The Saga of Dyeing an Upholstered Chair


Well, the day has finally come for my pink chair makeover reveal.  Let’s just say – it did not turn out how I envisioned!  It did, however, turn out to be more of a challenge than I first thought it would be.  That’s the reason for the “saga” in the title.  While I have to finish sewing the cushion cover, I’m glad the dyeing part is over.  Dyeing an upholstered chair is not as easy as it appears!  There will be a post on Monday {6/5} about making the cushion cover.  You will get a peak of it in this post!

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Cleaning the Chair

Just as a reminder, this is what the chair started out as.  It had blood stains from my dog after she was attacked.  {She’s okay now!}  I couldn’t make her leave the chair because she felt safe & I only paid $10 for it.

Besides the stains, it only had one other flaw – a hole at the back of one of the arms.

I used peroxide in a spray bottle & a scrub brush to remove the blood.  Peroxide works the best for blood stains, but it can have a bleaching affect on some fabrics.  Just test first.

That worked fairly well to remove most of the stains.  I took the cushion off so I could use the cover as a template for making a new one.  Here’s a close up of the arm after cleaning.

Once it was clean, I took it outside to speed the drying process.  I’d decided to use Rit Dye in Navy Blue after seeing this post on Rit Dye Studio.  It was way less expensive than painting & looked easy enough.  Ahem.

The Dying Process

I mixed my dye according to the post I mentioned above.  I used 2 gallons hot water & half the bottle of dye.

I think this chair was coated with Scotch Guard at some point in time because the water would just bead up & roll off!  So frustrating!  It was dark by the time I finished the first coat.

Not really navy blue!  I decided to dump the rest of the dye into the bucket & go for another coat.  It did appear darker, but still not navy blue.  After dragging the completely soaked chair onto the porch to dry, I needed a serious shower!

I would just have to wait and see how it looked when it dried.

The Next Day

I went out to check out the chair this morning &, yep, it’s still purple.

So, I had to work with the purple.  I decided to see what would happen if I sprayed it with bleach.  {This spray was 1 cup water to 1 cup bleach.}  I did some experimenting on the back & tried to cover up the splotches at the top with more dye.  Didn’t work.

I was hoping it would bleach the pink too, but nooooo!  The effect of the fade from pink to purple at the bottom was kinda neat, so I did the sides too.

It kind of looks like a sunset!  By the way all of this had to be sprayed with the hose to rinse off dye & bleach residue, so more drying.  I also spritz some bleach spray here & there on the front of the chair.

That cushion poking through the arm shows the color I was hoping for!  These pictures are with the cushion cover pinned up so you get an idea how it will look.  Remember it’s not finished!

A side view…the bottom is still drying.

The other side….

How about those silver legs?!?

That’s grey chalk paint coated in silver metallic lustre.  Although this didn’t turn out how I envisioned, I still love the look.  It’s my thinking chair, so it’s sure to inspire creative thoughts!  Hope y’all are having a wonderful Wednesday!


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