How To Dye A Sofa? The Best 6-Step Tutorial

It’s easy to learn how to dye a sofa because we have simplified it into six steps. So if you’ve been putting your sofa revamping project on a halt for some time now, this is the sign to go through with it! In this tutorial, we will teach you everything you need to know to dye a fabric sofa. 

We will also discuss some dos and don’ts if you’re going to dye other types, such as leather. Overall, painting the sofa is a quick and fun way to keep it up with the trends. It’s even a popular remedy for fixing leather sofas that need some reviving. 

How To Dye A Sofa


How To Dye A Fabric Sofa 


Step 1. Test the fabric sofa

  • Fabric sofas are less meticulous than other types when it comes to painting them, but it’s still better to check your furniture’s compatibility with the dye
  • If you have a similar paint type, test it on a small and hidden portion of the sofa
  • The dye should not rub off or patch after drying when you drop a bit of water on it
  • Those who will use spray paint should do the water test as well and only go through with the color if the fabric absorbs the paint
  • A tight-weave cotton fabric should be safe for painting 

Step 2. Decide on the paint

  • You must repaint the sofa with a color that would still compliment your room and existing decor
  • It’s not enough to follow the trends, but your furniture pieces and other items must not look confusing when placed together in a room
  • The paint you can use for fabric sofas is industrial fabric paint because spray paints tend to harden the couch
  • Check if the specific fabric paint has the right formula for your sofa’s fabric type
  • You can also mix acrylic paint or latex paint with textile medium so that it’s more suitable for application onto the fabric

Step 3. Prepare the sofa

  • Clean the sofa to avoid painting over dust build-up or residual spills
  • Wipe the couch all over and vacuum it off
  • Check the couch for any damages that might need a quick repair before painting
  • Use this as an opportunity to assess if it’s better to replace the sofa than try sprucing it up with paint
  • Paint only addresses the worn-down look, and the damaged sofa on the inside will be better replaced
  • Remove the sofa cushions as you can spray them separately
  • Cover the parts of the couch that you don’t want to dye using masking tape

Step 4. Cover the area where you’ll be painting

  • Paint the sofa outdoors for easier clean-up
  • Use drop sheets to protect floors and other pieces of furniture if you must paint indoors
  • Open the windows and doors to allow ventilation
  • Prepare many rags and other painting tools beforehand, so you can continuously paint once you start
  • Wear clothing that you don’t mind getting stained and use a mask to protect you from inhaling the fumes

Step 5. Paint the sofa in sections

  • Start at the sofa back from the top downwards
  • Paint the sides of the couch in one direction and allow the dye to dry before reapplication
  • Work on the rest of the sofa
  • If you’re using spray paint, apply a thin coat first and layer it evenly to avoid patchiness
  • Have a rug nearby to absorb any drips and smoothen the paint with the brush if needed
  • To reach corners, dents, and details that spraying might fail to get, use a small brush
  • You can also directly use a brush but aim to paint evenly to have the perfect coating per layer

Step 6. Layer the paint if needed

  • Be patient with your dyed sofa because some colors might only reveal their actual shades after drying for several days
  • Layer the coating evenly with a brush or spray if needed
  • Ideally, do not use too much dye because it can harden the sofa
  • Finally, rub the dried couch with a cloth to remove paint build-ups and smoothen the surface

Can You Dye Upholstered Furniture?

It’s possible to dye upholstered furniture, but every material will require particular treatment. Some upholstery types such as vinyl, leather, or even polyester resist most paints. If you test a bit of dye or any liquid on your furniture, it should not bead up. 

Rit dye is a popular product for upholstered chairs and other furniture pieces. The brand also has a dye fixative to ensure the longevity of the new paint. Follow the instructions from the website, and you should successfully paint the upholstered furniture. 


Can You Dye A Sofa With Dylon?

Sofas should be okay to dye with Dylon, but the brand emphasizes that their machine dyes are incompatible with being painted onto fabric. The product should also not be used on wool and nylon. 



If you want to change the look of your couch, you can use fabric paint to recolor it. However, understanding how to dye a sofa means using the suitable dye for the sofa material. This 6-step tutorial is applicable for fabric sofas, but other materials may need unique formulations. 


For example, Rit dye is helpful for upholstered furniture. Overall, you can always read the dye label and test your sofa for compatibility. Then, paint slowly and in layers and don’t use too much to harden the couch. 


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