How to Spray Dye or Brush Dye Fabric Furniture

Whether you've recently switched up your decor or you're looking to rejuvenate an old piece of upholstered furniture, you can change the color with spray or brush fabric dye. This type of project works best when you apply a darker dye to a lighter fabric, and it can freshen up the piece of furniture, alter its appearance and even cover up unsightly stains. The drying and curing time for both types of dying methods does take awhile, so factor this in before starting the project.

Woman using cell phone on couch
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Give your fabric furniture a facelift with spray or brush fabric dye.

Getting Ready

Step 1

Move the piece of furniture to a well-ventilated, covered work area, putting it on top of a drop cloth. Whether you use spray or brush paint, most fabric paints are high in fumes and will take several days to cure, so ensuring you're in a comfortable, secure work space is key.

Step 2

Apply painter's tape and/or plastic sheeting to any areas that you don't want to paint or risk getting paint on.

Step 3

Choose spray dye or brush dye in a color that is darker than the current fabric. Spray dye is often the easiest way to change the color of upholstery; however, one couch will require upwards of six cans of dye. Brush dye can provide the same results, although application will take longer and you may have to add a heat-free fixative to the dye before applying it to the fabric.

Spray Dye

Step 4

Research the type of spray dye you want to use to determine how much product you'll need. In general, an upholstered chair will take about three cans of dye, while a three-seat sofa will take at least six. Ensuring you have enough dye before starting the project will give you the most even results.

Step 5

Carefully read the package directions and then shake the can vigorously. Hold a clean cloth in your hand, and spray the cloth until the dye comes out evenly.

Step 6

Apply the spray dye to the entire couch using even strokes, keeping the nozzle the same distance from the couch throughout the application process. You may need to go over each area several times to get a truly opaque color. Repeat this process, testing each new can on the clean cloth before using it, until you cover the entire piece of furniture with even color.

Step 7

Let the couch sit for at least three days or the amount of time recommended by the dye manufacturer before placing it back in your home. This gives the dye plenty of time to cure, preventing color transfer when sitting.

Brush Dye

Step 8

Purchase enough dye and heat-free fixative to cover the entire piece of furniture. Most products will have a quantity guideline on the package so you know how much to purchase, and some products will already contain the fixative in the dye, so read the package thoroughly before buying it.

Step 9

Mix the dye and the fixative according to manufacturer directions, or stir the premixed dye thoroughly. Apply the product to the couch using a roller brush or a flat natural-fiber brush. Repeat coats as necessary or as recommended by the product manufacturer until the fabric is even in color.

Step 10

Let the dye cure for three to five days, or according to manufacturer directions. This type of fabric dye can take a decent amount of time to cure, and giving the dye plenty of time to set will provide the best long-term results.