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Dyeing and/or Painting Your Furniture

If you want to change the color of your upholstery, these are the questions you need to consider to use products that we carry:

Is the fabric a natural fiber?
The dyes we carry are for natural fibers, some Nylon, and certain man made cellulose based fibers, like Rayon and Tencel. Besides, dyeing required submersion. We think thin fabric paints are a better option unless your fabric is removable.

Has it been treated with stain resistant?
Any stain resistance or water proofing will also resist dye and paints. You will get a splotchy job at best.

Can you remove it from the frame and the cushions to submerge it in a dye bath?
The basic dye process requires lots of water: for prewash, dye bath, rinse and wash out of excess dye. Submerging the entire piece of furniture would require a swimming pool! Not a good idea.

Do you know if the fabric will not shrink during the dyeing process?
Taking off the fabric is labor intensive and shrinkage is no good for fitting the fabric back on the furniture. If you are going to do this, be sure the fabric won't shrink.

There are "spray dyes" or "instant dyes" out there, but we don't carry any for this kind of project. Many of these dyes are in reality pigment + binder products which can wear off onto whatever rubs or sits on it.

If you can't dye it, how about painting it!

You can use fabric paints on almost all fabrics as long as they haven't been treated with anything that will cause the paint to bead up, like Scotch Guard, etc. Spraying or airbrushing them on (outdoors is best - on a warm sunny day) is the easiest way to get a more even coverage, rather than brushing. Rather than heatsetting with an iron on every square inch, you would want to use the Versatex no-heat fixative mixed in with your paint right before you use it (which requires air-drying for 4-6 days) for good results. Thinner paints for spraying would also be more transparent (like dye) and so any patterns would show right through. The Airbrush ink below works best for spraying, the others for hand painting, unless you thin them.

Jacquard Air Brush Inks (spraying and airbrushing)

Dye-Na-Flow thin fabric paint (spraying and airbrushing)

Jacquard Textile (handpainting)

Lumiere & Neopaque(very opaque)
Setacolor (Opaque)
Versatex Print Inks (for stenciling or printing)

Versatex No Heat Fixative -mixes with all of the above to make them "air cure" instead of needing intensive heat setting.

You have to really, really, really want to do this to tackle such a big project. Meanwhile, why not dye some of our Bull Denim, or 10 oz. Cotton Duck to make a throw cover?

Bull Denim
10 oz. Cotton Duck

This info refers to:
Can I dye the upholstery on my furniture?

As always, we recommend testing products, processes, and techniques before you start a large project.

Dharma Trading Co.


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