How to Dye Faux Leather

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There are many faux leather items on the market today, from couches to shoes. Though faux leather, also known as vinyl or pleather, comes in a variety of colors, you may find yourself with a second-hand jacket that doesn't go with any of your outfits, or a sofa that needs a makeover to go with your renovations. Faux leather pieces large or small can be dyed with air-drying aniline dyes that are made for use on leather and vinyl.

Dyeing Large Items With Aniline Spray

Prepare your work space. Position the drop cloth on the floor, and center your faux leather piece on the cloth.

Dilute 1 tsp. gentle detergent in 4 cups of water in a bucket. Dampen a clean cloth in the mixture and clean the surface of your faux leather piece. Allow to air dry.

Using the blue painters tape, cover any parts of the item that you don't want to dye. Cushion zippers, decorative studs and furniture legs should be covered.

Put on rubber gloves. Apply the spray dye following the manufacturer's instructions, spraying in smooth even coats. Catch any drips with a clean cloth. Allow to dry.

Apply additional coats of dye as needed until desired color is achieved. Your spray product may require a day between applications.

Remove tape and gently wipe down the faux leather item with a damp cloth.

Sponge Dyeing for Small Items

Dilute 1 tsp. gentle detergent in 4 cups of water in a bucket. Dampen a clean cloth in the mixture and clean the surface of your faux leather piece, paying special attention to seams. Allow to air dry.

Place the plastic drop cloth on a flat surface, and center your small item, exposing the first surface you wish to dye. For example, if you're dyeing a jacket, you may want to do the armpits and underside of the collar first and work on the less detailed surfaces later.

Put on rubber gloves and prepare the dye according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Apply the dye by dabbing with a sponge, gently working into detailed areas such as seams. For smoother surfaces, dye can be applied in smooth even coats. Dab any excess with a clean cloth. Allow to air dry.

Apply additional coats as needed until you've achieved your desired color effect.