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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I've completely had it with the black, white and gray
checkered / plaid fabric in my car. It detracts from the car and
reminds me of being at a picnic with my grandparents as a child.
I decided to dye/paint it. Before you say, "what? Paint it!?",
read the how-to.


#1) You need a WATER BASED acrylic. Any other base will leave
your fabric stiff as a board and very unnatural. Acrylic has lots
of resin in it. The pigment is easily diluted and makes for a great

#2) You want to add two parts acrylic and one part water in
your batch of dye. You want it a little thicker than water. What
this does is thin the paint out enough so that the water soaks
into the fabric and dyes right through..not just on top.

#3) Add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol to the mix. This speeds
up the drying time.

#4) You want a paint brush or two. You need them pretty stiff
as you will be pretty hard on it and this will probably be the last
time you use it.

#5) You need PATIENCE for this technique. This isn't a 5 minute
McInterior job.


- You can only go DARKER with this technique. You can't, say,
dye a gray red. It will either come out looking too dark or it will
be pink by the time you give up.

- I'm going for a CHARCOAL GRAY fabric. Not black. Black could
be achieved with more coats.


- Start by taping off the area you will be dying. Make sure your
paint is mixed up really well before you start. Get a good amount
on the brush and apply it to the fabric. It's best to work in
5" x 5" areas to ensure quality. Work it in really well with the
brush by brushing from all different angles and tapping with the
brush head on into the fabric. Do this over your entire piece of
fabric and you've reached stage 1.

It should look something like this. You will be able to see through
it more and more as it dries.

- Wait about 20 minutes and apply a second coat using the exact
same technique. This time, it should come out even darker..but still
transparent -

- Now, wait a while. I waited about 4-5 hours before I went back to lay on
another coat. A heat gun would speed this process up big time..but
my gun took a crap on me and I don't own a hair dryer.

- Lay on the third coat. Using the same technique as the first two
coats, lay on your third a little heavier. just a LITTLE. This time it
should really start to take shape and darken up.

Since I'm going for a charcoal gray, I'm just about finished with
the door panel. A little touch up around the edges and maybe a
VERY LIGHT coat if need be. You can go all the way to black with
a couple more coats.

REMEMBER - This takes patience. You can't do a rush job with this.
It will look like total crap if you do. Patchy and hackjob looking.

After it is completely dry. Completely. You can brush the fabric and
it will regain any type of softness that it lost during the dye process.

This is a great way to get rid of ugly interior fabric or revamp an
old interior that isn't looking too hot anymore. I have experience
in painting cars and canvas too, so this isn't too far out for me.
However, anyone can do this. If you've painted a wall, you can
do your interior. You just need the key ingredient - Patience.

Have fun!
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