can you use stew-mac dye in wipe on poly?

dmraco

Senior member
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4,651
I am starting to finish my latest black korina beauty and I want to give it a hint of amber.  I know putting a dye directly on the korina is not a good option.  Can I mix dye with minwax wipe on poly?  Thanks.
 

Patrick from Davis

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2,197
You can dye Korina, I did it.  I used Reranch alcohol dyes, and it came out looking like "nuclear carrot."  That was a bit of a bummer, but I washed it with paper towels and clean denatured alcohol and it tamed down into a nice amber color.  If you are going to pigment the finish, I would get stuff that people have already used, like Reranch Fender neck amber, or talk to some one like Tonar about mixing it with the finish.  Then I'd get a number of test pieces.  My experience leads me to believe that 4-6 test pieces will let you know if it is do-able, and fine tune the formula.  Your results may vary, I didn't have all that much experience with dyes when I started.
Patrick

 

dmraco

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4,651
I have already filled the grain and have found that dyes do not work real well after that process.  I am afraid of a blotchy result
 

Keyser Soze

Senior member
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206
You really need to contact the dye manufacturer or do an experiment on some scrap material.

Although even if they are compatible my advice to you would be to mix up a separate amount of dyed finish and apply no more than one coat (which will mean further experimentation in order to achieve the proper effect.)  I find the best results are to make up a fairly strongly dyed solution and apply one thin coat - this tends to result in the most even application short of using spray gear.  Applying multiple coats of dyed finish by hand is recipe for uneven or blotchy results.

Another alternative would be a coat of amber shellac.
 

Patrick from Davis

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2,197
I found the same thing to an extent, the problem is there are patches of grain fill that have started to make a finish layer, not just fill grain.  I continued to sand and check with naphtha to make sure that the excess grain filler was removed.  Quite tedious, boring, and really what felt like moving backwards because the grain I thought was filled wasn't.  When you wet it with the naphtha you can see the grainfill that has not been removed quite easily.  If you do not want to mess with that, I don't blame you for a moment, try finding "vintage" tint finishes.  I know that there are some urethanes for wood floors that are designed with a "vintage finish" color that has amber tint in it.  It would probably be best to get that and clear in case you do not want every coat to add more amber after you get it to the coloring effect you like.
Patrick

 

dmraco

Senior member
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4,651
the answer is no.

I added some dye to my poly.  Looked like a scheince experiment.  1st I had little brown bubbles floating around.  SO I mixed it with a wood mixer....come out completely clear.  No brown.  I guess the term suspension would best describe it.   Basic chem 101.  I guess if I wuold have esed a water based clean it would have worked.

Patrick, to your point about getting all the grain fill off.  I did that and used naptha.  I have found even with removing all the grain fill, the wood never takes wipe on dyes or stain the same.  You are left to spraying.  I guess I could have dyed the grain fill....
 

Keyser Soze

Senior member
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206
As a general rule all dying or staining should be done prior to grain fill.  If you are going to use an oil based final finish you really should use an oil based fill.  Some water based products are 'compatible' (at least physically) but I've found that the difference in diffractive indices makes the grain filler stand out visually in an unpleasant way.

The question then is whether to seal prior to grain filling.  The answer is complex and depends on the specific materials used and the overall desired effect (many grain fillers will color unsealed wood - this can be good or bad depending on your desired outcome.)

IME no grain fill product will render a glass like surface - unless you are willing leave a layer of fill over the entire surface.  That's why it is common to use some sort of sanding sealer even after grain filling and prior to final finish.
 
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