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Thread: Question about dyes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Question about dyes

    Odd... I know I saw something, but I did a search for 'dye' and came up empty. Oh, well...

    So here's my question. I've never dyed wood before. This is part of the ongoing picture frame project. Doorlink's favorite color is purple... But I can't afford to make a dozen frames out of purpleheart, and anyway I don't want them all to look the same. I'd also like to do some in blue. Keep in mind that the frames will be routed, so sanding all those nooks and crannies evenly would be a big hassle. I'll likely be using sycamore, though pine would do for some of them. I've been finishing frames with poly so far, or thinned poly, or a poly/BLO/naptha mix, wiped on. I've never tried any other finish.

    So, given all that, what dye would you use? It has to be so failsafe that even an idiot like me can't mess it up. It has to dry fairly quickly. And I really really don't want to be raising the grain on these things. They're frames for posters, so they need to look good over the next five to ten years... they ain't heirlooms, and I ain't framing an Ingres (well, at least not an original). Oh, and did I mention: the cheaper the better?




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    There are some excellent non-grain-raising (NGR) dies out there. I use mostly Behlen's Solar Lux. The Woodburst line has a pack with 8 or so little bottles of some outrageous colors. You can mix the woodburst stuff to get just about any color you want. I would chose between the two based on how much coverage I need and how many different colors. Only problem with Solar Lux is that (I think) it only comes in fairly large bottles, so for a small project it would be expensive if you don't use it all.

    After the dye, seal it with a wash coat of shellac (or just use a can of Zinsser spray shellac), then top coat with poly or whatever.

    Another option if you aren't tied to dye (almost a pun there ) is a couple of cans of spray paint....

    Good luck and don't forget the pics
    Don't believe everything you think!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Santa Rosa, CA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    The current (March ?) FWW has a good article on dyes too. Just read it and learned stuff I didn't know. Going to try dyes soon I think.

    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Check out analine dyes. Here's one:
    There are water soluble and alcohol soluble. Water will, of course, raise grain, alcohol won't (much).
    There are also acid techniques. I use an acid stain on figured maple gunstocks.
    The old method of putting fine steel wool in vinegar for blackening oak and some other woods is liked by a lot. Has never worked for me.

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