Reply by newwoodbutcher

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Posted on Using Lee Valley Aniline Dye for the first time...

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798 posts in 3459 days

#1 posted 02-17-2012 12:35 AM

I have learned the hard way one should never, ever apply a coat of anything to their finished project that hasn’t been completely tested on a sample board from the same material all the way to the final top coat.
When you have invested your time money and gorgeous material up to the final finishing stage, you always test. Never practice with live ammunition here. If you’re lucky you might like it, if not???
My recommendation is to make yourself one or sample boards as you are milling material in the beginning of the project. I like to make them 4-5 inches wide and about 20” long. Using a ¼” dado blade on my table saw and using my niter gauge I cross cut shallow grooves ¼’ deep about the same distance apart as the board is wide on both sides ( so I end up with about eight 4”x4” sample boards all attached), sometimes I make two. Then I apply the dye on one of the 4×4 test board at half or less the recommended strength, apply more coats to achieve the color you want after it dries apply a first (and thin) top coat, de-waxed shellac is my choice here once it’s thoroughly dried try knocking down the stand up slivers with a piece of burlap or perhaps even a paper towel. Sometimes just running your hand or a soft cotton rag over the surface will break them off. Then continue adding topcoats of tour chosen finish till you achieve the results you want. On the edge of each test I write the recipe so I can duplicate that exact finish. If when you get to the last coat you just love it, you’re done and you have recorded the recipe. If not move over to the next sample and try something else. I often have 3-4 samples going at the same time.
On finishes I’m practiced at applying I may just do one or two coats to get the color right.

-- Ken

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