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How can I get dye to penetrate through thin veneer?

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Forum topic by subconix posted 12-22-2017 02:39 PM 490 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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subconix

5 posts in 63 days


12-22-2017 02:39 PM

Hello, Im not sure If im posting this in the right place but Ill go for it. Basically I make things with all types of wood veneer. My main problem is that I want to dye my maple veneer different colors. I bought some keda dye, its some sort of analine dye. I cannot get the dye to penetrate past the top layer no matter what I do. It looks great until its time to sand and the real wood actually starts showing up. Should I use a certain technique, or another dye? Its almost paper thin, you would think it would have no problem penetrating.


12 replies so far

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

449 posts in 69 days


#1 posted 12-22-2017 02:48 PM

please describe your veneer application procedures. (step-by-step) and coloring process.

are you trying to color the veneer before you glue it to something ?
or – color it after it is all glued down and ready to sand.
I would imagine that when you glue thin veneer to the substrate,
the adhesive seeps up to unevenly block the penetration of stain.

I have seen the technique of putting a vacuum on wood to suck the air out
and the color goes into the cells deeper.

but of course – you must have the equipment to do this at home.
try rigging up your shop vac to a glass jar, pour in your dye and
small pieces of veneer to see if you can achieve a deeper penetration of color.
if that works – then you can experiment further with that process.
try 20-30 minutes for the first try with the home shop vac.

jus my Dos Centavos

.

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shipwright

7895 posts in 2704 days


#2 posted 12-22-2017 03:13 PM

Thin veneer is easy. I use fabric dyes (Tulip, Rit, etc), hot and soak for about three days for 1/16” veneer. Thin commercial veneer which is mostly 1/42” will fully penetrate in a day, maybe even less. I don’t know for sure as I don’t use much of it. I have recently dyed some 1/32” and it fully penetrated in about 30 hours.
The difficult part is finding a container to dye in. It has to be able to resist the acidic dye and it is best to have the veneer vertical.
This is my current arrangement. The vessel shown is a “hotel pan” like you see in steam tables at buffets. This one is called a quarter size and is 8” deep. It is sitting on a warming tray that keeps it ~175 degrees F.

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

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subconix

5 posts in 63 days


#3 posted 12-22-2017 03:42 PM

Thanks so much! I wonder if I boiled some fabric dye, and poured it in a thermos with veneer if it would work until I can get a setup similar to yours. Either way the veneer is getting squished in a mold so I dont need to retain the organic shape. I have noticed that If I boil the veneer it penetrates much deeper but evaporates too quickly so something like you have is perfect.

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pintodeluxe

5568 posts in 2719 days


#4 posted 12-22-2017 03:47 PM

I think it’s common for dyes and stains to be pretty superficial. They don’t penetrate the wood very deeply, especially hardwoods.

By the way, why are you sanding dyed veneer? Would you have better luck using wood that has a rich natural color like walnut or padauk?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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shipwright

7895 posts in 2704 days


#5 posted 12-22-2017 03:51 PM

It will lose shape and expand a lot in the hot dye. It needs to be completely dried before use. The best way is to let it “drip dry” first and when it is just damp, press it between layers of newsprint type paper, changing paper occasionally until it is dry. I buy packing paper from Staples for that (and a multitude of other veneer related tasks).

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

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subconix

5 posts in 63 days


#6 posted 12-22-2017 05:57 PM

Just some context for you all. This is what I am making, the colored ply veneer boards are much more popular than what I like which is just natural wood. As you can see it is purple but the edges where I had to sand really show up bad. I need it to be vibrant all the way around.

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LittleShaver

267 posts in 526 days


#7 posted 12-22-2017 06:17 PM

Have you tried dye after assembly?

-- Sawdust Maker

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Carloz

1147 posts in 498 days


#8 posted 12-22-2017 06:56 PM

I thought you did inlay or something similar where this could be a problem. But as noted above I am not certain why would you want to dye the veneer separately in your case.

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subconix

5 posts in 63 days


#9 posted 12-22-2017 10:07 PM

They have to be separate because the board consist of 5 plys of veneer. It is extremely popular to have vibrant ply combinations that can bee seen from the side.

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subconix

5 posts in 63 days


#10 posted 12-22-2017 10:11 PM

This is the reason why they have to be dyed one by one. Notice the ply combo in the middle of red, and blue. It looks like straight trash, because after sanding veneer that has not been penetrated it starts to show through.

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

449 posts in 69 days


#11 posted 12-22-2017 11:27 PM

what is that? a miniature skateboard ?

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DrDirt

4421 posts in 3648 days


#12 posted 01-02-2018 04:56 PM



Thanks so much! I wonder if I boiled some fabric dye, and poured it in a thermos with veneer if it would work until I can get a setup similar to yours. Either way the veneer is getting squished in a mold so I dont need to retain the organic shape. I have noticed that If I boil the veneer it penetrates much deeper but evaporates too quickly so something like you have is perfect.

- subconix


Avoid boiling – you want to keep the temp below ~200F
Hot is indeed helpful/needed -

Also when we dyed maple veneer – we soaked the veneer in 200 degree distilled water, for half a day, and poured off the – - pretty nasty water – with the tannins in it.
Helped to get a truer color, when you get rid of the “extra” brown coloring.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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