Overdyed Rug

April 21 2016
This project was inspired by the Sweet Paul tutorial right here and some AMAZING and expensive overdyed rugs from the latest Anthropologie calendar. We dyed an inexpensive wool blend rug bought specifically from Amazon for this purpose. Important Note: Never use an heirloom or irreplaceable item for your dyeing. Also, do not attempt this technique for wall to wall carpeting. We recommend this technique for an inexpensive rug or an old rug that you are about to give up on since you don't love the look or color.
Supplies
  • Inexpensive area rug
  • Rit all-purpose liquid dye
  • Preval sprayer or paint sprayer
  • Garden hose for water
Time
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Difficulty
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Instructions
  1. Here is the “before” shot of the rug. Again, this rug was purchased new on Amazon for the sole purpose of dyeing it. It is a wool blend- mostly wool but mixed with synthetics. This means that it is unlikely to dye very dark. An ALL wool rug (or other natural fiber rug) would be a much better choice but we wanted a budget rug. And again, we would NEVER dye an expensive or heirloom rug that has sentiment. Overdyeing a rug is all about fun- not stressing over something pristine or valuable.
  2. Put the rug directly in the sun on some grass. Best practices would be to thoroughly pre-wet the rug. A hose would work well.
  3. An electric tea kettle was used to quickly heat up water for the various batches of dye. We used 1 full bottle of Aquamarine all-purpose liquid dye. We also used a paint sprayer. This Preval paint sprayer works well for this project.
  4. Mix about 1/4 of the bottle of Aquamarine dye with a full jar of very hot water. You’ll need to refill the mason jar several times, adding about 1/4 of the bottle each time. Saturate the entire rug with the dye. This process took about 15-20 minutes.
  5. When the rug is saturated with dye, let it dry in the sun for about an hour.
  6. Then pour straight Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative into your paint sprayer and sprayed the entire rug again.
  7. Let the rug dry outside on a very warm and sunny day until it’s completely dry (about one and a half days).
  8. Here is a close-up of the new color. Again, it’s not as vibrant because it was a wool blend. If the wool content had been very, very low, the dye would likely have washed completely out. However, we are happy with the results, it’s a vibrant color but not too bold. 
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