dyeing wood for marquetry

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Forum topic by tom posted 10-18-2009 09:38 PM 6748 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tom's profile


7 posts in 3582 days

10-18-2009 09:38 PM

I would like to make some realistic leaves for a double bevel marquetry project. I will be making my own 1/16 ” veneer. Is there a way to dye the wood green to penetrate into the veneer so I can make leaves that will stay green after scraping the surface flush with the rest of the inlay? alternatively is there a wood that is naturally green that I am not aware of? Thanks for any help


-- tom

7 replies so far

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2987 days

#1 posted 10-18-2009 11:24 PM

For dying all the way through you’ll want to look into vacuum infusion. Here's a great website for learning how to do it.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View SteveMI's profile


954 posts in 2756 days

#2 posted 10-19-2009 03:25 AM

Julian – I looked at the article and video on Joe’s site, but don’t grasp the process. What part does the vacuum play in the dye penetrating the wood? Is the vacuum on one side and the dye on the other? I could be completely dense here.


View Sawdust2's profile


1467 posts in 3549 days

#3 posted 10-19-2009 03:44 AM

Wood is porous.
By immersing the wood into the dye solution and then attaching the vacuum it will draw the dye solution into the pores as the vacuum sucks the air out of the wood.
Obviously, the more porous the wood, like balsa, or the thinner the slice, the more the dye will be infused into the wood.

If your leaves are small enough you can put them in a pint or quart jar, without the lid, and put that inside a gallon pickle jar. Attach your vacuum to the pickle jar and wait a day or so.

Or you can buy white veneer and just let is soak in a green solution (diluted food coloring) for about 30 seconds
Or you can buy green veneer. Paul Schurch sells green veneer.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View tomd's profile


2026 posts in 3232 days

#4 posted 10-19-2009 07:18 AM

You can do a search for alowood it comes in several colors, Rockler used to carry it. It is real wood but colored all the way through.

-- Tom D

View tom's profile


7 posts in 3582 days

#5 posted 10-19-2009 12:03 PM

thanks for all the info, since I don’t have a vacuum pump I’ll try looking for green veneer


-- tom

View Billp's profile


802 posts in 3661 days

#6 posted 10-21-2009 02:21 PM

You can also get dyed veener at B&B rare woods

-- Billp

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 3338 days

#7 posted 10-26-2009 06:25 AM

One tip I read from a very good woodworker is to use Rit dye.
I have not tried it, but it makes sense.

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