Music Instrument #1: violin colouring

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Blog entry by mikpac posted 04-14-2013 07:52 AM 708 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I am trying to use aniline dye to colour a violin before varnishing.This is the first time that I am using a dye for staining.However,each time that I coat the violin,the dye turns powdery,after it dries,and does not penetrate the timber as it is supposed to do.I have sanded the wood to its bare natural colour,prior to dying,but even after three coats of aniline dye dissolved in water;the result is dismal.

-- mikpac

4 comments so far

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 2960 days

#1 posted 04-14-2013 05:24 PM

I take it you are using water base Dye. Are you using distilled water? That could be your problem. Also are you using almost boiling water? That could cause it to not totally dissolve. I hope these ideal help.

View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#2 posted 04-14-2013 06:05 PM

“MIXING/APPLICATION: Do not pour water over the powder, but gradually add the powder to hot (not boiling) water. It should dissolve in about fifteen minutes. “


View mikpac's profile


6 posts in 1870 days

#3 posted 04-15-2013 12:44 AM

That may be the issue here,is that I poured water directly into the powder.As to using distilled water,it didn’t enter my mind ,as I flunked chemistry lol. However I will try these suggestions.It maybe that I’m using the wrong kind of dye,and I was sold the spirit soluble kind.thanks for your suggestions guys.

-- mikpac

View DS's profile


2917 posts in 2418 days

#4 posted 04-18-2013 08:46 PM

Spirit dyes need denatured alcohol to dissolve them.

The violin in my avatar is finished with an aniline dye.
I used an egg-white sealer and oil-based clear varnish then coated with the dye.

A clean cloth, damp with alcohol, will allow you to smooth and adjust the dye density and shading until you get exactly what you want. It is a different experience from stains and other wood finishes.
A few more coats of clear varnish seals the deal.

It might be a good idea to practice on a sample board to get comfortable with the process before you attack the instrument.

Best of luck to you.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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