off areas of existing upholstery and exposed frame that do not need paint. Use a good quality painter's tape to complete the masking. Loose fabric should be adhered temporarily to a flat, hard surface using double stick tape.

    • 5

      Apply the spray paint per the manufacturer's instructions. Several light coats give better results than a single thick coat of paint. Use even, side-to-side strokes and start and end each stroke past the edge of the upholstered furniture or loose fabric.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vinyl fabric cleaning products (for cleaning before paint application) are available from paint manufacturers.
  • Humid weather can ruin a painting project. Work in humidity levels that are 60 percent or less for best results.
  • Test a piece of scrap vinyl for a full understanding of the process before the final painting process is approached.
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  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

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