Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bye Bye Beige.. Hello Grey

We have owned the Ikea Ektorp sofas for many years and our old beige cover has been washed one too many times. To see the covers in person they are completely faded and would not see the light of day again. We have kept our floral covers on the sofas for awhile now but its time for a change. I'm in love with the new Svanby Gray  cover which Ikea has recently brought out..
I brought the new cover home and loved the updated look instantly. Here is our sofa $329 later

But what to do with the old beige covers? There had to be something I could do with them other than post on kijiji for $10 or throw in the trash. I began seeing posts here and there about a new dye on the market that could be used for front load washers called IDye. Honestly the thought of dye freaks me out a bit, we splurged big time on our new washer and dryer and they are on the list of  most expensive things we've bought for the house. I couldn't imagine them ruined. I would be devastated.  After much research I found my courage and gave it a go. I was able to find IDye online HERE but luckily I found a great Art Store  downtown that also carried the line. I purchased 2 packages of Silver Grey which retail at $4.95 each. Here is how it went down and here are the DIRECTIONS from the website.

Old Beige covers - this photo has been kind

IDye Silver Grey

Dissolved 2 packets in 4 cups of hot water and added 2 cups of salt

Add mixture to shiny new washing machine and pray
Next add your WET sofa covers

Set your machine to the hottest and longest cycle possible, I chose SANITIZE and added extra rinse

Let the magic happen! Once the washer has stopped you run the covers through a regular wash using a mild detergent

The result was a DYE FAIL. The covers were blotchy.

My Mistakes
1. Not enough dye!! I used two packs which according to the website should be enough for appx 6 pounds of fabric. I should never guess when it comes to dye.. our love seat covers are just over 11 pounds!!!!

2. There was too much fabric in the machine, the material could not move freely and therefore some parts didn't get great coverage.

So back to the store to pick up 4 packages and do it right. Unfortunately the store only had 2 packs left. We made the decision to try again anyway (I have no patience)  but this time we used one pack for the sofa cover and the other pack just for the cushion covers. We repeated the above steps and our final result wasn't too bad. There were a few lighter spots but i think it would have been completely even if we had used enough dye.  Its not a perfect match to the Svanby Gray but for a grand total of $20 opposed to $329.. I think I can live with it :)


  1. Hey Amanda. Nice blog. I look forward to reading it as we are planning some renos for later this year. Is your washer LG?

    1. Thanks Mike
      our washer is an LG, i love it!!

  2. Has it bled or faded at all? I want to try this on my couch cover and am debating if it needs the fixative.

    1. Hi Wandering
      So far the sofa has not faded or bled and Im quite pleased. I have not yet washed it though so perhaps that will be a different story. I will definitely post an update once I wash it.. perhaps after the holidays.

  3. Hi Amanda,

    I'm really excited to try your idea! Aside from being far cheaper, I looked at the Svanby gray covers at Ikea in person (I was excited to buy one), and thought the fabric quality was really poor - it was thinner than the fabric used to make Ikea's white sofabed cover. So I'm planning to buy the white sofabed cover, which is only $50, and dye it gray. I'd dye our old cover instead, but it's been shredded by cats.

    1. thanks so much, I actually thought when my white chair covers are no longer great in the space or if someone spills something brutal on them I would attempt to dye those next. Fingers crossed i wont for a while but the color possibilities are endless.. so tempting!

  4. I love the internet. I have just bought those sofas in the beige you had (eBay bargain) but desperately want the grey covers (can't afford them). I was freaking out about ruining them with dye... a quick google later, you have solved all my problems for me! Thank you!


Thanks for your comments!!