Furniture and items with removable fabrics such as couch and chair cushions are best suited to coloring or dying as most dyes require rinsing. Solid leather or vinyl pieces are also easy to dye.
Most cloth-like furnishings are covered with a blend of materials, and uneven coloration can occur. Natural fibers such as cotton will take dye easily and evenly. Leathers and vinyls allow for easy application and a smooth finish.
Vinyl and leather typically require an aniline or vinyl-based dye that will not harm the material when used. These dyes are available in a variety of pigments. Cotton and natural fabrics can be dyed with readily available Rit dye or high-quality natural dyes. Silk, wool and nylon are delicate fabrics that are often sensitive to water.
Working with Upholstery Dye
A large workspace is of utmost importance when coloring furniture. Applying dye to leathers and vinyls are sometimes as easy as point-and-shoot, though you will want to ensure your flooring has been protected by a tarp and that you allow for proper ventilation.
Other Upholstery Options
If a piece of furniture is not suitable for dyeing, consider purchasing a bolt of fabric and creating your own slipcovers. Fabric paint can be used to give a wash of overall color or create detailed patterns and other effects.