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  • Using rit dye

    I have heard of using Rit dye to "paint" wood, but I am not having a lot of luck finding good instructions for it. The Rit website, really wasn't that helpful. They had a few wood projects, but it was a more distressed look that they were showing instead of the bright colors I was looking for. I am really interested in obviously how to do it, and how it stands up. I am making puzzles for children so toxicity and color fastness are a concern.

    Anyone have experience with this?

    Patty

  • #2
    I have no experience with Rit dyes however I have been planning to do some experimenting with it for about a year or so. I had thought about trying to mix it with alcohol so It dries quickly and doesn't raise the grain on the wood. Just an idea and don't even know if it will work or not. I'd be interested in hearing about what you learn. I might get around to trying it out next week. I'll let you know if I have any success.
    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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    • #3
      We used it mixed with rubbing alcohol in our "Toys for Kids" program last year. Like Neal said, it dries fast and doesn't raise the grain. We used it on toys made from pine. The only possible problem is if you want dark, solid colors, you may have to put on more than one coat.
      Fred


      There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!

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      • #4
        Just a few questions

        Thank you for your reply. Do you remember what ratio of alcohol to dye and did you use liquid or powder dye? Did you put any kind of a sealer coat on it, and if not was there any problem with the color rubbing off onto clothes, skin, etc.?
        Patty

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        • #5
          I haven't used Rit dyes, but I have used Tandy leather dyes (ref the butterfly in my gallery) with good results. The leather dyes come in all colors and can be used directly from the bottle and rubbed off or let soak for darker tints. You can take a look at www.tandyleather.com .
          Moon
          Old Mooner

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          • #6
            I have used the Rit dyes but have used with denatured alcohol because of the stated reasons. With puzzles you don't want the wood to swell or you will have to sand. Just follow the instructions on the back except for the heating part no need to do that. The thing is you can restain to get a deeper color. There is another product out there that is as good and you have seen it advertised in scroll saw magazines and that is a prodoct by CASHCOATINGS called Aqua Cote. It is a different type of stain but is waterbase but won't raise the grain as much and is safe and works real well. This is the same company that makes Wood Loc which you can use on wood to prevent it from warping such as thin panels. The web site is www.cashcoatings.com They give alot of info about their product worth a check.

            As far as top coating any of the products mentioned can be top coated with anything.
            John T.

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            • #7
              I have never tried Rit dye, but I have used Kool Aid. Nice bright colors – green, red, purple – you know the colors.

              Don't remember how I mixed it, but I used the good old "add-your-own-sugar" type.

              It should be safe for kids projects – after all it's Kool Aid.

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              • #8
                Kool Idea

                Awesome idea Cooter!
                Thanks for sharing.
                CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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                • #9
                  I tried it

                  Thanks for all of the advice everyone. I jumped in a gave it a try today. It seems to work really well. I mixed 2 cups of denatured alcohol to 1 box of dye. In some colors not all of the powder mixed in. Not sure if it was due to temperature (usually you would use boiling water) or if it just couldn't absorb more. Depending on how it mixes up, I think next time I may try adding only 1 cup of denatured alcohol and see if I can get a deeper color without as many coats. But it does dry quick! And most importantly it doesn't raise the grain. I also just dipped the pieces into the dye rather than using a paint brush. Of course now my fingers are pretty colors. I don't know if it would color deeper if I let them soak a bit. I'll have to try.

                  I'll have to give that Kool-aid a try next. Goodness knows it stains everything else, why not wood.
                  Patty

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                  • #10
                    Yes to the question on leaving in longer it will get darker. Yes to the question on it does not all disolve. No matter how much alcohol you use it all will not disolve because it is the dye that is being drawn from the crystals and they remain behind. Yes it does dry fast but this lets you know faster if you have to redip. Yes it stains your fingers and anything else it comes in contact with. Use rubber gloves. I mix mine up in baby food jars and store it in them and they last a long time so I do not have to throw them away. Now depending on the wood you are dying the stain may take differently. Say oak as opposed to poplar with poplar being able to stain easier. Never tried cool-aid and do not know if it will mix with alcohol.
                    John T.

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                    • #11
                      Never tried cool-aid and do not know if it will mix with alcohol.

                      It did at my last party!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sparhawk
                        It did at my last party!
                        Oh that takes me back...A disasterous party in the 80's . Rye Whiskey and Green Kool Aid. Never again!
                        CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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                        • #13
                          Garbage can punch--the staple of most college frat parties. Just don't eat the fruit <grin>

                          Bob
                          www.GrobetUSA.com

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                          • #14
                            This is a wonderful and enlightening thread...

                            I never would have thunk of using kool-aid....
                            "Still Montana Mike"

                            "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                            Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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                            • #15
                              Just don't drink any Kool Aid from Guyana!
                              Fred


                              There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!

                              Comment

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