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How to Dye Vehicle Upholstery

Updated March 23, 2017

Many people believe dyeing vehicle upholstery is difficult or even impossible. This is not true. Auto upholstery is no different than any other upholstery and can be dyed in the same manner. Learn to remove your upholstery and dye it to the colour you've always wanted.

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  1. Remove the fabric from your vehicle's seats. Some seats have simple zippers in the rear, others use clips. Locate the clips underneath the front of the seat and pull the fabric over the seat. The upholstery is designed to tightly wrap the seat, so you may have to work with it some to remove it.

  2. Set up your container to dye the fabric in. It needs to be large enough to hold the number of seat fabrics you are dyeing and large enough to hold the dye solution. Prepare the fabric dye by the package instructions. Some are concentrates that require water, others are not. Place your fabric in the container and put an object on the fabric to hold it down.

  3. Remove the fabric and allow it to sun dry. Wringing the fabric is not recommended. Once the fabric is completely dry, reinstall it.

  4. Tip

    Dyeing lighter colours to dark colours works best. If results are less than expected, repeat the dyeing process until the desired tone is reached.


    Do not dye in your bathtub. Bathtubs, particularly porcelain ones, are porous and will become dyed as well. Fabric dye spray is also available. This method is not as effective and may change the feel of your seat, by making it stiffer.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fabric dye
  • Plastic tub
  • Warm water

About the Author

Leonardo R. Grabkowski has been writing professionally for more than four years. Grabkowski attended college in Oregon. He builds websites on the side and has a slight obsession with Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.

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