How to Dye Vinyl With RIT

Jennifer Van Leigh

From new vinyl pants to a vintage vinyl chair, there are an array of products that require a simple color touch-up or a whole new look. Aniline dyes made specifically for vinyl dyeing are an option, but they are sometimes hard to find, may need to be special ordered and can get expensive.

If you're the crafty type, dyeing your vinyl items with Rit may be for you.

Dyeing Vinyl

  1. Prepare your workspace. Small vinyl pieces such as pillows or items of clothing can be dyed in clean bath tub or large stove-top pot. Larger items should be dyed on a drop cloth or outdoors.

  2. Mix your dye per recipe instructions. This may involve boiling water, which you must allow to cool before applying to your vinyl item, or it will warp.

  3. Clean your vinyl item with a damp cloth to remove any dust or surface dirt. Allow to dry. Wear your protective rubber gloves once your dye and water mixture has cooled.

  4. For dip-dye applications on small vinyl items, place the vinyl into the dye well. Let the vinyl soak until desired color is reached. Remove item and let it air dry.

  5. For large vinyl items, apply the dye mixture to the vinyl in smooth even strokes with your sponge or brush. Apply as many coats as desired. Allow each to dry thoroughly.

  6. Give your vinyl item a once-over with a second clean damp cloth to ensure that there is no extra dye on the surface that can lead to accidental staining.

  7. Warning

    The original color of the vinyl piece will show through and affect the new color of your vinyl. Rit dye is best for overdyeing vinyl, such as turning a white piece into blue, or a red into purple by adding a blue dye. If you are looking for a greater color change, look into aniline dyes.