LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner

Aniline dyes?

1723 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  woodbutcher
Folks I need your input. Maybe suggestions and facts concerning the use of aniline dyes. If I were to attempt to use these type dyes for some color matching of sapwood to heartwood, what are the major pitfalls I can expect to incurr? I guess my major concerns are as follows. how long would it take for the heartwood which will usuually darken by itself with age to reach a point that the dyed areas would become noticeably less congruent? Will I spend more time and effort trying to mix and match colors than just biting the bullet and purchasing only super select heartwoods in the beginning? I am afraid that I'd have to purchase in some instances the largest log run known to man to get the color matching for certain projects. In essence, just how good are the dyes that are available and what kind of learning curve can I expect? Any comments and help will be much appreciated. TY in advance.

Ken McGinnis
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Ken, I use the water soluble aniline dyes exclusively. They are the most color fast of the dyes and you will notice that they actually color the wood, unlike stains that just seem to sit on the surface. I work mostly in oak, so the color matching of sap wood is not too difficult. I've used it on walnut with great results. Like you said, woods that darken with age may show the repair over time.
The dyes are easy to use and mix to get the color you're after. Highland woodworking has a sample pack of Arti dyes. You can practice with these to get the nack of using the dyes. Be sure to seal the wood with an oil after you get the color you want.
Of course, the best results will be to weed out any sap wood that you can in your projects, or incorporate it into the piece, so it looks like you designed it that way.
Give them a try, especially since you do a lot of work in oak, and I think you'll be happy with the results.
I agree with tenontim.
I've used it on Tiger Maple and it came out beautiful….some day…...I'll post pictures when I have the time.
tenontim, Ty for your suggestion and your answer as to the repair showing itself overtime! That was one of my biggest concerns. I did not want to use the dyes if in fact they could be seen as having been a repair so to speak over time. My main reason for asking was to see if maybe it would be advantageous to purchase some lesser expensive grades of say Cherry and Walnut which I have access to at very reasonably discounted prices and dyeing the sapwood which would probably account for about 50% of the wood being purchased. I think since sapwood doesn't generally have the same dramatic figure as heartwood, I'd be better off just buying the more expensive heartwood only. You've been a great help in answering my question. Sometimes my questions aren't as clear to me as they should be! I think any use I would have for the dyes would be for just minor pieces I may have overlooked during initial construction of most projects. I may have to check out the Arti pack of dyes at Highland Wood working, and play with them a bit when I have more time. Thank you again for your help. John Gray, Ty for your reply as well and I'll be looking forward to seeing some of your Tiger Maple results using the dyes.

Ken McGinnis
See less See more
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.