Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chair Dye Job

So, if you remember I professed my profound love for this chair here.

Sadly, this chair does not work in my house. But I am unwilling to let it go to someone else.

So, I am going to make it work, whatever the cost. (as long as it isn't above $10)

I have seen some interesting pins on Pinterest about dyeing the fabric of chairs. I thought this would be my best bet for making it over. My upholstering skills are not up to the level to be able to tackle this chair quite yet.

I went to JoAnn's and picked up some liquid RIT dye. I wanted a bluish type color. Not anything too dark. So I combined a denim blue and an evening blue. I bought a spray bottle especially for the project. I heated up some water in my electric water heater. I put in four cap-fulls of denim blue and three of evening blue and then added the hot water. Tip#1: Do not add the water right after boiling. Wait a little. I learned the hard way and have a very deformed spray bottle now.

I brought the chair just outside of my garage and put flattened cardboard boxes underneath it. I worked on this when we had semi-nice days (before the latest snowfall).

 This is in the middle of the second coat. I did three coats.
I decided that it wasn't the right color after all. It was a good start. But I wanted a little green added to the mix. I went back to JoAnn's and bought the RIT liquid dye in the color Teal.

That was the perfect addition. I put the final coat on Saturday night. It was freezing outside and I was ready to be done. I left it in the garage another day and then brought it into my entry where it was warmer. I left it there for a day. I just brought it into my house. After seeing it in decent light, I'm thinking i may need to do another coat of Teal. It looks a little splotchy. But the fabric has a pattern to it and it could partly be that. If I rub my hand across it, it is clean. But I am leery of setting any white or light colored clothing on it yet.

I tried to keep the wood clean by wiping it down after spraying a coat on the chair. I can see some places where the blue dye has settled in the wood.

Once the weather warms up again, I'd like to sand down the arms and legs and put some kind of finish on it. I'm not sure what yet. I like the idea of a white wax.

What do you think? Does it need another coat of dye? What should I do to the wood arms and legs?


  1. This is super fabulous! If you do any other Rit projects (or would like to), let me know! I'm the "Dyesigner Network" coordinator for Rit Dye.
    P.S. I am also pinning this to our Rit home decor board. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much! I loved working on this project and would love the chance to do more.

  2. Hi Angie!
    I am an Interior Decorator and professional home stager and I was in the process of staging a home. The homeowners didn't want to put a lot of money into this home so I was using the accessories they already had. They had an older orange-colored upholstered chair that did not work with the color choices I had made for this home, So I used a brown RIT Dye and dyed the chair. If you spray the fabric down slightly with water first your dye will soak in more evenly. You should only need 2 coats if the fabric is moist first. You don't want it wet, just moist.
    The chair turned out really petty and worked great in the home. That home sold within 10 days of the completed staging and I know the color choices helped!
    A friend of mine also dyed her bathroom carpet! She didn't like the color any longer but the carpet was too good to tear out so she dyed it!! Fabulous! Again, moist it down first!
    Good luck with your next project!!!

  3. I have not noticed a transfer of color on any of our clothing. We sat on it right away and did not use anything to set it. The color of the chair has faded some. But otherwise we are very happy with the results!

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  5. Can I ask, does the dye have a smell to it???
    I’ve dyed clothes before and absolutely had no smell but I notice the black pants or shorts at a store smells so bad!!!
    Thank you!!!