Dyes for cabinet doors

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Forum topic by percy posted 02-11-2011 06:06 PM 1502 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2822 days

02-11-2011 06:06 PM

I am starting to build my kitchen cabinet doors of western maple. We would like to colour them a deep cherry colour and I am looking at water based dyes to acheive this colour. Any comments pro or con to using dyes?


3 replies so far

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2788 days

#1 posted 02-12-2011 12:38 AM

I have never used water based dyes myself I prefer analine but the has a good vdio of him dyeing some mohagany you might want to watch.

-- As Best I Can

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3036 days

#2 posted 02-12-2011 02:02 AM

Dyes are extremely penetrant (water-based dyes even more so), which means they are more likely to give you a blotchy result on blotch-prone woods, such as maple, cherry, and alder.

Achieving a dark, even color on lighter woods can be tricky for this reason.

My recommendation FWIW would be to use a gel stain. Gel stains are less prone to blotching since they don’t penetrate as deeply as water-based dyes. I think most (if not all) gel stains are oil-based, so if you have a water-based finishing schedule after the stain, be sure to seal off the oil stain (once it has sufficiently dried) with a coat or two of shellac. After that, you can continue with water-based topcoats.

FWIW, this was my finishing schedule for kitchen cabinet doors to get a dark reddish merlot color on mahogany (I don’t have a photo available on this computer but it came out well). If I had used maple or a blotch prone wood, I would have replaced the stain with gel stain and the sealing coat with shellac instead of diluted topcoat. Everything sprayed except stain.

1) 2 applications Target WR4000 WB stain (cordovan)
2) 1 coat Target EM2000 WB varnish 50% diluted to seal
3) 2 coats Target EM2000 WB varnish tinted black with Transtint to darken/blacken color
4) 4 coats EM2000 WB varnish

Also remember that when you use WB products you will raise the grain. Therefore, it’s a good idea before you stain to apply some water, let dry, and give a nice scruff sand to knock the whiskers down.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3351 days

#3 posted 02-12-2011 02:17 AM

Check out this long but worthwhile post on coloring maple. Should help. It helped me!

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