removing trans tint dye from tiger maple

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Blog entry by Bob Casey posted 09-26-2014 08:34 AM 1352 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am not happy with the way a project came out. I wanted to try trans tint dye I mixed it with water put on a tiger maple piece looked good except on the exposed end grain it was just too dark. I was told by a friend I should have shellacked the end grain first Oh well too late. Is there anyway product that will remove the dye from the total project so that the project can be redone or just toss it and make another

-- woodnutbob

4 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile


15481 posts in 2429 days

#1 posted 09-26-2014 11:42 AM

Shellac on the end grain will definitely help out. Depending on how much it absorbed you should be able to sand most of it right off.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2263 posts in 1792 days

#2 posted 09-26-2014 02:38 PM

Dye penetrates pretty well and it might be a pain to remove it all, if I had to, I’d grab a plane and get a workout.

I’ve never tried this, but you could try wetting a rag or paper towel, and then leave it on the endgrain and see if you can pull absorb of the dye back out, but I think that’d be a longshot. You might just soak it further in.

Is it just the end grain you’re not happy with? Not knowing what the project is, if it were something you can trim down slightly (just enough to remove the dyed portion) like a box top, could you trim a sliver off, add a shellac sealcoat, and re-dye the end-grain?

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View AandCstyle's profile


2540 posts in 1680 days

#3 posted 09-26-2014 10:59 PM

The capillary action probably pulled the dye quite a way into the maple. Before you attempt to shave a bit off the end, I suggest you apply your solution to another piece of the maple prepared the same as the original, then cut off a 1/16” at a time to find out how much you need to remove to get back to undyed wood.

If you elect to use shellac, reduce to a 1# cut or less, but try it on a sample first. Another option I have used successfully is to sand endgrain 1-2 grits finer than you used on the rest of the piece, e.g. if you sand to 180G, then go to 220 or even 320G on the endgrain. Finally, you could try bleaching just the end grain, but that might create other problems.

The preferred way to experiment is to test your entire finishing schedule on a sample board to ensure you are happy with the results, then finish your project. HTH

-- Art

View Marcio Wilges's profile

Marcio Wilges

26 posts in 719 days

#4 posted 11-20-2014 05:20 AM

Short of submerging the entire piece of material, I really don’t think that full removal of dye and tint can really be achieved my friend. Short of grinding it down, the sides will still show what little they’ve absorbed, so the best bet if you really HATE the colour that it’s taken on, is to relaly start from scratch and get a new piece of wood. All the best with that though and should you find a way to remove the stain, share the good news!

-- Marcio Wilges @

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