Hair dye as a wood stain? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-27-2018, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Hair dye as a wood stain?

I want to dye a small piece of burl pink and Iím wondering if hair dye will work.

Has anyone ever used hair dye to color wood?
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-27-2018, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
I want to dye a small piece of burl pink and Iím wondering if hair dye will work.

Has anyone ever used hair dye to color wood?
I would not. You don't know if the hair color would be colorfast on wood or not.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-27-2018, 08:32 AM
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If it will put color into hair I would think it would dye the wood, the issue is what is the chemical makeup of the dye? I know some of that stuff is pretty nasty.

Have you thought about getting some of the small cans of rustoleum in white and red, then thinning it way down?
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-27-2018, 12:25 PM
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Hair is protein, mostly keratin. The hair color chemistry is made to bind to that.
Wood is mostly cellulose, a carbohydrate that very few critters can digest at all.
Wood dyes bind to cellulose, not protein with the same effect.

Find some post secondary botany lab. See if you can score a gram or two of Saffranin O.
Dissolve that in maybe 500ml Everclear (or 95% if you can find it.)

Don't use denatured lab alcohol. It's usually poisoned with some crap like Jet B that spoils the binding.

Test on scrap for time. I'll predict soaking for an hour+.
Saffranin O in alcohol should stick to your skin for less than a month.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-27-2018, 02:28 PM
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Stains everything else, can't imagine why it wouldn't stain wood too. Color fastness might be an issue,but with a fi ish over it I doubt it. Can't hurt to give it a shot on some scrap.

Leather dyes also work in wood

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-27-2018, 04:36 PM
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rits

rits close dye works and has lots of colors. as always test before use. carl.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-27-2018, 04:41 PM
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rits

rits close dye works good on wood. as always test first. carl.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-28-2018, 12:03 AM
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I've heard of people using food coloring for stain only to come back later and admit the color badly faded. You just don't know when you start jury rigging. I would rather used something I could depend on and yet some well known wood stains are not colorfast either. Minwax fades so bad I suspended using it a couple years ago.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-28-2018, 12:11 AM
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I suggested Saffranin O only because it's light fast under a microscope for 40-60 years.
There are no others for botanical histology which are effective.

Start with a red/pink wood such as Australian Red Cedar.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-28-2018, 10:19 AM
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RIT clothing dye is probably a better choice. Mix it with mineral spirits instead of water.

Note: This is a permanent dye and available in a million colors at the fabric store. However I have never used it on wood. I did use it to color the faded carpet in my old car however, and it worked fine.

The old formula was in powder form. I see they are pushing liquid form now.

https://www.ritdye.com/products/
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Last edited by Packard; 08-28-2018 at 10:22 AM.
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post #11 of 11 Old 08-28-2018, 01:35 PM
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I always forget about RIT dyes. Good choice.
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