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DIY Title: Carpet Dying DIY
BMW Category: 3-series E36
Author (forum name): Robstah
Date Written: December 24th, 2005
Original Thread: http://www.unitedbimmer.com/forums/thread5695.html
Date Added to KB: December 27th, 2005

United Bimmer Do-It-Yourself Disclaimer:
The following tutorial is meant as a guide and is not guaranteed to be complete or 100% accurate.  By following this DIY, you understand any work done on your car is at your own risk and we hold no responsibility if you break something.  If you feel uneasy with this risk, we recommend you take your car to a professional mechanic to have the work done.  Otherwise, enjoy yourself and good luck!

After going through the door panel/dash dying, I wanted to give the dye another go. My carpet was subpar, and probably the worst part of my interior. The previous owners left me with stain after stain, and the carpet itself faded into a light "poo" looking mat. So, I said, why not dye it? I did look around for a black carpet, but I was getting too high of quotes to even bother. That will just become a last resort. So, I had 2 cans of Satin Black VHT Penetrating Dye from the doors and dash, and gave the passenger side a go. Here is what I used to get this done:

- VHT Penetrating Dye, Satin Black (9 or more cans)
- Big Nylon brush (VERY IMPORTANT)
- Shop-Vac/Vacuum Cleaner
- Big Box Fan
- Face mask
- Anything to remove all the seats from the car (16mm deep socket, T-50 Torx, and so on)
- Flathead/Phillips screwdrivers

The first thing to do is to go ahead and remove your seats. If you don't know how, just search around the forums. I don't really want to go into detail, because this can be used on any car, really. Anyway, after all the seats are removed, remove anything that may get in the way, like the center console, any lower dash pieces, pedals, side trim, and so on. Now, take a vacuum to every part of the carpet, and use the nylon brush to brush any dirt up for the vacuum. Get it as clean as possible. If you want, you could steam clean the carpet, but it is not 100% needed. If you do steam clean, give it a day or two to dry, so the dye won't have any issues. Alright. Once it is all nice and clean, go ahead and grab a can of the VHT carpet dye. Shake up the can for a good 2 minutes. Now, here is the main trick that concerns most, if not all of you. What you do is just spray the dye in a long line in one direction. Now, take the nylon brush and brush it in that direction. Quickly go the opposite direction with the spray, and then brush it in that direction. Do this until you get a nice, even, black look to it. Now, repeat that until your carpet is black. Now, wait overnight, and go for another coat. You should be able to get 4 cans of the dye per side on a 3 series. It might be more if you are dying a bigger car, like a 5 or 7 series. When you are dying, WEAR FACE PROTECTION. This dye can be vary harmful if you breathe it in, so I recommend finding a mask that is used for paint. You can easily find one at Home Depot/Lowes. Also, to help with the fumes, take a box fan and set it in between the front door, and work on the opposite side. Take your time and go slow if needed. When you are done with the dying, let it sit one more night, and then vacuum one last time. Reinstall everything, and you are done! Here are some pictures of the process:


Brush (Notice that I did go out and buy a bigger one) -

Shop-Vac -

16mm Socket -

Fan setup to pull fumes away -

First coat, first side -

You can see the bigger brush -

First coat, second side (and yes, you can dye the mat, it holds up fine and looks really good) -

Some more pictures -

Done, but now dirty -


- No, the dye does not make the carpet rough. That is where the nylon brush comes in. The brush is a MUST to keep the carpet soft and to lay down even coats of the dye.

- Yes, I probably should have removed the center console and lower dash covers, but I am a lazy man and they need redyed anywho. A lesson to be learned here is to always add more coats then needed. It lasts longer and looks better.

- Do I like it? Hell yeah! It turned my interior into a newer interior, just with the carpet. Now, if I wanted to, I could reupholster my seats and go completely black.

- It will smell a bit for a week or two, but you could easily have it disappear faster if you used something like fabreze on it.

- Will it last? Probably. My door panels have seen a better life since I dyed them, that is why I told you to get an uneven number of cans. Leave one of the cans in your garage for any future touch-ups.

- Any questions? Post them up.
To read user reviews and comments, or to post your own, please first register on the United Bimmer community forums, then visit the following link to the original thread:
- http://www.unitedbimmer.com/forums/thread5695.html

If you used this DIY and it worked for you, please post and let the author know it was helpful!  This praise alone motivates users to write more DIYs and keep giving back to the BMW community.  Thanks!
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