I Bleached My Denim Couch and This is What Happened!

Can you believe the difference? I’m doing the happy dance right about now.

 

Before

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After

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It all started when I realized that the crazy layout of my living room would only work with a sectional. The couch that I liked was from Pottery Barn. I also liked the slipcovered one from Ikea but it’s a little small for my tall husband and besides, the nearest Ikea is 6 hours away in Dallas area. Please do feel sorry for me about this. Anywho, I began to save for a PB sectional. However, at the rate I was able to stash cash, it wasn’t looking too promising. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that $4,000. for a couch just didn’t jive with the frugalista in me. I started searching Craig’s list (for several weeks) and found a denim slipcovered sectional. The price was right. I thought that I would use the old slipcover as a pattern to make the new one or just have one made. I didn’t mind the denim that much in the house that I bought it from. It was really cute and accessorized all beachy and everything. I got it home to my “smaller” living room and it looked like the big, fat, why did I buy a sectional, denim mistake. I wanted to whisk it away to the upholsterer’s for a new slip, but…just didn’t have the funds. So, I fretted and rearranged and pointed my finger at it and threatened to put it right back on Craig’s List. The only thing that stopped me was that it is VERY comfortable and my whole family loves it. Even my grown kids! I could picture us all comfortably lounging on it for a movie night. If only it were white! In desperation one night I snipped a tiny piece of fabric out of the seam on the inside of a cushion cover. I soaked it overnight in bleach mixed with water. The next morning I was so excited to see it completely white. So I kept going...

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I lined my driveway with every empty tub I could find. I didn’t use any specific proportions, just A LOT of bleach. I used about 10 bottles of bleach but keep in mind, it was a lot of slipcover. My sectional is like a 3 cushion couch, a loveseat, and a chaise put together. I moved the fabric around every couple of hours to get an even bleach job. Be patient. My first couple of cushion covers took about 48 hours of soaking in the washer. It was much faster outside. I haven’t figured out why. Maybe someone could tell me.

If you want to attempt this, I definitely recommend testing a small piece of fabric first. I was lucky that my slipcover turned out to be 100% cotton denim. Some fabrics won’t release their dye and you might end up with something that you don’t want at all. Also if your skin is sensitive, be sure to wear rubber gloves. It was hard on my hands and I had to grab my dishwashing gloves near the end.

I just love the result. Now I can make some pillows and continue with my living room redo. If you bleach your couch, PLEASE send me pictures or leave me a comment if you have any questions. Thanks for sharing my fun project.

 

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