Dye on wood end grain?

Old 01-29-05, 08:31 AM
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Question Dye on wood end grain?

I am considering using an aniline dye on a furniture project. My experience with solvent based stains on end grain has been less than great, despite some of the suggested workarounds (fine sanding, sealing, etc.)

Will dyes have the same problem?
Old 01-29-05, 06:25 PM
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Dyes and stains take more darkly in the endgrain, but aniline dye is more manageable because you can blot some of it out. You can mix it more thinly and work up to more of a match of the longgrain by adding coats, if you will. Aniline dye dyes the wood fiber instead of coating it the way most stains do. If you have never used aniline, you will find that it does not muddy the wood when it colors the wood. It is more controllable than the usual semi-opaque stains that so many have used for so long.

I would make a fine cut across the engrain. If you don't have a high quality blade such as a WoodWorker II, then a cabinet scraper can approach a fine cut. This tends to shred the endgrain less, thereby reducing the surface area for absorption of the dye or stain.

Despite all you do, the endgrain will still be the endgrain and look the same.

Hope this helps.
Old 01-30-05, 06:36 AM
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Thanks for the information. Making a more dilute solution for end grain makes a lot of sense. Luckily, or unluckily, I always seems to have a lot of scrap, so trial pieces are no problem.

I'm looking forward to my experience with dye, having been rather dissapointed with the result from regular stains. I've sometimes thought I should have just painted a piece rather than stain it.

I have indeed invested in a Woodworker II blade, and have found it to give wonderful results. The extra cost was more than worth it in terms of time saved smoothing the cut edge!

Thanks again!
Old 01-30-05, 07:43 AM
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Before you go to the extent of spending your money on costly dyes, try wiping mineral spirts/paint thinner on the piece of wood first, allow to dry for about 15 to 30 seconds and then stain the end grain. See if you like that look, if not, then dyes are the way to go. "Only if you're using oil based stains"
Old 01-30-05, 08:42 AM
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I have tried that technique, but I think I waited longer than the few seconds you recommend. I will try that also.

I'll probably try both. After all, the best part of this hobby is trying something new.....which also leads to my abundant supply of scrap wood.

Old 01-30-05, 09:22 AM
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If you have access to alcohol based dyes, you can use the following mixture.

Seal the wood, sand 320 then mix up in a cup gun 70% thinner 20% dyes 10% the finish you're using so it gives it "bite"

It will take a while to build your color doing it this way, if you're trying to achieve a medium to darker color. You can still wipe it down with spirts first, then stain it, then seal, etc.

You don't want to soak the wood with spirts either, but you want it to be wet. Wipe off excess and stain the wood.

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