Anyone used ColorFX dyes?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 02-20-2015 07:52 AM 5162 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 3170 days

02-20-2015 07:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: transtint colorfx dye


I’m thinking of finally getting some concentrated dyes for more color options. I’ve held off on getting dyes so far because of the expense of getting a zillion dye colors.

I may have found a solution but I’ve never heard of these and was hoping to get some opinions.

There is a brand of dyes called ColorFX:

According to what I’ve read these are supposed to be very similar to TransTint dyes. I think TransTint dyes are well thought of in woodworking circles. Unfortunately, they cost a heck of a lot more:

(Granted, there are more colors in that pack)

I don’t stain all that much so I have a hard time justifying the price of the TransTint. On the other hand I don’t want to get the ColorFX dyes and have them be crummy.

So has anyone used/heard of ColorFX? Do they work? Does anyone know how they compare with TransTint dyes?


10 replies so far

View shipwright's profile


8711 posts in 3875 days

#1 posted 02-20-2015 02:18 PM

I have used Colour FX dyes from Woodessence quite a lot and done a lot of experimenting with them. They are excellent and the twelve colour sample set will give you a lot of working solution. They can be diluted with either water or alcohol or a combination. I now use mostly alcohol because it causes less grain rise and less expansion in small pieces of veneer.
I have a blog on the way I use them here.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View OSU55's profile


2792 posts in 3067 days

#2 posted 02-20-2015 02:58 PM

The Color FX dyes appear to be viable alternative to Transtint, but about the same price (usually find Transtint for $16-$18/2 oz bottle). The colr fx does come in smaller bottles if desired. I will add that Transtint (and probably these as well) will remain useable for years – I have some bottles over 5 years old.

I am also very interested in any comparison of Color FX vs Transtint that anyone can provide.

View Jerry's profile


3488 posts in 2725 days

#3 posted 02-20-2015 04:07 PM

I really wish I could contribute an intelligent response to the actual question, but I don’t have any experience with dyes. That being said, I’ve learned a lot in the last year after I started a refinishing business. I’ve had really good luck with Mohawk toners. The Ultra Classic Toner Aerosol part of their line is dye based, and you can build color very predictably if you are careful. My experience has been that there are only a few colors that are used often, so buying a huge palette is unnecessary. The stuff sells for between 5 and 8 dollars a can, so it’s not that expensive.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1171 posts in 3608 days

#4 posted 02-21-2015 12:57 AM

I also use the ColorFX dyes. They work well, and can be applied directly in an alcohol or water solution, as well as used to tint other finishes (shellac, WB poly, tung oil). I’ve even used them to tint epoxy. A little goes a long way.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3170 days

#5 posted 02-22-2015 12:45 PM

Thanks for the replies. I went ahead and ordered the 12 color kit (smallest bottles available) of the ColorFX dyes. It’s good to hear they’ll last a long time because I suspect I won’t use them up quickly.

The shipping was a bit steep but they have to send them from Canada, so I suppose that’s expected.

Most of the time I prefer to leave wood its natural color but there are times when I’d like to pretty up wood that looks kind of boring on its own. Such as soft maple, alder, poplar, pine, etc. Those woods also happen to be cheaper and if I could make them viable alternatives it might save some dough in the long run.

View shipwright's profile


8711 posts in 3875 days

#6 posted 02-22-2015 02:24 PM

You won’t be sorry. I bought a case of pint canning jars and labeled them with the colours. I kept the cardboard case with the jars to keep them all safe, handy, and together. Now I have instant access to all twelve colours, already mixed up. I think I use them more because they are right there.
Just a thought.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3170 days

#7 posted 02-23-2015 01:30 AM

Don’t the bottles come in eye dropper form? Perhaps I should have looked into that. I can always try and get eyedropper jars.

View shipwright's profile


8711 posts in 3875 days

#8 posted 02-23-2015 01:44 AM

It is concentrate. I didn’t want to have to mix up a working solution every time I used it so I made up half pints of about 2x normal strength. I can use it as is for watercolour dying or add a little alcohol for a more dilute solution. The half pints last a long time.

Yes the bottles do dispense drops.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View mandatory66's profile


202 posts in 3208 days

#9 posted 02-23-2015 03:09 AM

I have no idea what the ColorFX dyes are but I thought I would just throw this out there. I bought an old Miller Falls screw driver that someone had painted the handle grey. I refurbished the driver but wanted to have it in the old Miller Falls Orange /Red color handle. Since it was just for one screwdriver I did not want to spend $10.00 for a can of stain.
So the driver sat unfinished until I went to a craft sore with my wife. In the store they had a bunch of Rit clothing dye
like people used in the old days. I bought the color that matched the Miller Falls color and proceeded to dye the handle I let it dry and put a few coats of poly over it,that was 3 years ago and now you can’t tell it from the original. No fading, cracking bleaching etc. Its water based so you will get some raised grain but I’m sure you guys can handle that. I don’t use dye but if I did I would be looking further into this.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3170 days

#10 posted 02-24-2015 01:38 PM

Interesting… I’ll have to look into those dyes. Once the ColorFX ones come I’ll report on them (not a review until I’ve used them more extensively).

I definitely wanted to get the liquid dyes as I figured they’d be easier to use. I also didn’t want to have to mix up powders every time I wanted to dye something. That being said, I’ve heard WD Lockwood makes a lot of dyes in powder form. So if I ever get really into coloring with dyes I might look into their stuff.

Now I’ll have to read up on how to mix colors…

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