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Issues with Water Based Aniline Dye

by Ed
posted 1152 days ago


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76 replies

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#1 posted 1152 days ago

Oops I just realized that those 2 are the same picture. Here is the other..

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Steven H

1110 posts in 1662 days


#2 posted 1152 days ago

Water based Dyes are water soluble, so when you put green dye over dried yellow dye it will wake it up.
It will bleed into water based finishes especially if brushed or wiped.

Best to apply it is to spray even coats.

-- shdesign3.com

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#3 posted 1152 days ago

Hi Steven!

Thanks for your reply! I’d really like to avoid spraying. I’m not setup for it. I’m using foam sponges now. Do you think a different applicator (other than spray) would work?

Or perhaps a different “vehicle”? I have plenty of powder left so mixing a new batch wouldn’t be a problem.

Thanks again!
Ed

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DLCW

522 posts in 1256 days


#4 posted 1152 days ago

Ed,

Like Steven indicated dyes are either water or alcohol soluble. When you apply a different color dye over another dye it will dissolve the first coat and bleed them together. Brushing, wiped or sprayed will all yield the same results. Other then using stains and seal between coats with shellac, I don’t know of any way to put one color of dye over another color of dye and not have color bleed.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#5 posted 1152 days ago

Hi Don!

Thank you very much!! I was worried that this may be the case. Bummer.

Thanks,
Ed

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GaryK

10262 posts in 2590 days


#6 posted 1152 days ago

Maybe try mixing the color you want in advance? Then all it takes is one application.

You can sand most all of the top surface away leaving the color in the curl.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#7 posted 1152 days ago

Hi Gary!

Thanks for the suggestion!! That’s something I haven’t thought of. I may just have to shift gears and start thinking along these lines.

Thanks!
Ed

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shipwright

4843 posts in 1400 days


#8 posted 1152 days ago

Not exactly on your topic but the results of my experiments with aniline dyes may be of interest to you. They are in my blog here: http://lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/20887
I learned a few tricks and techniques along the way.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

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Camper

232 posts in 1458 days


#9 posted 1152 days ago

Been following this thread and looked up the blog you were referring to by Trifern which I believe is here.

I am surprised that he did not mention the step of sealing with shellac between color coats which leads me to believe that he did not. I wonder why his colors did not bleed but yours do…and if in fact he just forgot to mention it or that there is another reason why his turned out fine…

Thanks for posting, interesting experiment.

-- Tampa-FL

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#10 posted 1152 days ago

Hi Paul!

Thanks for the link! Wow, that’s incredible work there!! Beautifully done!

I like how you used the bleeding affect to your advantage. I’m not sure I want to do the same. If I let the black blend into the red it becomes a shade of red that I’m not too fond of. I’ve also gotten further on other tests. After I apply the 3rd color it really makes all three colors weak.

I’m sure I’m missing something. More than likely several things. Lol.

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1761 days


#11 posted 1152 days ago

Ed:

Yes, it will definitely bleed through and blend with the underlaying color. But notice the way Trifern does it…he sands areas of the work aggressively between dye coats, going down to almost bare wood in some areas. This means that the new dye color will blend with color underneath but remain pure color in those areas that were sanded. He then says that the first applied coat of wipe-on poly does a lot to bring back out the black contrast areas.

If you don’t sand areas to bare like Trifern, the resulting coats will be just a solid blend of the dyes.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#12 posted 1152 days ago

Hi Camper!

That is the blog I was referring to. I am wondering the same thing. I emailed Joe to see if he can offer his expertise. He mentions that he uses “sponge brushes and cheap paper towels”.

I wonder if I’m not sanding correctly.

I plan on going back at the test piece tomorrow.

Thanks,
Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#13 posted 1152 days ago

Hi Jay!!

I just missed that as I replied to another suggestion. I think you are right!! It’s the sanding I am not doing so well with.

I’m excited to get back in the garage and test some more!!

Thank you!!

Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#14 posted 1151 days ago

Good afternoon Gents!!

I had some time today to head back into the garage. I decided to try again adjusting my technique. First I sanded. I purposely sanded more aggressively in certain areas and not so much in others.

I also thought I would try applying the dye in very thin coats, wiping quickly. I was hoping to limit the amount of saturation. And to build the color slowly. I think it made a noticeable difference.

As you can see there is still bleeding, but I don’t think it’s as bad. Looking closely I feel that I can correct the issues I see now by sanding when it’s completely dry. Fingers crossed!!

I’ll report back once I move on.

Cheers,
Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#15 posted 1150 days ago

Good afternoon everyone!!

I had a chance to get some more work done on this piece. Unfortunately the results, again, were unflattering.

I sanded more and applied the yellow.

I also took a close-up pic of the real issue I’m having. These little black specs form after applying a new color. It’s re-dissolving the existing dye. Maybe I didn’t sand well enough. After sanding these weren’t there though.

Has anyone used multiple colors like this? Do you think the concentration of dyes is too weak? I was thinking of mixing a new batch, twice the concentration. I figure it can’t hurt.

Ultimately I may need to settle for one color and stop torturing myself. BUT before I concede I’m going to go at it at least one more time. :)

Cheers,
Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#16 posted 1149 days ago

Morning guys!

I started another test last night. I’m convinced that my sanding is poor. Here are the results.

I noticed that these “black specs” That I thought were a side affect from bleeding were there before I applied the second color.

I do like the concentrated red much better than the previous batch. I also do no think there is as much, if any bleeding here.

I have another question. Will sanding with higher grit before applying the 1st color reduce the amount of specs? Or will I need to deal with sanding these out either way?

I’m going to do more testing with different grits.

Thanks!
Ed

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Camper

232 posts in 1458 days


#17 posted 1148 days ago

Ed, your latest “batch” looks great IMHO. I am still following with interest. Can you elaborate on what grit sand paper you are using at each stage?

Do you think those “black specs” maybe wood dust left from sanding which turn-up absorbing more of the dye? It may be a good idea to blow the piece thoroughly with compressed air and/or wipe it with mineral spirits and a clean rag before applying the dye to ensure that you have gotten rid of all the sanding dust.

As for sanding I have found out that the higher you go on grit size (finer grit), the less the absorption of stain (I assume it should apply to dyes as well). That’s why sometimes it is recommended that the end grain is sanded with finer grit than the rest to even out stain absorption. So using finer grit may limit the overall dye absorption and lead to a lighter color. This is just speculation by the way. I hope someone with experience chimes in.

Thanks for sharing. I think this has come a long way from your first batch though.

-- Tampa-FL

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1839 days


#18 posted 1148 days ago

Any scratches, dings, or other defects will absorb more dye than solid wood. I sand my maple gunstocks to at least 320 grit before coloring. Sometimes I go much higher before adding color. After dying, I wet sand using wet/dry sandpaper with pure tung oil starting at 400 grit. I can’t wait to see your final project.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#19 posted 1148 days ago

Morning Camper!!

You know I cannot rule out the possibility of those being wood dust. Darn it! Haha. I will pay extra attention to this now. I did start a new test last night sanding higher, up to 180 grit. After I finished sanding the “newest” test I used my shop vac to clean it. Not sure it’s the best method. I took a close look at the grain and it looked very smooth.

I soaked it with black, kept it wet for 10 minutes then wiped with a wet rag. I am going to sand it tomorrow. I’m not sure if this help with the bleeding or not, but that last red one I left dry closer to 24 hours. The previous test were more like 18 hours. I’m going to make sure I wait at least 24 from now on.

How do I plan on containing myself? MORE TESTS. Haha.

Thank you very much for your input!!!! It’s a big help to me.

Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#20 posted 1148 days ago

Morning Hal!!

I appreciate that info!!! I’m going to start a new test today. I am definitely going to high in grit. I was going to go up to 220, but I think I’ll stop at 320 instead.

Thank you Hal!

Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#21 posted 1147 days ago

Good evening,

I spent some time on the project tonight. I think I’m getting closer…..

If it weren’t for those black specs I’d be very happy with this piece. Heck I’m pretty happy anyway. Haha. I couldn’t resist taking a pic while it was still wet. However the bottom was drying so there’s not a consistent sheen.

I did start another test. I prepped up to 320 grit, let the black soak for 15 minutes and wiped with wet rag….

I can’t wait to go at another test piece. Right now I have 2 waiting that are dyed black. I’ll let this one sit and go at the other tomorrow.

Thanks again for the tips guys!!

I will be in touch,
Ed

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 1154 days


#22 posted 1147 days ago

I don’t know CRAP about aniline dying….

BUT, seeing your failure has answered a question regarding a stain I spent a hellish amount of time hand sanding off a chair the past few weeks! I’m convinced it was aniline dyed as it seems to have soaked upp the stain far more than any other stain I’ve had to remove, and like yours, seems to soak deeply into the softer grain.

I also like the effects you are getting from staining, sanding, and restaining. Very interesting. The red, yellow, and latest look great.

Here’s an idea though: Have you considered alternating batches of water based and oil based stains? Is there a way to do the aniline as an oil stain? the oil/water alternation might cause less running in your finishes due to their insolubility with one another. Secondarily, if you don’t have a spray gun, have you tried a dollar store spray bottle, and just lightly misting? OR better, one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisipro-Stainless-Steel-Spray-Non-Aerosol-Mister/dp/B00009V4CA ?

Just some ideas.

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#23 posted 1147 days ago

Morning Bob!!

Thank you for the kind words!! I have to pass the credit for these colors and technique to Trifern. His projects and blog have totally inspired me to do this one.

Judging by your recent experience probably do not have to tell you, but once you use the dye it’s very hard to get back to bare wood. At least in my very limited amount of experience. Haha.

I tried sanding an old test piece the other night. I sanded this with a random orbit (80 grit, lowest I have in pads) for almost 45 minutes and this was the result….

I’m not sure I’m able to remove it. No big deal though. It’s just a test piece. It did make me realize that if I goof up really badly I cannot start over. I’ll be extra careful now. :)

I have thought about switching vehicles between layers. I may do this too. It involves ordering a new batch of dyes that are alcohol soluble. I figure I’ll exhaust every option with these before ordering others. It’s something that on my list of options though.

I haven’t thought about spraying the dyes. I’ll look into that.

Thank you for the suggestions!!! I appreciate it.

Ed

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 1154 days


#24 posted 1147 days ago

Alcohol is water soluble, remember. The best you can hope for is quicker dry times, so you’ll still have to apply it very lightly (based off of what the other comments are and just some rudimentary science).
Here’s the monstrosity that I’ve been sanding:

I got it pretty close to bare, but figured I may as well stain it back. Now I’m having issues with regular stain penetration.

It’s making me want to turn to alcohol myself….

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1652 days


#25 posted 1146 days ago

those black specs simply look like open pores to me. I’ve had that happen on curly maple, but w/ a brown Transtint stain w/ shellac. The problem was the surface on that one board was not as smooth as the ones on the other sides of my little project.

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#26 posted 1146 days ago

Thanks Bob!!

Ya know a lot of what I read about aniline dyes is people seal them before the final finish. That may be what’s happened there. That grain may have been sealed good. It could explain why you’re having a problem getting penetration.

I’m sure someone else with more experience can correct me if I’m wrong. And give you some advice.

Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#27 posted 1146 days ago

Hi Millo!!

Thanks for your reply. That helps a lot. I will be extra diligent with my prep!!!

Thanks,
Ed

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 1154 days


#28 posted 1146 days ago

The pores response makes sense for that portion, perhaps, but I had deep pinkish purple streaking that followed the grain, and though water or moisture would leach out the dye, it was quite in there.

Those pictures are also after two rounds of finish stripper, and halfway through my second round of sanding with 60 grit. It was REAAALLY in there.

Finishing the wood before staining it huh? interesting proposition. It may just be huge amounts of humidity in the air these past three or four days. It almost feels like I’m wading in puddles of air today, and it’s easy to forget how much the ambient weather affects woodworking. I’m going to try and remove some of the humidity from my apartment, see if that does the trick, and if not, might look into what you propose.

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#29 posted 1146 days ago

Hi Bob,

Sorry I didn’t mean to propose finishing before staining. From what I read about people using aniline dyes. They dye the wood, seal the dye then apply poly or other clear coat. The sealing part may be what you’re contending with. Those nooks and crannies may be sealed in dye. Making it very tough to stain over.

My apologies for the confusion.

Ed

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1110 posts in 1662 days


#30 posted 1146 days ago

Ed

You never said what your trying to achieve.
If bleeding with dyes are the problem. One way to fix it is to use water based dye (1st color) first. When to apply a different color use a different soluble dye like alcohol.
2nd color use alcohol soluble dyes.

For those who are still confuse of types of dyes look here
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/making_sense_of_dyes

-- shdesign3.com

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Steven H

1110 posts in 1662 days


#31 posted 1146 days ago

Best to use a white china bristle brush. Go to your paint store Benjamin Moore or Sherman William to buy them. Not home depot or lowes.

-- shdesign3.com

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#32 posted 1146 days ago

Hi Steven!!

Thanks for the tips!! Great link too!! I am very close to ordering alcohol soluble dyes. I have a few tests left before I go in that direction.

I am trying to achieve a similar look to a project by Trifern. This is the technique I’ve been trying to apply….

http://lumberjocks.com/trifern/blog/9400

I’m wondering if I sanded that last piece too much? The one below as well. Or maybe just too much in certain areas. Specifically around the flame. I feel that the dye around the flame is penetrating so deeply that I cannot sand it back.

It’s been suggested (elsewhere) to use a sand sealer? Everything I’ve read says this is a bad idea. At some point I’ll try anything. Just not sure I want to do this yet.

Here’s a good example of what I’m trying to describe….

I did not like the way this looked last night. I felt I took to much off so I re-dyed it. I’m going to take off less next time and see how it looks.

Thanks,
Ed

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1110 posts in 1662 days


#33 posted 1145 days ago

It seems to me you have sanded way too much the dye off. Re apply again and sand light. It does not take that much pressure.

The picture above shows dye have penetrate deep. That is what dyes do, they penetrate. You will have to sand.
There is no need for sanding sealer.

-- shdesign3.com

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#34 posted 1145 days ago

Thank you Steven!!! I really appreciate it!!

I can’t wait to get out in the garage and try again. Hopefully in a little while.

Cheers,
Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#35 posted 1142 days ago

Morning everyone,

I took your advice Steven. Sanded less aggressively.

I can already see that the spots are not an issue. I still have a lot to though.

I did this Saturday so I will proceed tonight and report back.

Thanks,
Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#36 posted 1138 days ago

Hey Guys,

I got a little more done. I’m not sure my new approach is working for me. The good news is the specs are not visible. The bad news is there is waaaay to much black.

Sanded the red…

Applied the yellow….

I’m thinking it’s time to change dyes, but before I do….How long would you leave the dye soak on the board before wiping? This is in regards to the black. Maybe I’m not wiping fast enough and it’s getting too deep?

Thanks,
Ed

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1110 posts in 1662 days


#37 posted 1138 days ago

I actually like it.

On this one sand it off a little more.

-- shdesign3.com

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#38 posted 1138 days ago

Morning Steven,

That’s the piece actually. I should have removed more before proceeding. Doh! Haha.

Thanks,
Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#39 posted 1136 days ago

Hey guys,

I got some more testing done. The results are still lacking. I’ve gotten advice saying I should try to seal the wood. Now again EVERYTHING I read says do not seal before dye. It’s getting to the point where I will try anything. So that’s what I’m going to try.

This is a new test, bare wood. I stained one side with black, trying a slightly different technique. To no avail. This piece really highlights the issue I am having. The dye is penetrating so deeply that I cannot avoid these specs…..

The other side I applied a thin layer of shellac. My hopes here are that I can sand the shellac back and those little pores will be sealed. When I apply the black it will come out more evenly. We’ll see.

Also I figured the left side being black and not what I want. I went back out and soaked it. 1st water then black dye. I did not wipe the dye. It’s a black as night. I plan on getting some more sanding done soon. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Thanks,
Ed

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#40 posted 1134 days ago

Morning gents,

I sanded back this new test. The dye side, no difference…

The shellac side however….

I feel like I’m inching closer. I’m going to apply a thin layer off red today and see how it looks. I’ve been advised to try an conditioner if the shellac doesn’t work out. That’s my plan.

I’ll be in touch.

Thanks,
Ed

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Mark Kornell

472 posts in 1133 days


#41 posted 1133 days ago

Ed, this is a most interesting and informative thread. Your dedication to the scientific method in pursuit of a particular artistic effect is impressive! I am keenly awaiting the post where you discover the right piece of magic that makes everything work, and then share that with all of us.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#42 posted 1133 days ago

Thank you Iguana!! I appreciate the kind words. I certainly hope this helps someone. This is painful. I’d hate for others to have to go through it this way. Tis how we learn I suppose.

I did get some more testing done in the last couple of days. I feel I am inching forward. Here goes….

After applying the red to the shellac piece I do not feel it’s going to work. Didn’t even take pics of it.

I went and grabbed wood conditioner. It made a big difference, but I need to adjust to it.

I did 2 tests. One using the conditioner as directed on the can (not fully dried). The other I let the conditioner dry.

At first I thought the wet conditioner was working against me, pulling the dye deeper. This may be the case. However it evened it out so much that even with specks I feel it “could’ be tolerable. They created more of a haze rather than standing out. I’ve come to far to settle though. :)

Here’s a few pics of this test. I didn’t have time to prep my bigger test so I grabbed a few strips that were already sanded. I will test on bigger pieces soon.

Then I applied yellow.

I rushed this piece. I should have added more layers of red once the previous dried. I feel the red mucked up the black well. I got excited and went too fast. (that’s what she said! LOL)

I will be back at it soon. Most likely Tomorrow. I have plenty of time to dwell. Ugh.

Thanks,
Ed

View tbone's profile

tbone

256 posts in 2287 days


#43 posted 1133 days ago

Very early on in this thread, Camper mentioned using shellac between the dye applications. This seems reasonable—especially on a highly figured wood like this one.
Some may call it a ‘washcoat’ and some may call it a ‘sanding sealer’, but the idea is to help fill the larger pores as well as get the fibers to ‘stand up’ and absorb the dyes at a more uniform rate. This would eliminate the blotchiness that is showing up, as well as allow you to layer on the colors without them bleeding together. The washcoat would be a barrier between the colors.

-- Kinky Friedman on gay marriage: "They should have the right to be just as miserable as the rest of us."

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#44 posted 1132 days ago

Hi tbone!!

Thanks for reminding me. I am getting around to trying sealers now. I put those suggestions on the back burner until I went through the “standard” recommended options. That being “sealers defeat the purpose when using dyes.” This is another example of not believing everything you read. LOL.

Thank you!!

Ed

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poroskywood

614 posts in 1966 days


#45 posted 1131 days ago

looks just the same as my stuff did… poly them up and it all will POP!...I used waterbased poly…believe me it’s night and day after you poly it…. completely different…

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1761 days


#46 posted 1130 days ago

Ed:

Still following with interest. Glad you are working through it.

I think one of the things you should try is to only add top colors to areas where you sand…not to the whole board. For example, sand away some of the red areas, but only apply yellow dye to the sanded areas with a little overlap into the red areas. You should achieve a red/orange/yellow gradient in this way.

I don’t think you’ll get the overall results you want by global applications (other than the base red over the entire black) because it’ll always bleed through. My thinking is that Trifern only applies yellow to areas he intends to be somewhat yellow, thus allowing bleed-through only in areas where the colors DO overlap.

Hope that makes sense…

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#47 posted 1130 days ago

Thank you poroskywood!!! I appreciate the reply.

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#48 posted 1130 days ago

Thank you Jay!!

I just got done messing with a new test. I decided to use a brown instead of black. So I let this dry last night…

Then today I watched this video (http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=30182). This guy added an amber first then black on top. Both thinly and spreading it well. It dried more of a gray instead of deep black. When I got in today I decided to wet and wipe the brown then add black on top. Trying to make it thin and grayish.

I then waited 20 minutes to dry enough to sand (following the tutorial). I went at this piece very aggressively trying to remove as much as possible.

I then applied some yellow around the middle. I do not want to burst this,but I wanted to try the technique. I figure I can adjust later if it works. Just as your suggesting Jay!!!

The results….

I thought maybe it could use more black. Then I tilted it….

I cannot wait to hit this with poly. I’m going to let it dry completely first.

I’m not there yet, but I feel I’m on the cusp. I truly appreciate all the suggestions and comments.

Thanks guys!

Ed

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1761 days


#49 posted 1130 days ago

Glad that is working for you. It’s a lot like watercolors, where the areas you paint will blend in with the painted areas underneath it…at least that was my feeling after contemplating it for a couple of weeks now.

Most people HATE finishing…so it’s great when people see the value in techniques like this…not many people are persistent enough to try it!

Nice going, Ed!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Ed

59 posts in 1179 days


#50 posted 1129 days ago

Thank you J!! I appreciate the kind words!! And thanks again for taking the time to make suggestions! I need em. Haha.

I am very happy with my latest test. However I do not think it is “perfect”. Here are some shots I took tonight. Right after my 3rd coat of poly.

While I am LOVING the left side. The right side is pretty muddy. I took a couple closeups.

This is from straight above…

From an angle….

I’m going to work on this on my next test. I am very happy with my progress!! If I had to move on right now I’d be happy repeating the last process. However I still have some bare wood left. I must test!!! :)

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