Dyeing wood

wlg2_2February 19, 2006

I heard that dying wood is better than stain? Is this true. If you dye wood,Does the dye go all the way through the wood. Can anyone tell me how the dyeing prosses works.an what is the best way to acomplish wood dying.

Thank you for any input

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Look up 'anilyne dye'.
They are available in water based and non-grain raising (oil/alcohol based). They are applied to the wood and allowed to soak in. Water based require seakling with a wash coat of shellac and then very light sanding to remove the raised grain. Non-grain raising dry very quickly and can be difficult to achieve even coverage.
They produce the ultimate in grain clarity since they are dies and not pigments that can make the grain look 'muddy' by obscuring it.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 7:18PM
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I used Rit clothing dyes to change poplar to a very close cherry. Grain raising was bothersome and I had to sand and re-apply the dye. Dye does not penetrate deeply, possibly only 1/32".

I pre-sealed the wood with a wash coat of 50/50 waterbased poly and sanded before dying.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 11:16AM
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"I pre-sealed the wood with a wash coat of 50/50 waterbased poly and sanded before dying."

Not a recomended method except for cherry and other woods prone to blotching, and wash shellac (2 pounds flakes per gallon of alcohol) os a better block.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 7:50PM
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Add to cherry, most pines, some Maples, poplar, which are all common woods. I was working with poplar and should have mentioned that.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 5:02PM
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I am in the proccess of preparing to build a Les Paul copy guitar. I have seen wood that has been assembled from strips of wood that were individually dyed and the glued together and sanded and varnished. The end result is beautiful. I would like to use this treatment for the body of the Les Paul using Maple. Would the anilyne dye work in this case?


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 11:22AM
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JP, that process doesn't sound right. As baymee said, dye of any sort doesn't penetrate very deeply. If the pieces had been dyed before gluing them together, flattening and sanding the whole assembly afterwards would probably take the dyed parts right off.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 12:21PM
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Water based wood dyes penetrate the wood fiber itself instead of covering the wood surface, this is why it gives such a great lasting color. I really love working wood, and my favorite part is the finishing process. I use water based dyes for numerous reasons, too long to list, but if you want to prevent the dyes from going to deep, you can apply some water with a fine mist spray bottle before applying the dye stain, dab off the excess, lightly sand, let dry to the touch and repeat. Then apply the dyes while the wood is still a little damp. The dyes will not absorb as fast. There is a wood dye kit on the market that offers 5 color dyes in one kit, which is now the only product I use, and they said you can also take a very light mix of the dye stain (Like less than an 1/8th tsp of dye powder to a 1/2 gallon of water ratio, this will depend on the dye's strength. Like 5 grams making a quart of dye stain compared to needing an entire ounce), and apply the same process for added layers of coloring; this process also works great.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 3:16AM
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"JP, that process doesn't sound right."

It al comes down to alignment during glue up.

There are numerous ways to physical 'key' the pieces to provide alignment that does not show fro the outside on the finished product, and requires minimal surfacing to produce a flat surface.

Couple that with various methods to use pressure to force aniline dye deep into many softer woods.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 6:19PM
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