Dye in polyurethane

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Forum topic by Carloz posted 08-25-2017 04:32 AM 761 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1364 days

08-25-2017 04:32 AM

I messed up.
Stained maple with light brown GF water based dye. Then another coat of medium brown. This is not the first time I did it, alway gave me great results. Then sprayed a coat of amber shellac to warm it up. Then a coat of dewaxed shellac, then GF water based polyurethane.
When i did the same on a test piece the color matched perfectly the rest of the furniture. I did not use the spraygun though. But the real thing came out much lighter. Redoing it out of question.
I was thinking about mixing the rest of brown dye into polyurethane and add a coat or two.
Did anyone try this? And why did it appear much lighter ?

6 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6241 posts in 3265 days

#1 posted 08-25-2017 10:31 AM

When you say “mixing the rest of brown dye into polyurethane”, I’m guessing you mean the GF waterborne? If so, you are making a toner and it should do what you want if you spray it. But trying to brush it may leave color streaks similar to what happens if you use Min Wax Polyshades. It may also muddy the appearance of the finish. No idea why the finish piece didn’t turn out like the test piece.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1364 days

#2 posted 08-25-2017 12:02 PM

I also found that the manufacturer suggests doing exactly this so it should be safe. And yes, I am spraying it.
I probably know why the finish came out different. When I was trying on the test piece it was warm and dry. When doing the rest it was rather cold and slightly drizzling (I did it outside under carport). So different conditions probably caused different dye absorption rate. Leave and learn.

View OSU55's profile


2647 posts in 2762 days

#3 posted 08-25-2017 02:28 PM

Never used the gf dye (use Transtint) but wb to wb it will work very well, I do it all the time. Dye in the topcoat will greatly enhance the intensity of the color and be very transparent, no covering of the grain like stain does. I typically use Transtint in shellac for a toner, then only put a small amount of color into the topcoat. Transtint honey amber gives wb finishes the tone of ob poly.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 4643 days

#4 posted 08-25-2017 02:36 PM

if you use Gf dye in a top coat , test first , some times, especially reds, will continue to bleed thru , meaning you wipe the top with a damp cloth and you will see color, I always do a untinted final coat

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1364 days

#5 posted 08-25-2017 02:54 PM

Thanks Charles, Yes I am going to give it a final light coat of clear polyurethane.
The very first coat of the finish on this piece is your famous wood conditioner. Keeps the blotching out :-)

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1364 days

#6 posted 08-26-2017 03:47 AM

It came out acceptable. There is a very slight obscuring of the wood grain but it is mostly visible only when comparing untreated piece.

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