Because Dirty White is Not a Color


When we first bought our place in Florida, I went down for a weekend to hire contractors and get things moving. A neighbor was having a yard sale and I bought two awesome patio chairs. This was before we had toilet seats. I think I spent $30 for a beachy bedspread, 2 chairs and a roll of fabric (to recover the seats of the chairs-not my style). Before I got in the door at my place, someone yelled at me from their car-I KID YOU NOT, this woman followed me as I staggered down the street with my chairs because she wanted to buy the bedspread from me for her 90-year-old mother. I felt like a bandit already, so I just gave it to her. A few minutes later my doorbell rang and she pressed a twenty in my hand insisting I take it. Um, okay. The whole thing was very hilarious and rather sweet.

The chairs have held up really well considering I’m not sure they were really meant for outdoor use, let alone by a pool. The slip covers are a heavy off white canvas. It’s washable, but….. has gotten pretty disgusting over the two years we’ve had the chairs sitting outside getting used by people in wet bathing suits.


This was after many attempts to clean them-dry cleaning and bleach included!

I shopped all over town and online with no luck finding cushions or affordable covers to replace them. And spending hundreds of dollars on cushions or custom slip covers that would continue to sit outside and be exposed to the elements just wasn’t gonna happen.

Maybe we can dye them? I had asked the cleaners about this and they said they could but it would be darker in spots where the stains were. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose and would just try it myself with my favorite dark color: navy blue!


Supplies: 2 stained slip covers, tongs, 4 bottles of RIT dye, salt, hot water, and a large tub

The RIT dye website is awesome! And no, this is not a sponsored post. They have lots of tips and directions. Enough information that I ordered up my four bottles and got to work! And really, that’s all I needed-4 bottles of dye for 2 large chair covers, lots of salt (thanks mom for the tons of salt you left when you moved), hot water, and a husband willing to schlep everything to the backyard so I could watch the kids in the pool and he could cook dinner!


Thanks, hubby!


Dark clothes to go with dark dye! Stir the salt into the hot water first so you can see that it is all dissolved.


Add the dye and stir again.


Keep mixing it up so you get even coverage. Our fabric was really heavy and large, so I kept moving it about the whole time as it tended to fold up a lot. Time varies on how dark you want your color.

 Much improved! I’ll let you know how they held up when I get back down there. But over a few days of use with wet bathing suits and white towels/clothes, nothing rubbed off and they still looked great! blue-cover-pl

2 Comments on Because Dirty White is Not a Color

  1. Jessica
    February 16, 2017 at 10:59 am (11 months ago)

    Hi, I’m about to do the exact same thing. Did you do do any kind of pretreatment or any kind of finishing (or color fixing) after? How are they holding up? Putting mine in a sunroom, so a little worried about fading. Thanks!

    • Ali
      February 28, 2017 at 2:49 pm (11 months ago)

      Hi Jessica,
      I was able to check on the chairs in December and they were a bit more purple! They still looked much better than the dirty white but I might try and get them more navy next summer when I’m there. I’d love to hear how your project goes (went?).


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