Here are a bunch of examples of things/surfaces that can be painted. As a general rule, pretty much anything decorative can be painted or anything that doesn't get handled a lot. For more heavily used items like furniture, it's advisable to stick to painting surfaces that have a rough texture or can be sanded like wood so that the paint adheres well.
Even stiff upholstered chairs can be painted but they, of course, will end up feeling like stiff canvas or leather. The softer the cushioning the worse the wear will be on painted upholstered pieces,(I've seen a few tightly, padded chairs that would be good candidates for painting but generally not the best option for upholstered items). However, painted pillows can hold up extremely well, mine have (they are a heavier canvas type fabric). Fabric paint can be made by mixing acrylic or latex paint with fabric medium (or even powdered
milk). I painted two slipper upholstered
chairs for the Frogtape contest (and used them until I got tired of armless chairs.) From the more obvious options to paint like wood and walls to glass, ceramic, fabric and rugs, most things will fair pretty well with a coat of paint.
I was pretty motivated and thought it would be a good idea to incorporate various materials to show the many things that could be made using painters tape. Here's a list of items I painted for the contest using spray (including a leather spray paint), acrylic and latex paints: accent wall, 2 slipper chairs, 2 cushions, 3 pillows, sisal rug, glass lamp shade, paper lamp shade, wood trunk, checkerboard table, mirror, ceramic bowl, ceramic cats, display box, shadow box, 3 pictures (and two matte boards), canvas, leather chair, fish bowl, vase, glass bowl, hurricane lamp, plant pot, terracotta pot, canvas bag, and wicker bags...Did I miss anything?
I love the challenge of taking a bunch of stuff and artfully arranging it into the best display possible (a vignette). The room looks pretty crowded but it was all for a painters tape contest not necessarily for an interior design contest. So there you have it, I guess that's a good enough peek into my thought process. I stewed on the various patterns that could be accomplished with tape and paint and was careful not to make too many things that were too similar or patterns that would clash.
Thanks for checking out this page! Hopefully you have a project in mind and maybe, after reading this, I've given you some gumption to just go with it. :) Later, I also painted a large canvas for the room and it turned out great! You might like to check it out.