dying a couch/chair
  • I am wondering how to dye my current living room furniture. I know it is not usually recommended but I would like to try. I have a Hickory Hill couch and chair that is a very light tan color. It is made of a denim material. I would like to dye it a chocolate brown. I can remove the covers from the seat cushions and the back cushions and do them in the washing machine. My question is how/if I can do the remaining parts of the couch such as the arm rests, sides and skirting. Could I use a rug/upholstery scrubber to remove the excess dye and rinse it? What dye would be recommended and a step by step guide would be appreciated.

  • Does the painting change the texture of the fabric or will it be the same? Also how long does the paint usually last vs. trying to dye it? Thanks for the help.

    Has anyone on here ever dyed their furniture or painted it and if so how did it turn out.
  • Hi,

    I would recommend you use the same substance on the arms as you use on the covers to achieve uniform color. Dye would probably be best for the covers and you can mix paint by adding soda ash and Urea to the MX dyes.

    The problem with painting upholstered furniture whether that is with dye or with paint is the backing and padding on the sofa can cause the color to spread unevenly and may result in a patchy finish. I would do a test fist on an area that isn't visible.
  • Thanks, for the help. The only part I am worried about is the arms of the chair and couch. They are padded. The cushions for the back and seating are removable, not attached. It is a big puffy cushion couch with removable seat and back cushions. Ther rest of the couch and chair are not padded, just the arm rests. The sides and skirting are not padded just material over the frame. So that part isn't a big deal, for the dye soaking in. I guess I am just going to have to try it and see how it goes. My biggest concern was the dye leaking thru the arm rests and staining clothes. I guess I will have to go over them several times to remove the excess the dye and maybe heat treat it to set it.

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. I want to try doing this mid to end of summer.
  • Have you considered using slip covers? When we bought our last coach, we compared it to the Pottery Barn couches to make sure we had similar dimensions. We did this because there were so many third party slip covers for Pottery Barn coaches.

    We actually cut out the upholstery ourselves and then just put the slipcover over it. We might have been able to leave the upholstered parts that were hard to remove on but it was dark and the slipcovers were light colored.

    The cost of slip covers was a bit more expensive than I ever imagined before I started looking at them. If you can spend the money, you could get it custom fit too.

    I didn't consider painting because I wanted a different texture, and wasn't sure if painting would result in an even less desirable texture than the original.