If you want to get the "how-to" on this project, scroll on down.
If you want the story, well then, grab your favorite drink of choice and sit for a spell
It all started on a dark and stormy day when the work-from-home hubby got sick of dropped phone calls, bringing clients through the messy kitchen and toy strewn basement to his office and constant disruption of little fists knocking on the door asking to play on the iPad, or to get a hug.
Rooms needed to be re-arranged. Thankfully, that ball had already been rolling because I couldn't stand the two girls sharing such a small space and had moved them from their upstairs tropical jungle to the room formerly called Dakota's. Just a simple trade. But the jungle vines were calling to Todd.
He wanted that space.
Where would we put Dakota? That meant Connor on the couch for a week and Dakota in the disaster that had been Connor's room (because of all of the upheaval, no laundry has been done for over a week).
Once the orange room was cleaned out, I used a regular old carpet cleaner to clean the carpet and then slapped (almost literally, in Todd's terms) a coat of Valspar Artichoke paint on the walls. Whilst it was drying, I hopped online to begin some research. It was breaking my heart to think that I would be forcing my husband to spend over 8 hours a day in a room with pink carpet. There had to be something to do to change it (truly, what was breaking my heart was the thought of all those red accessories, black furniture and gray walls in their masculine glory being thrown of kilter by the femininity of the pink carpet).
We didn't have any money to change the carpet, we didn't even have enough money to purchase a rug. So I had to think frugally...like I usually do.
I came across this and thought that I might be able to do dye the carpet on my own, but I wasn't completely confident. So, I called and left a message for a neighbor of mine that owns a carpet cleaning company to see if he or anyone he knew had ever successfully accomplished something like this. He never called back. I started getting ready to bring the furniture into the room, admitting defeat, when he showed up on my front doorstep.
He enthusiastically wanted to see what I was thinking of doing and I asked him all sorts of questions, and he gave me tons of tips, but mostly, he gave me the encouragement and confidence necessary to just bite the bullet and dive into this carpet altering challenge.
The greatest tips that he gave to me were:
*When dying carpet, you should only dye within the same color family, and you can only go darker. Otherwise, it will just sit on top of the carpet and look like one big ole stain. He was right, I had wanted to go black or gray, so I tested a swatch and it turned out looking like this:
See how the black just sits on top of the carpet, and you can still see the pink through it, the red attaches to the pink better. There's a whole science behind it, and I could try to explain it, but I'd mess it up.
*Make sure to add vinegar to the solution or else do a vinegar bath after coloring the carpet. I opted to adding the vinegar to the dye solution upon application. This helps the color stay in the fibers better.
*If it turns out ugly, you can always throw a rug on top of it, especially if you aren't too attached to the carpet.
*Fans, lots and lots of fans to speed up the drying time, for those of us who are too impatient and can't wait to see a room put together.
Here's how I did it:
-Rit Dye (this room took 2 1/2 bottles)
-Thick Painters Tape
(this room looks cute and sophisticated for a little parisian girl...not an architect)
Step 1: Clean your carpets, taking extra care to treat spots and large stains beforehand.
Step 2: Apply painters tape to your baseboard, this is to prevent your dye from getting on it, unless you are planning on painting the trim afterwards, then skip this step. Also, you may want to add a towel or garbage sack taped to the floor outside of the room or at the threshold so the stain doesn't carry into another space. Thankfully mine was butted up against tile, so this was fairly easy. I had read somewhere that you can apply mineral oil to the baseboards and the color will wipe right off, but it didn't wholly work for us. We had to repaint the baseboards after.
Step 3: Prepare Dye Solution. I used Rit Liquid dye in Scarlet. 4 Ounces Rit Dye, 12 cups Hot Water, 1 Cup Vinegar. This was poured into the large bladder of the carpet cleaner. I had to do this 5 times, throughout the process.
Step 4: Using the hand tool attachment on the carpet cleaner, I applied the dye in 2' lengths starting in the furthest corner from the door. The great part about using the carpet cleaner is it scrubs it in at the same time it is sucking out the excess water. Total time spent applying color: 2 hours.
Step 5: Once you have completed the whole room, cover your feet in plastic sacks and do one more complete suck up of the excess water using the large carpet cleaning suction part. I did't cover my feet and the soles of them were red for about three days.
Step 6: Open a window, set out some fans and in two days time, run over it with your vacuum and you have new carpet!
Total cost to dye carpet: $9
I had read on-line about other people applying the dye solution using one of those sprayers that you use in the garden to apply weed killer or tree spray and then using a scrub brush to really get it into the fibers. Make sure you wear rubber gloves, if you choose that method! Imagine your hands a day later...
By the way, as SOON as I was done dying the carpet, I took the carpet cleaner outside, disassembled it and cleaned the entire thing out with bleach and hot water and even ran through a couple of swipes on an old rug to make sure that no color was left in it.
UL Studios is available to accomplish all of your architectural needs! Please contact Todd at 801-20-4928 if you have plans that need to be drawn up for a simple renovation or a large office complex. Or come and visit at their new location, upstairs, where the sun shines and phone calls aren't dropped!