Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Scary World of Bleach

My very first home decor project in our current apartment was dealing with a very ugly couch.  You can read about my need for a cheap and quick slipcover here.  Our couch, after experimenting with sheets and draping methods looks like this currently:

Note that this is an old picture before we painted our end tables white.  The quick and cheap slipcover has held up for eight months and is still hiding the ugly couch like a pro.  The only complaint I have is the color of the sheets. When I visited Target to buy the flat sheets necessary for the project, they were out of the pretty oatmeal color I wanted so I purchased this green-tinted khaki color instead. In the picture it looks fine, but in real life it has more of a brownish-greenish tinge to it and I haven't been a fan since the day I stood in the Target aisle.

Now, why am I complaining about the color of our slip covered couch after living with it for eight months? I have a project in mind for the floor lamp (you can see it in the picture above) but I need to change the color of the slipcover for it all to really work.  The lamp project is still a secret for the time being, but I do need your help with the slip cover.  Ideally, I would like to find a way to simply tone down the darkness of the brown and lighten it up a little. In comes my idea of bleaching the slipcover. 

I've never really worked with bleach - I always seem to ruin things whenever I try to bleach out a stain so I'm a little frightened of the idea of bleaching the slipcover.  What do you think? Do you think it would lighten the fabric uniformly or do you think I'd get weird splotches of uneven color?


Mindy said...

I soaked a white tablecloth in bleach water not too long ago to get some stains out. It pretty much disintegrated. And I pretty much almost cried. I'm with you, scurd.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could try filling up the bathtub with some water and bleach and letting it soak. If it goes too light, you could dye it! I am not a pro with bleach either! I bleach some stains out of a white shirt this past week and added just a little bleach to the water and slowly added more until the stain was gone and it turned out fine...I think too much bleach will eat at your fabric though!

Margaret@MissAdventures of Susie Homemaker said...

Having bleached stuff myself, I would say you're probably not going to get the result you want without dye. Every time I've bleached colored fabric it either created orange-ish colors, or went all the way white. I'd try it on a pillowcase or cut off a hidden corner to test first!

Dawn said...

A lot of brown tones have a underlying pink color. I think if you bleach it you will get a light salmon tint to the slipcover. I think you would be better off buying the color sheet you want. I don't see it turning out like you want:(

S said...

Is it possible to try your bleaching options on the small-scale? You know, cut small pieces from the real-deal and treat them accordingly. It would not be cool to ruin the whole slip-cover. Just a thought.

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