Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dyeing your Furniture!

So I actually bought two matching vintage tufted cane chairs off of Craigslist. The sweet lady actually recognized me from the blog! I was so flattered. 

Anyway, the whole point of this is she mentioned that she was waiting to see how I did the blue cane chair! So here it is mystery fan from Craigslist with awesome chairs.
I know it's awesome.

Well, it's time to reveal how I changed it from this:

To this!

She thought I painted the chair, which probably lots of you think that.

The idea of painting upholstery was one in the back of my mind forever. It seemed way easier than reupholstering a chair, but at the same time having to paint it on in layers, etc etc. It seemed like it would take a long time and I just didn't want to do it!

So I dyed it!


I mixed a cap full of RIT dye with 1.5 cups of HOT water!

First I tried painting it on with a brush. Dip it in the dye, brush it on. I could have just painted it at the rate this was going.

So, I put the dye in a spray bottle and just soaked the upholstery!

Now everything will drip like crazy, so I don't recommend doing this unless you are planning on painting the wooden parts...or if you are lickety split at wiping the drippy dye off...but then more drips!

I recommend putting a towel on your floor. :) Doing it outside would be best, but it was in the middle of the night when I did mine! Go figure!

I also recommend wearing gloves so you don't dye your skin!

Anyhow, all you really have to do is spray it on and saturate the fabric.

Let the chair dry over night. It was still a little damp in the morning, so I set it out in the sun for just a couple of hours and it was ready for paint.

The white on the arm is where I had to make a repair.

For painting, be sure and cover every, single, bit of fabric with news paper! I was a little sad to paint it because I thought the blue went beautifully with the brown frame. However, there was a big chunk out of the frame. So, I had to paint her.

Then just use spray paint to cover the wooden areas! Check out my spray painting tips  here!

Anyway, there you have it. Don't reupholster your pieces, dye them!

Check out that cute damask side table  here!

Other random information:
  • The dye will not bleed on your clothes. I put a WHITE pillow case on the chair for about a week with some big books stacked on top of it to add weight. The pillow case was still white!
  • The fabric is still soft.
  • The RIT website has a lot of information on color combinations so you can get the perfect color. i.e. mix 1/2 a cap of this with a cap of this to get whatever color. :)

 Next I want to try going from a darker color to a lighter color! Wish me luck!


 photo SmallShortStalker_zps7374fe78.jpg


  1. Very cool, I will have to try this. Thank you. Clarice

    1. You definitely should - it's so easy compared to reupholstering and faster than the painting tutorials!

  2. I am totally loving this idea.......Cheap and easy just the way I like it!

  3. Oh my goodness!!!! I am so going to do this. I have an old rocker that I picked up for $5 years ago. I don't really like it, but it has such pretty lines that I can't get rid of... Didn't want to spend then money to reupholster, but couldn't bring myself to part with!!!! I will definitely be dying and painting!!!!!

  4. I want to change the color of my "white" sectional. I have young boys so it now appears dirty and stained even after cleaning with the upholstery attachment on my carpet cleaner. I'm thinking dye would be best as I could dye the cushion covers in the washer then use your spray bottle technique for the upholstered frame.
    Any suggestions, tips or ideas would be appreciated!

  5. Im looking for tips on dyeing a "white" sectional. I have young boys and it was free from my mother in law but the thing always looks so dirty and digusting. I've tried to clean it with my carpet cleaner but the results are short lived. I checked out the fabric paint but its costly. I was thinking dye might be easier as I can put the cushion covers in the washer to dye them then spray dye the remaining upholstered frame. Do you think that would work or have any useful tips?

    1. I think that would work. I haven't tried dyeing in the washer yet, but there's instructions for it on the bottle or at RIT's website. Personally, I'd never remove the cushion covers just because I can never get them back on right! lol

      I'd love to see how it comes out! Email me photos!

  6. I'm in the process of doing this now and I'm super confused about the rising is there no need to rinse the dye out? And it will NOT transfer to clothings, right? Any advise would be appreciated.

  7. I'm in the process of doing this now..thanks for your blog. I do have one question though. I'm super confused on the rinsing sounds like you skipped this step after dying. Is there no need to rinse? An ed it won't transfer to closing? Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. Hi Leslie. I did not rinse the chair after I dyed it. It's still sitting in my living room and it hasn't transferred color to anybody! I also did the little test of placing a white towel with some books on top after I first dyed it - no color transfer! Good luck! :)

  8. I am looking into dyeing a white couch inwas given that is stained. I know this might sound taky to ask, but have any of the clothes been damp "like sweting or just in out of the rain" of the people that have sat in the chair? It seem to me like that would be the way to make it bleed onto ones close and is my only concern about doing this.

    1. No, but I can dampen a pillow case and put it on there with some weight to test it out! I'll get back to you!

    2. Sweet! That would be great thank you.

  9. Does this change the texture of the fabric at all?

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