Anyone have a good way to unscrew this dye issue?

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Forum topic by bc4393 posted 08-28-2018 03:19 AM 867 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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86 posts in 1745 days

08-28-2018 03:19 AM

I tried a method to add dye to dewaxed shallac and it got way too much into the grain of this maple box where it looked like garbage. I’m thinking perhaps I didn’t sand progressively through the grits enough and left too much open grain for the dye to adhere too. I spent about 4 hours resanding the outside of the box to get it all out but I did the inside of the box with the same stuff. Needless to saw the inside was less finished than the outside was when I did it. Now I need to get in there and sand it with 120 enough to get down to the dye and sand it out. Of course it’s curly maple so its hard too… I got a lot of it out just cramming a block in there and going to town but in and around the corners it a PIA.

The only way I could come up with that might be easi(er) then wearing my fingers to the bone with a million small pieces of sandpaper attached to a small flexible scale is possibly an oscillating multitool with the sanding head to get in close to the corners and finish it up by hand. Anyone have any experience or advice? Pissed me off because I could probably build another box from scratch in the time it took me to undo this mess but I know this is how you learn. :/

10 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8811 posts in 3179 days

#1 posted 08-28-2018 03:22 AM

Practice on scrap first.

” Pissed me off because I could probably build another box from scratch in the time it took me to undo this mess”

Build another box and welcome to the learning curve.

View Rayne's profile


1298 posts in 2142 days

#2 posted 08-28-2018 03:25 AM

Cut a square or rectangle block of wood that will be comfortable to you, glue a piece of sandpaper to it (I use spray adhesive), cut it flush to the block and then go to town sanding the corners without destroying your fingers.

View WoodenDreams's profile


881 posts in 513 days

#3 posted 08-28-2018 05:19 AM

I’ve have used oscilating detail sanders before for jobs like this. I have 4 of them, they come in handy for the corners. You’ll leave a black foam mark from the sander where it hit into the box from sanding, attacking the area, then sand blending the appearance back, The black mark from the foam pad on the detail sander sands off easily afterwards. or use painters tape to eliminate the chance of the black marks.

View LittleShaver's profile


608 posts in 1221 days

#4 posted 08-28-2018 12:20 PM

Card scraper.
Have you tried wiping with DNA? Shellac is easy to dissolve with DNA.

-- Sawdust Maker

View bondogaposis's profile


5604 posts in 2953 days

#5 posted 08-28-2018 01:02 PM

Take a piece PSA sandpaper and stick to the end of a putty knife. It makes sanding corners much easier.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View WoodenDreams's profile


881 posts in 513 days

#6 posted 08-28-2018 02:20 PM

Have you considered putting in a 1/4” thick Aromatic Cedar Lining.It’s available at most of the hardware & lumber stores.

View jmos's profile


917 posts in 2971 days

#7 posted 08-28-2018 02:39 PM

It’s not a mistake, it’s a design change; you could just go with it and stain the whole thing uniformly darker. It should be sealed now, due to the shellac. A glaze coat of a darker color should go a long way toward evening it all out.

-- John

View pintodeluxe's profile


6032 posts in 3415 days

#8 posted 08-28-2018 02:59 PM

First of all you tried one of the hardest finishing techniques out there, so give yourself a break. Adding a dye or stain to a topcoat is called tinting. It is my absolute last resort in terms of type of finish. I’ve used it to re-tint kitchen cabinets, but I wouldn’t use it for a new (bare wood) project. For me, tinting is a job that is only applied with a sprayer, and never by brush or rag.

Separating the coloring phase from the topcoat phase will make both easier, and lead to a professional looking result. That said, you have to be very careful applying dyes. I’ve found a terrycloth-wrapped sponge works best. You can find them at woodworking stores and hardware stores sold as staining sponges. Oil based stains are much more forgiving.

Good luck with it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View clin's profile


1075 posts in 1598 days

#9 posted 08-28-2018 08:35 PM

A sander a like for getting into corners like that is a Black and Decker Mouse. There are several versions. This is the one I have. Works well.

-- Clin

View chrisstef's profile


18021 posts in 3608 days

#10 posted 08-28-2018 08:38 PM

A chisel plane might get you there as well. Likely with a back bevel on it to deal with the funky grain of curly maple.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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