Finish over transtint dye

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Fadi Zeidan, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    hey guys,

    I've been experimenting with transtint both mixed in alcohol and water, liking water more so far. For the black color, I switched to speedball India black ink then go over it with red and/or yellowish color after sanding.

    For the finish, I've experimented tried Deft spray lacquer both gloss and satin and it's ok not amazing for me. From what I've read, everyone say spray and don't rub a finish over dyes but was wondering what you guys think. Can you go Danish Oil, or other type of finish over dyes?

    Any other advice on coloring and finishing?
     
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Since Danish oil is really a polyurethane/linseed oil blend it can be used over dye. The same is true for Minwax Antique Oil Finish and similar other products. HOWEVER, you need to recognize that those type of finishes are in many respects just like applying amber dye over the top of your other dyes. If you aren't familiar with the artists color wheel when it comes to blending colors, it would be very useful to get a color wheel or read some texts on the science of color. Applying an oil based varnish over over blue for example will turn it green and in general will make any color appear to be a bit drab. I have done quite a bit of dyeing and my favorite topcoat is Deft gloss lacquer. The lacquer topcoat isn't going to look good without a lot of preliminary preparation as well as work after the finish has cured. Before doing any dyeing the surface must be absolutely smooth and sanded to 400 grit because even the slightest surface imperfection is going to show up in all of it's glory in a high gloss finish. Before applying the topcoat the dyed surface should be sanded to 600 grit and then cleaned with compressed air and/or a shop vac to remove all dust. The lacquer should be applied in multiple very light coats and allowing the finish to dry completely between coats. Finally, I level the surface to remove orange peel and other imperfections using Micromesh going all the way up to 12,000 grit. The final step is to polish with Novus 2 applied with a cotton ball. The other ingredient is lots of elbow grease. :D

    I do not use water to dilute the dye because of grain raising problems and extremely long time to dry sufficiently to apply the topcoat. I use alcohol and then burn off the alcohol using a charcoal lighter. I lightly sand with 600 grit between layers of dye.

    Note also that the color of the wood will alter the dye color and even very light wood like maple is still very yellowish. When dyeing with vivid colors, it is best to first bleach the wood with a two part sodium hydroxide / hydrogen peroxide bleach and then allow the wood to completely dry before proceeding. You can get wood to an almost paper white color by doing this.
     
  3. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    That is a lot of sanding bill :) it will look like glass at the end of it I bet. I should try the Micromesh approach.

    The reason I liked water based more so than alcohol base is because the color was more consistent. I'm carving my turning (practicing on a flat piece right now different methods) and then coloring the high flat spots which takes time. I agree it raises the grain, and I've sanded it down carefully around the carved areas. I can try adding something (forgot what it is called) to the alcohol mix to slow it down.

    I see your point about oil finish Changing the wood color. I'll also experiment with bleaching the wood, that sounds interesting.
     
  4. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Bill I do something similar but no Micromesh. What is Novus 2? Oh and I use an airbrush to apply the lacquer so easily get light coats and no orange peel.
    As to Fadi with transtint since you have to mix the color and diluent must be measured or you will get color differences in each mix.
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Novus 2 is a polish that is used by pen turners and others who turn cast resins or use CA as a finish.

    I have a spray rig, but I never have enough stuff to spray to justify using it. Even when I don't get orange peel, it's always something that requires me to level and polish the finish

    I have some eight ounce bottles that I fill with denatured alcohol and then count the number of drops of TransTint that I add. Some of my bottles contain a mixture of dyes to produce special colors such as blue and red to get purple. Most denatured alcohol now being sold is about 60% or more methanol and 40% or less ethanol. and besides being very toxic I feel like it is less satisfactory as a diluent for dyes. Klein Strip has a "new" environmentally green denatured alcohol that is about 90% ethanol and less than 5% methanol. It's funny that the new environmentally friendly DNA is basically the same as the regular old DNA from many years ago before the price of ethanol became much more expensive than methanol. Here are links to the SDS for each type of DNA made by Klean Strip:

    I haven't been satisfied with TransTint dyes because they fade over time so I seldom use them now. I have switched to Chestnut dyes a few years ago and find them to have colors that are much more vivid and don't fade.
     
    Gerald Lawrence likes this.

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