What fabric paint should I use to restore the color on a pet-stained wool rug?

Name: Steve



Jacquard Products
Exciter Pack, 9-Color

Dye-na-flow is a thin, transparent fabric paint designed to flow like a dye.


Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paintir?t=dyeblog-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B004IG0ECQ


Setacolor Transparent is a thin, transparent fabric paint which flows easily on dampened fabric.


Country or region: West Hollywood, California

Message: Hi, I have a very expensive custom made round wool area rug under my dining-room table. The center is a muddled light colbalt blue. My 12 year old little dog urinated on it and there is a urine stain which discolored the inner circle of the carpet. It turned a lighter blue and is very noticeable. The circumference of the circle where the stain appears is approximately 53in across. Is there any fabric paint you can suggest I use to see if I could paint that inner area of the carpet? That area does not get a lot of wear and tear. I am so hoping you might have a solution for me. The carpet new, cost me a few thousand dollars and I hate to get rid of it. Look forward to hearing back for you. Thanks, Steve

Since this rug has real value to you, I think you should spend the money on getting a carpet cleaning specialist to try to save it, before you even consider dyeing or painting it. Search for a carpet repair company in your area. Pet damage is probably the single most frequent problem they get called for. Some companies can correct the problem with the faded color, with professional results, since they've had a lot of practice doing so.

For a rug that has less value, so you're willing to takes risks but not invest much money, you still must clean it before you do anything else. Pet stain removers are often very helpful, especially in removing any lingering scent that will encourage the dog to repeat the offense, but then any remaining trace of the stain remover must itself be removed. Depending on the size of the rug, you might want to buy a cheap kiddie pool to hold the rug while you take it outside and soak it in water, using a mild detergent such as Orvis paste. Orvis paste is sold as an animal shampoo but is popular among textile conservators.

So, let's assume you're already had the carpet cleaned, and for some reason the pros were unable to restore the color where the stain was, and you're willing to take some very real risks--the risks of applying the paint in a slightly wrong color, or applying too much color so it's too dark, or producing a blotchy effect. The best fabric paint to use would be a very thin, transparent one, diluted with water. You wouldn't want the sort of fabric paint that builds up a perceptible thickness on the pile. Some very thin fabric paints are Jacquard Products' Dye-Na-Flow, Setacolor Transparent, and Dharma Pigment Dyes (which are really paints, not dyes). You should dilute Dye-Na-Flow with one-quarter the volume of the paint (using more water will make the paint wear off more quickly); dilute Setacolor Transparent with twice as much water as paint; and dilute Dharma Pigment Dye with two to three times as much water as paint. Pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions considering heat-setting; many paints bear the recommendation to heat-set, after they dry, by pressing with a hot iron, but you'll need to avoid pressing, since it may crush the pile of your carpet, instead using a heat gun, perhaps, or buying an acrylic catalyst, such as Jacquard Airfix, which can be added to the paint immediately before use, so that no heat-settting is required at all.

Loads of potential problems await you. Fabric painting is easy when you are going to be happy with many different outcomes, but extremely difficult when you want the result to look exactly as you imagine it beforehand. When the paint goes over both the original color and the bleached-out color, it will appear darker over the colored sections, and lighter over the paler sections. You can't use an opaque paint, though, one that will cover all colors the same, because the appearance of an opaque paint will be too glaring and artificial. If you paint onto dry fabric, the paint will show a distinct dark edge; to avoid edges, you need to work wet-on-wet, by dampening the rug first, but then the paint may creep along on the rug, getting into different-colored sections where you don't want it at all. The paint might be more easily absorbed to some bits of wool than to others, causing mottled or uneven results. It will help if you are willing to sponge on a mottled pattern on purpose, since this is good for covering some of the inevitable imperfections; trying to obtain a perfect smooth solid color is not likely to work.

You should not apply any fabric paint to your rug until you've had at least a little practice. Your first attempt at using art materials you've never used before will often have unexpected results. You need to test to see how well the diluted paint goes onto carpet, and you need to test your colors to see how to mix the exact color you need. Try to obtain some cheap or free scraps of carpet with a similar fiber content. Carpet installers should have some scraps that are otherwise worthless, which would be ideal to practice on. It takes experience to be able to make reproducible results that look exactly the way you want them to; this is why it is best to let the pros do your color restoration, if at all possible, unless you have the time and materials to use to become an expert yourself, before ever applying any color to this rug that you care about.

Good luck with your project. I really do recommend you find a professional who can restore your rug.

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Posted: Sunday - July 07, 2013 at 11:56 AM          

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