Many customers want overdyed rugs. Believe it or not, they like the look. Others know that their rug is worn beyond repair and are simply trying to extend the life of the rug. Whatever the reason, good or bad, you can overdyed rugs.

A few things to consider before you begin. Unless you are a color/dyeing expert, overdye only wool or silk rugs. Other fiber/dye types are much more difficult to work with.

You need to have some idea of color theory. You cannot get any color you want. You cannot dye a blue rug, yellow, or a red rug, blue. You cannot dye a rug a lighter color, it will always turn out darker as you are adding color not covering over color. You may need to remove color with bleaching or stripping (redox reactions) before overdying. Do not guarantee to match the exact color, like their favorite pair of shoes, but only to get the correct color family or as close as reasonable. Dyes can make a mess. Make sure that you have an appropriate area to overdye rugs in. This is not on-location work. Make sure to clean up all of your tools,
dyes, shoes, area, etc.


  1. Always inspect and pretest. Document and photograph. Note all pre-existing damage.
  2. Test for fiber type(s). Overdye only wool or silk rugs.
  3. Test for crocking and bleeding, look for signs of pre-existing color migration.
  4. Look for stains. Look for urine damage and other contamination.
  5. Have a release of liability signed.

Overdying Procedures:

  1. Dust rug.
  2. Wash rug. Try to remove and stains and contamination. Consider strip washing the rug.
    Balance redox potential before dyeing, if you strip wash or bleach out colors.
  3. Choose color. We recommend doing a small test area to determine if color is acceptable.
    Use only acid dyes.
  4. Prepare dye solution in 5 gallon batches.
    A. Use hot water (140°F).
    B. Add Liquid Dye Set to water.
    C. Add the dye powder to the water and mix thoroughly. Add to dye sprayer.
  5. Prepare rug. Wet out rug with Sure Color Stabilizer. Use at a pH of 2.5. A pH of 2 to 3 is okay. The temperature should be 140°F. Work in with hand brush or other method.
  6. Test the pH of the rug. Adjust to 2.5 pH. A pH of 2 to 3 is okay.
  7. Spray apply dye solution to rug with overlapping passes. Work in with a hand brush. We recommend spraying from side to side so that any unevenness looks like abrash. Remember that each pass of dye solution will make the color a little bit darker. Apply evenly.
  8. Ensure a dwell time of 20 to 30 minutes.
  9. Extract excess water and dye with vacuum only extraction or other method.
  10. Consider applying Dye Fix for Wool. Charge accordingly.
  11. Do not hang dry. Flat dry, in direct sunlight if possible.
  12. Clean up all dyes, tools, sprayers, shoes, work area, etc.
  13. Groom rug with pile lay.