Finishing with Rit dye

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Forum topic by dpwalker posted 12-22-2010 11:22 PM 5007 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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273 posts in 2858 days

12-22-2010 11:22 PM

Has anyone had any experience with inlays dyed with Rit fabric dye? I want to inlay veneer I dyed red with Rit into Curly Maple. Specifically I am worried about the dye bleeding into the Maple while I try to finish the piece. Any info will be helpful.

-- You have not really lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you.

5 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4155 days

#1 posted 12-23-2010 12:54 AM

This is a frequently reoccurring topic.
Fabric dyes and food colorings are generally not color fast when used to dye wood.
Best to use dyes designed for wood, e.g. TransTint.

I’m speaking from experience. I’m a chemist and I teach wood finishing.

-- 温故知新

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3078 days

#2 posted 12-24-2010 09:44 AM

On the other hand, I’ve heard it works well, with a few caveats. Hobo is right about colorfastness, but unless it’s going to be in direct sun, it will be ok. There’s a multitude of colors possible, and you can’t argue with the cost. The other things to consider are; grain raising—raise it and sand it down beforew you dye, and don’t use water-based finishes, unless you first seal with shellac.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Vern Little's profile

Vern Little

103 posts in 3564 days

#3 posted 12-25-2010 04:46 PM

You might try dissolving the Dye in alcohol. Just a thought. As Steve said you can’t beat the cost.

-- Earth first, we'll drill the rest of the planets later. Vern

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3402 days

#4 posted 12-25-2010 04:47 PM

I asked the same question last summer before using the RIT dye on a guitar. The user comments were that they hadn’t noticed fading yet. I imagine it’s not a good choice for frequent exposure to direct sunlight. We’ve only had it on the guitar for a few months now, but there’s no sign of fading. I did coat it with spar varnish with UV blockers to help prevent fading. I have no doubt that a Transtint dye would be a better choice, but using those would have meant a 30 mile trip and a $45 expenditure vs 3 miles and $6, so I gave the RIT dye a try and was pleased with the initial results. Time will tell about fading.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2825 days

#5 posted 12-25-2010 06:23 PM

Why take the chance on something you’ve put a lot of work into? You can buy a 12 bottle set of aniline dyes for $48 and each bottle will give you a pint of dye. Is that too expensive? This is a “starter set” but it is a lot of dye and you can always pick up larger amounts of the colors you use most when you need them.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

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