How do I mute or tone down a color?


I have a brand new ottoman and the hot pink velvet type upholstery is too bright. Water soaks in so I'm hoping to glaze it or somehow mute it a bit. Can I paint a grey glaze on and rub a lot of it off?

  15 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on May 05, 2021

    I would hesitate to recommend paint as it will most likely change the texture of the fibres, resulting in the feel of the fabric no longer being velvety. If the fabric is a synthetic such as polyester, it will not absorb the paint in the same way as a natural fabric (such as 100% cotton). However, as you know already that it will absorb the moisture, you may just end up with a hot mess.

    I would instead suggest to put the ottoman in the brightest direct sunlight you can find and keep rotating it throughout the day. After a couple of weeks, I would expect it to show that it has started to fade.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 05, 2021

    Or if you can't fade it fast enough or evenly, you could get slipcovers...or re-upholster it.

    Painting will take away the velour feeling of the fabric, giving it a new stiffness, that maybe desirable to you, or not...all your preference.

    Best to you.

  • I'm not sure about paint. I would recover it in a fabric I liked.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 05, 2021


    Maybe wipe it over with tea or coffee!

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on May 05, 2021

    Have you considered a slip cover? One idea I had was a leather buffer for shoes and / or leather coats etc. Definitely ty a patch area first!

  • Mogie Mogie on May 05, 2021

    slip cover

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on May 05, 2021

    You can add Kiwi Camp Dry as a water repellant.

    As far as toning it down, I've seen using 2:1 water:bleach but that is dipping the material. This article has a spray mist method that might be useful.

    You might consider taking it off and using as a pattern to recover.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on May 05, 2021

    why not sell it and find one you like the color of? painting it could compromise the fabric

  • I have found this post which may help you-

  • William William on May 05, 2021

    Slip cover. Paint will make the velvet rough and not even.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on May 06, 2021

    Hello. I agree with Williams statement above. Painting velvet will give it a sandpaper like texture and I’m not sure if that would be comfortable for use. If the piece is mostly for display it may not be a consideration.

  • You could recover it entirely if it's not too complicated of an ottoman. Or as William said, a slip cover. Or toss a blanket over it for the simplest fix.

  • Deb K Deb K on May 06, 2021

    Hi Susan, you can chalk paint it, hope this helps you out

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on May 11, 2021

    Depending on the fiber content, bleach water may do little to it, or may turn it orange.

    Rit Dye makes a Synthetic Fabric dye series and because it’s supposed to be applied hot and you can’t really load up a plastic spray bottle with super hot dye-

    I’m not sure how well it would “take” warm in a spray bottle, so I’d use a dark gray.

    And then you’d want to remove any excess dye the next day.

    In any case, I’d call Rit and ask them. 866.794.0800

    I agree paint is going to ruin the nap of the velvet.

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