Authored by Douglas Mefford in Home Improvement
Published on 04-27-2009
There are times when the look of a new carpet is more important than an actual replacement for your floor covering. To this end, there are professional carpet dyers who can give your carpet a new color, or you can save the high fees and do it yourself. One should be warned that it is an occasionally difficult process to achieve a perfect color coverage, but a bit of effort can still give you wonderful results at a fraction of the cost of professional services.
There are two major factors that will somtimes cause a bit of unevenness to the coloration of your carpet when you dye it. One of these is the basic difficulty in preventing overlap of the application strokes. This can make for thin lines of a darker color across the floor. The other major concern that can prevent uniformity of color is a pre-existing stain in the carpet. A very thorough cleaning of your carpet before attempting to dye it another color is an essential step.
You need to determine what your carpet is made of. While wool, nylon or cotton carpet fibers will take a dye, synthetic fibers such as polyester or acrylic cannot absorb the dye. You should also familiarize yourself with the absorption specifications of the dye you use. Some carpet dyes are specially formulated for stain resistant-coated fibers while other, more natural dyes may bead up and wash away on the wrong type of carpet fiber.
Dyeing your carpet during the day so as to utilize natural sunlight to view the coloring will help you spot potential trouble spots that are not taking a uniform color. It is also necessary to do the new color of a darker shade than that of the original. If the carpet has been too stained for a smooth coloration, there are effects that can be used to help blend color variations into a pattern. You can use a brush and a sweeping motion with the dye to create a multihued design across the carpet.
Before beginning to apply dye to your carpet you will need to protect the baseboards and lower walls from potential dye smears or splatter. This should be done in the same way a painter protects the parts of a room from new paint. A well-fastened covering over the bottom of your walls will solve this easily.
The dye itself should be gently swept into the carpet in long strokes with as little overlap as possible. The motions used are not unlike sweeping a lawn. You have to be very careful that you do not accidentally leave doubled-over lines in the finished dye job. You will usually use a carpet-shampooing machine to spread the dye so getting used to the machine is a prerequisite of a well-colored carpet. The only other method for spreading carpet dye uniformly is by using a sprayer with several hundred pounds per square inch of pressure to lay on a mist of the new color.
After you are through, understand that some of the color will wear off onto anything that touches it. Extra vacuuming and cleaning in the first month after the dye job will clear this up in a while.