Friday, June 15, 2012

The Trials of Dying an Ikea Couch Cover

We have an Ikea ektorp sofa with a sage green slipcover (well not anymore). The slipcover has seen better days. After going to Ikea to see about a new slipcover and seeing that the color we want was $300 (!!!) my husband had the brilliant idea to buy the cheap ($100) white slipcover and dying it brown. O.K. in theory this sounds like a fantastic idea but in reality the cover is huge and I envisioned it turning into a tie-dyed looking hippie nightmare.
We went to Michael's and bought 10 of the powdered Rit Dye in Chocolate Brown and Dark Brown. We mixed them up in a big jug with hot water and added salt per the directions. Apparently the salt helps the dye stick to the fabric. Everything is in order and we sneak into the big laundromat to do the load in the giant washing machine.
Old, faded, stained couch cover
 My dear, dear husband starts pouring the dye into the washer. The washer hasn't been turned on yet and I can see that the dye is just disappearing into the washer somewhere. He seems to be confident and what he's doing so I let him be and go play video games with my son. A few minutes later hubby is running toward me and freaking out. All of the dye went down the drain. We needed to run back to the store and get more dye. Hurray.
After making more dye water we go back and put it through the top of the washer where it's supposed to go. Everything looks good and brown. We take it out to dry. It looks red. Like rusty red. Yuck.
Came out reddish. Not what we were going for.
 The next day hubby is determined to make it work. We go to JoAnn's this time and buy a different brand of dye . We buy dark brown this time. We do the whole thing again. Somehow one of the cushion covers got left at home. :/ God help us. Only very smart people should attempt to dye something so large. I try to dye the cover at home in our washer. It comes out black. I wash it with some bleach and it looks a little better but still too dark compared to everything else. Hubby is going to have a nervous breakdown.

We go get more dye. Some black and brown. He thinks if we make it darker everything will match. Sure. All the covers are accounted for and off the the laundromat again. Somehow it worked! The one cover we forgot is a little bit off but you can hardly tell. The color came out a dark chocolate brown which is exactly what we wanted.
Perfect!!
I don't know why we had so much trouble with this. Thank goodness it turned out in the end. If you do things the right way first this would be totally worth it!

9 comments:

rachel said...

i'm attempting to do nearly the same thing. doing some research beforehand. what was the other brand you used when you replaced the RIT?

Tanya Bright said...

It was idye. They had it at Joanne's.

rachel said...

thank you!

Sam said...

Attempting to dye my white ones......

How has the color held up to rewashing?

How did you determine the ratio of black to brown and know how much to use?

My couch is just 3 cushions. I want red or sage green.

Sam said...

Attempting to dye my white ones......

How has the color held up to rewashing?

How did you determine the ratio of black to brown and know how much to use?

My couch is just 3 cushions. I want red or sage green.

Tanya Bright said...

I try not to wash it very much. I haven't noticed any fading. Figuring out the ratio was a guessing game and we got lucky with it. If you're going for red and it's a small couch 3-4 packets of dye should work.

Andaluz said...

Hi Tanya. I am attempting the same thing with my white Ikea cover. Did you use equal parts brown and black of the idye? Thanks!

Tanya Bright said...

Andaluz, I added 1 more brown than black. Let me know how it works!

mamasee3 said...

Thanks tried dying a brown IKEA black its still brown will go to Joannes

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