Thursday, June 7, 2012

I was more over-dyed than the rug

We are on an over-dyed rug kick!

So, bravery got the best of me and I decided to put on my gloves and try a DIY.  We bought some super concentrated dyes from Dharma Trading Co. and thought it wouldn't be hard after seeing a few other DIY's about it.  I took it slow at first not knowing how much color to add.  It turned out to be quite the process.  

This was the intensity I had hoped for on the rug.

Here is my 5'x7' rug before:

But, when I rinsed it clear the first time there was almost no new color at all! 

Even after the second go of it - it was still relatively unsaturated.  What a bummer!

Last try.  

This time there was more turquoise after the rinse than ever before so this was going to have to do since I used all the dye and after 3 days I was too frustrated to deal with it anymore.  But, I am happy with it, and it certainly looks better than it did originally! 

It will stay in my office which has yellow walls.  Now to finish styling the rest of the office and I will show you the end result after I hang my repurposed chandelier and put color on the back of my bookcases!

My original rug was $99 at Home Goods and I found a very similar one on Rugs USA for $1241! The current color and pattern are not far off from this one.

Bethany caved and just bought the one that she had been coveting for a while.

All in all I would definitely recommend doing this to a rug.  These dyes are appropriate for wool and nylon rugs, so even though my rug said wool and polypropylene on the back, there must have been more dye resistant material in it than I thought (or I was just too timid adding the color).   It would be easier if the rug was smaller and you could submerge it in a trash can or plastic baby pool, but the sprayer worked well and the clean up was easy.

The 2'x3' rug of Bethany's that we tried to bleach 3 times in the bathtub NEVER changed color even after adding a bottle of clorox!!  It must have been all synthetic since it was very stubborn to bleach. We are still going to try to dye it once she decides on her bathroom wall color.

Would you do this to a rug you're tired of? It would be a great solution to cover a stain or a spot that didn't come out.  I say DO IT!


If you are looking for help with your home, we'd love to work with you! Contact us for a listing of our services and prices. 
Nancy and Bethany


  1. Very cool. Who knew? Easy way to get a new rug! xo

  2. I think you are braver than I. I do have a few doormat sized rugs that I don't like so I suppose that would be the best way for a fraidy cat to start.

  3. Looks fantastic and I am very impressed with your DIY performance!! The prep and clean up always makes me take pause...although if I really want something I DIY too!!

  4. I think I will sit out on this project for a while. I still want to have a rug painting party...your idea!

  5. Holy cow, you are brave! Yours looks great, I can't wait to see the room come together! Inspiring diy, Nancy!

  6. Very cool. Rugs are expensive...why not get a little more life out of them with dye!!

  7. Nancy - I would have given up the first time!! You are a trooper :-) And, a very clever one! I'd be afraid the dye would transfer on wet shoes to the floors, another rug, etc. Let us know how it holds up.

  8. Wow, you go girl! This is a great DIY with a great result despite the repeated efforts. Love the color, look and especially the price!

  9. Wow. You are awesome. I wouldn't have the patience to keep trying. Patience is the most important DIY quality and I seem to lack it completely. Your rug looks great!

  10. OK I think I need to try this, what an awesome DIY!

    My parents will be so overjoyed when I show up at their house with plans to dye the backyard, I'm just picturing my Dads face now. You want to do what?!?

  11. How has the rug held up? Any dye transfer problems? I have a similar large wool rug and I'd like to try it but have been concerned about not having the ability to heat set the dye.

  12. Amy - it has held up great. It made our bright white socks a tinge blue for a day or so but that was it. It's in a semi-high traffic area and its done great. We just left it out in the sun to set the dye and it seemed to work well.

  13. I missed this post the first time around- so glad you linked to it today! I have a perfect rug just begging for this treatment!

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  15. First time reader--found this post via Pinterest...LOVE IT! I love that you showed all the trials and tribulations, and I laughed out loud on the directions the third time! I too might have given up as another commenter said. Good for you! In the same search, I found this other post on how to remove dye, but it seems very complicated and a bit more than I want to attempt (plus very harsh chemicals): Someone else suggested using a steam cleaner (rental from the grocery store) 3-4 times to remove any dirt before dying (she was using used rugs from ebay), but I also wonder if that might have help remove any sort of color sealant and allowed more dye to take (or this might sound ridiculous to someone who knows more about this than I!). All that to say this: Thanks for a great post!

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