How (Not) To Dye A Synthetic Rug… And How I Painted Mine Instead

Hello friends,

I come to you today with a story. A story of a very frustrating polyurethane rug. So you see, this beautiful white and grey geometric rug came into my life a few months ago an it looked just perfect under our living room furniture. I was weary of choosing white for the living room as we often eat there and often spill, but this particular rug was supposed to be completely stain resistant. It was not. I found myself trying to remove stubborn stains at least twice a week which became rather tiresome.

Eventually, I decided that something needed to be done. Not only was the upkeep exhausting, the rug looked terrible. So, I scoured the internet for inspiration and landed on the rug dying method. I did my research and picked up Rit Synthetic Fabric Dye in the colours Midnight Navy and Graphite. I unrolled the rug out outside, boiled the dye with enough water to saturate the rug and put it in a watering can to disperse easily. I then thoroughly scrubbed the rug dispersing the colour. I let this sit for 30 minutes aaaaand… nothing. I rinsed off a test patch and the colour didn’t take at all. Frustrating. Red wine and pasta sauce seemed to take just fine. Why not the synthetic dye whose job it was to stain this thing??? I guess it is stain resistant after all.

I let the rug dry overnight and brought it inside at which point, the boyfriend suggested abandoning the project. Being rather stubborn, I refused and began to research a way to salvage my mess. Rug painting came up. Acrylic paint mixed with a mixing medium and water. I had acrylic paint, but not much left in the colours that I wanted to use, and I had water. I had no mixing medium but I was feeling bold. I mixed up my acrylic paint and water, running out of paint before I reached my desired colour and opacity so I added some watercolours I had lying around – what could go wrong????

I started in one corner painting on the mixture and rubbing it in with my hand. To my surprise, it worked fabulously. I had the entire rug painted in about an hour. It dried quickly too. It’s now been sitting in my living room for about 3 weeks and going strong. The colour looks vibrant and the stains are unnoticeable. My rug has a very low pile and the paint hasn’t changed the texture at all.

Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/w2zctRsYCt4

Moral of the story: don’t dye a polyurethane rug. Paint it instead. I would suggest getting the proper tools for the job (unlike me). I’m sure if I had a higher pile rug, the mixing medium would have helped me out.

Before – preparing for the Rit dye

After – currently sitting in my living room

xoxo,

Caitlin

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