How can I paint a dog bed?

by CM

I have a dog bed, that I’d like to paint the fabric cover. See attached pic. It’s the kind that has a mattress and a bolster around the sides and back. I’ll only paint the sides and bottom of cover - it’s microfiber material. I’ll leave the fuzzy fleece (the part the dog sleeps on) unpainted. It’ll be two-toned dog bed. It’s two-toned now, I want to change the blue color to a med dark gray.Two questions, first, do I take the mattress and bolster out to paint the fabric cover? It’s seems like if I dont remove them, when I wet the fabric and use the medium and paint, it would cause fabric to stick to the mattress and bolster. Normally, I think you’d paint an upholstered item, and wouldn’t have to worry about the padding underneath. However since this is a dog bed, I do need to remove the cover to wash it regularly. Do I remove the cover prior to painting? In some ways I think it would be easier to paint if I left the bolster/mattress inside, but not if it would stick to the cover when I need to wash it!Second question, I’ve read that I can heat treat the paint to dry it and that will make it machine washable. Again, it’s a dog bed that gets washed 3-4 times per yr. Has anyone had any experience with heat treating painted fabric so the paint won’t come out during the wash? The instructions said to use a hair dryer or the clothes dryer to heat set. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks all!

  23 answers
  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Dec 26, 2018

    might be easier / more successful in the long run to find a seamstress that would make a pattern off the existing cover and make a new cover out of a washable material ... many dry cleaners have 'seamstresses' available for alterations ... or check your local area on line for 'seamstresses in xxx (name your town, state, zip code in your search criteria )

  • KD Redlowske KD Redlowske on Dec 26, 2018

    It might be easier to dye it instead of painting, do you think that might be a good option for you? Just a suggestion, not trying to deter you of what you want to do.

    Have a lovely day.

  • Ann33154509 Ann33154509 on Dec 26, 2018

    Refinish with fabric or buy new bed they are not that expensive if you don't sew.

  • Desertcat lady Desertcat lady on Dec 27, 2018

    Make a largepillow case type cover, then you can remove it and wash, Im a retired tailor, the paint smell might make them sick, or throw a big blanket over it, No paint, have a good dayMy dog just passed, she was 14; I put a big fleece throw on her bed, then was easy to wash, Desert catlady

  • Anna Smith Anna Smith on Dec 27, 2018

    Not sure if painting would be safe or comfortable for the dog. It might be tough to lay on. Seems a better idea to make a cover of just be safe and buy a new bed

  • Sue Klinedinst Sue Klinedinst on Dec 27, 2018

    Not a good idea to paint something a dog might chew. Would you paint your sheets and then sleep on them?

  • Conscientious crafter Conscientious crafter on Dec 27, 2018


    Are going to paint the dog if she doesn't match your new sofa?

    Find something more important to obsess about.

  • S S on Dec 27, 2018

    How about buying a new bed for less than 20 bucks at Big Lots?

  • Sharon Tircuit Franklin Sharon Tircuit Franklin on Dec 27, 2018

    I would NOT paint a dog bed...paint fumes are toxic!!!!!

  • Linda Linda on Dec 27, 2018

    I'm with S. Tuesday Morning had a big sale on them. Wouldn't want my two dogs licking paint.

  • Rpa1865168 Rpa1865168 on Dec 27, 2018

    I would make a simple material or fleece cover that's easily removed for washing I did a cover for two dog beds in about 30 minute!

  • NMB NMB on Dec 27, 2018

    I would not recommend painting anything an animal will be sleeping on or chewing. A better option would be to dye it.

  • BA BA on Dec 27, 2018

    Paint will make the fabric hard and brittle. The suggestion of recovering with fabric better solution

  • Sally-Charles Evans Sally-Charles Evans on Dec 27, 2018

    Paints and dyes can be toxic to your fur-baby. I suggest getting him a new bed.

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Dec 27, 2018

    HI - I share the concerns of painting a dog bed. I see you have accessorized it with a bone pillow. :) Why not just find an inexpensive fleece throw and make Jake a blankie/bedspread instead? If you might be placing too much focus on the bed blending in, perhaps MOVE it. Wouldn't you feel bad if you went to the work of painting it, and he decided he no longer wanted to sleep in it?!

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 27, 2018

    I agree with getting a cover made for the dog bed. It is a must to be able to wash the bedding on a regular basis. We have 4 dog beds and made sure with each purchase to get one that made a zipper on the cover so we could take it off and throw in the washer. Find I wash my dogs bed covers at least once a month.

  • Brdgl1963 Brdgl1963 on Dec 28, 2018

    Wow, you just want to make the bed look different. That's a big expensive bed and I wouldn't be able to just replace it and if I didn't sew I couldn't afford to pay someone $50-$100 to make another cover to replace what looks like a perfectly good one. I hope one of these helps, and some are probably repeats.

    You could take a sheet and cover the bed and tuck in the corners to make it look fitted.

    You can use brush on fabric paint, water it down a little if it's microfiber. Test on the bottom out of sight.

    Walmart, and I am sure other places, sell non-toxic upholstery spray paints. I cannot find reviews but I would think they are not stiff and scratchy, as you are meant to sit on them.

    There is also Simply Soft Fabric Spray Paint. Again no reviews, so you might want to look around for some. Walmart has it on Clearance. I think the name says it all.

    You could dye it all one color with Rit Dye. They have an extensive website with ideas. The sell dye for synthetics but I don't find them that much different. Just remember man made cloth will dye lighter. You can dye multiple times to get it somewhat darker. I heat set in my vehicle. Parked in the sun it gets pretty hot in there. Less wear on the materials.

    You can go to your art supply store for a stronger dye and pot ash setter. But check for toxicity. You may have to wash it again to be sure its safe.

    If you sew, or if you don't, you can make a simple partial cover from fabric. It will allow you to change your design on a regular basis. If you sew, you already know how to do it. If you don't then measure the dimension you want covered. Only a fabric or craft store that sells fabric will help you figure out how much you need. Nothing against Walmart but they don't have a dedicated cloth person that can help. Elmer's , or any fabric glue will let you finish the edges and a simple straight stitch with matching thread will hold it in place on the bed.

    I would remove the form and stuff the cover with newspaper for painting. Block any spot you don't want covered with paper and tape, just like house painting. Remember, watered paint will spread so leave an unpainted edge if you risk it. I run old towels or jeans in the wash after dyeing, and wipe down the rim and lid. If you dry in your car use paper in grocery bags to stuff for even drying. Please double check every label for toxicity. I hope I covered everything .Good luck.

  • Mae Belle Knight Mae Belle Knight on Dec 28, 2018

    I completely understand why you would want to change the look of the dog bed! Try fabric paint -- if you want a pattern, you can also find stencils. I've never seen a dog lick or chew their own bed -- and I've had a dogs for over 55 years! The only issue I would be concerned about would be that regardless of what paint you use, the bed may not smell very friendly to Jake afterwards. How about using heat bond tape to cover it in a different fabric maybe? Then it would stay soft and won't have an odd smell. Good luck!

  • MEG MEG on Dec 28, 2018

    I would not paint a dog bed. Either buy a new one or reupholster the pillow that they sleep on. Just machine wash it. No need to paint it.

  • Lizbeth Lizbeth on Dec 28, 2018

    If a new bed is out of the question, I'd go with a throw or some sort of cover put over the existing bedcover also. Dogs have sensitive noses so even if dried fabric paint doesn't smell to us, it may to them. Your dog may not chew on the bed but I'd not want to take the chance. I'm also not so sure about dyeing it. In my experience dyes for home use like Rit work best on natural fabrics and I'm pretty sure that bed is made of synthetic fiber (if it's what I know as "microfiber.") I'm also not sure home dyes are completely colorfast although Brdgl1963 posted some good tips. But I'd worry the pup's wet feet, drool, other slight "leaks" that happen, etc might lead to a spotted appearance over time. It's also possible the color could leach into whatever surface is under the bed (especially if there was an "accident") and you'd have a real mess!

  • Bijous Bijous on Dec 28, 2018

    Hi. Dye the fabric with a natural dye (you can get them on line). It would also be cute to do a pattern with the dyes on the sides and bottom. Happy DIY'ing!

  • Patty Patty on Dec 28, 2018

    If you want to paint fabric, you need to add a fabric medium to make the paint soft enough for the fabric. Otherwise it will become this hard and crusty thing that you don't want to touch. The fabric medium can come off in the wash though. I like the huge pillowcase idea the best. It can be like a slipcover and be done with two cases. You can use one for the outside of the bed, and one for the main pillow the dog uses. I think matching is a great thing, so don't listen to the Debbie downers.

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