Wood Dye Recommendations Please - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-04-2017, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Question Wood Dye Recommendations Please

I do a lot of woodwork with rock maple. I've only used stains and oils to play with coloring the wood until now. Some stains have been hit or miss with the maple.

Had a project this week where a few spots of stain got sanded off accidentally and have been having a hell of a time trying to get the stain to fill in those areas. I pre-sealed the wood with Zinseer sanding sealer before I applied the initial coat. Now everything's a mess, sanding, using sealers, pre-conditioners, applying more stain, using mineral spirits to try to thin things out, just ..ugh.. would've been faster to repeat the whole project over again and stain from scratch.

So, now I'm looking into wood dying instead to see if that's any easier and would like to try a kit of colors. Again, I work with a lot of rock maple. Any dyes and/or procedures that work best with that?
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-04-2017, 09:45 AM
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You have to keep in mind dyes are not as colorfast as oil stains. If the durability of the color is important then a dye isn't a good choice. I pretty much only use dyes to fine tune a color or shade where the stain wasn't dark enough.

By using a homemade wood conditioner with the sealcoat you may have sealed it too much. You probably need to tinker with the formula to see how much thinner is needed to do the job.

Since you have sealcoat on the surface, which is a shellac, I would recommend using an alcohol based dye stain to shade and even out the color. Since it's thinned with alcohol it will bond well to the shellac. It will have to be sprayed though. It has the appearance of being nothing when you apply it so much care needs to be taken not to apply too much. You can always go back and apply more but if you get too much on then that involves refinishing. I like this this dye stain. http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/cata...asp?ictNbr=178
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-04-2017, 03:06 PM
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I like Lockwood's water based dyes. The water based dyes tend to be more colorfast than the alcohol based dyes. I prep maple for coloring with 1 pound cut dewaxed shellac, followed by a light sanding with 220 grit paper on a block. This is to tone down the blotching that maple is prone to. After I get the color I want, I apply a heavy coat of danish oil to help "pop" the grain of the maple. Once that is completely cured, I proceed with wipe on varnish until I get the build I want. Here's an example of this finish on maple. The dye was Lockwood's nbr. 8.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/membe...7-maple-hutch/

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Last edited by Jim Frye; 02-04-2017 at 03:09 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-04-2017, 05:33 PM
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I like TransTint dye concentrate. You can mix it with either water or alcohol. http://homesteadfinishingproducts.co...t-liquid-dyes/

You can get dramatic effects in curly or quilted maple by dyeing the wood one color, sanding to remove some of the dye and then dying with another color.


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Last edited by Quickstep; 02-04-2017 at 05:37 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-05-2017, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorn495 View Post

So, now I'm looking into wood dying instead to see if that's any easier and would like to try a kit of colors. Again, I work with a lot of rock maple. Any dyes and/or procedures that work best with that?
Alot of guys use transtint, but working with Sherwin Williams, I use their S61 dye concentrates.

They have black, orange, red, yellow, blue, brown, and bordeaux. With these colors you can mix and match any of them to make any color you want. I even add a little of the Sherwin Williams P63 white vinyl to the dye when I need that kinda smokey look. As far as solvents go, you can mix the dyes in acetone, lacquer thinner, alcohols, and water.....you can even tint sealers, lacquers, shellac, poly, etc to make toners.....because these dyes are Universal dyes, which means they will mix into everything, even alkyd based wipe stains. I strictly use black, yellow, and red (thats the only colors you really need) all the time to make NGR dye stains. Here are some high points:

1. Reducible with a variety of solvents and with water.
2. A color palette of seven bright clean colors which makes all color matches possible.
3. Can be used under all SHER-WOOD® solvent and water based clears.
4. Excellent light fastness and fade resistance.
5. Blendable with the water reducible wipe stain line to make dye or dye/pigmented wiping stains.

Each bottle is a quart and runs about $80 each which some people may think is alot, but do the math. I use the dyes almost every day and a bottle will last me well over a year. They are very strong, so you dont need alot. On average, I usually make quart stains and I roughly have only 15 grams of dye to a quart, unless its a really dark stain like espresso, then I might use up to 35 grams of color to 600 grams of whatever solvent Im using.

Matching colors on different substrates is easy. All it takes is patience and beer.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-05-2017, 11:32 AM
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Forgot about SW. The painters left a gallon of it from when our house was built. It was mixed as water based and works fairly well on the pine and birch that our home was finished with. I'm glad they left it. Now I don't have to worry about color matching anything in the future.

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post #7 of 9 Old 02-05-2017, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Frye View Post
Forgot about SW. The painters left a gallon of it from when our house was built. It was mixed as water based and works fairly well on the pine and birch that our home was finished with. I'm glad they left it. Now I don't have to worry about color matching anything in the future.
Your one lucky man, LOL.

Matching colors on different substrates is easy. All it takes is patience and beer.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-06-2017, 07:19 PM
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Alot of guys use transtint, but working with Sherwin Williams, I use their S61 dye concentrates.

They have black, orange, red, yellow, blue, brown, and bordeaux. With these colors you can mix and match any of them to make any color you want. I even add a little of the Sherwin Williams to the dye when I need that kinda smokey look. As far as solvents go, you can mix the dyes in acetone, lacquer thinner, alcohols, and water.....you can even tint sealers, lacquers, shellac, poly, etc to make toners.....because these dyes are Universal dyes, which means they will mix into everything, even alkyd based wipe stains. I strictly use black, yellow, and red (thats the only colors you really need) all the time to make NGR dye stains. Here are some high points:

1. Reducible with a variety of solvents and with water.
2. A color palette of seven bright clean colors which makes all color matches possible.
3. Can be used under all SHER-WOOD® solvent and water based clears.
4. Excellent light fastness and fade resistance.
5. Blendable with the water reducible wipe stain line to make dye or dye/pigmented wiping stains.

Each bottle is a quart and runs about $80 each which some people may think is alot, but do the math. I use the dyes almost every day and a bottle will last me well over a year. They are very strong, so you dont need alot. On average, I usually make quart stains and I roughly have only 15 grams of dye to a quart, unless its a really dark stain like espresso, then I might use up to 35 grams of color to 600 grams of whatever solvent Im using.
To have a gray dye. Would you take the black dye and mix in P63 white vinyl?

Thanks
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-08-2017, 10:47 AM
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To have a gray dye. Would you take the black dye and mix in P63 white vinyl?

Thanks
You can do that, but it doesnt take alot of the P63 white, only a couple of drops. Too much and it will get cloudy looking.

Here is a formula for a grey pad I use here in the lab. This is a pad stain, but you can substitute the ethanol for what ever solvent you choose to use for your dye stain:

Ethanol 702.31 grams
S61B500 17.34 grams
S61Y504 4.03 grams

That formula will yield you 1 quart. If its not light enough, ad a couple of drops of P63 White. You can also reduce the strenght by adding more solvent if its too strong.

Remember, the P63 will not go into a weak solvent like ethanol, alcohol, etc. It will go into lacquer thinner, acetone, etc.....stronger solvents.

Matching colors on different substrates is easy. All it takes is patience and beer.
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