Using TransTint to dye wood for cutting board

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 05-08-2011 06:30 PM 5086 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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464 posts in 2488 days

05-08-2011 06:30 PM

I have a customer that wants a blue and white (maple) cutting board for Penn State games. I have some TransTint Blue (#6022) dye that I was going to use but I want to make sure that it will be safe. I plan on dyeing everyother board blue to make a stripped board. Will the dye leach into the food and be unsafe? I will be using mineral oil or General’s Salad Board Finish to seal the board.

I plan to use water to dillute the concentrated dye

If I made the board end grain and taped off the checkered board and dye last will the dye leak to neighboring pieces?


7 replies so far

View bobsmyuncle's profile


110 posts in 2112 days

#1 posted 05-08-2011 06:45 PM

The real answer is to try a sample and see. But I think you will want to re-think your plans, in so many ways:

- Salad bowl finish is a film-forming finish that will quickly fail if cut with a knife.

- Mineral oil would be appropriate for a cutting board, but not provide a lot of water resistance.

- The dye is water-soluble, and is likely to bleed every time the board is washed or used with water-based liquids

- The dye will travel wherever the water diluting it will travel, so yes, it’s almost certain it will bleed into neighboring checkerboard squares during application and later in use.

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3313 days

#2 posted 05-08-2011 11:44 PM

One of the attributes of a good woodworker is knowing when to say “No” and walk away from a request. This is one of them.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View SteveMI's profile


946 posts in 2715 days

#3 posted 05-09-2011 12:13 AM

I use transtint with denatured alcohol so the grain doesn’t raise, time to dry is shorter and it really gets into the grain.

From their site;
“Neither TransTint or TransFast dyes are recommended for food preparation surfaces.”


View Dusty56's profile


11804 posts in 3109 days

#4 posted 05-09-2011 01:36 AM

Here’s the MSDS on the Blue dye.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 2510 days

#5 posted 05-09-2011 01:40 AM

I know that that dye will leech out forever. It remains water soluble, and even if it is not toxic, every time they wash the board, it will fade, and probably stain their clothes, counters, etc.

You may be alright if you use a purely alcohol sluble dye, but I would still want to make sure that it is non-toxic, at least in the small quantity they are ever likely to ingest if it does bleed.

View SteveMI's profile


946 posts in 2715 days

#6 posted 05-09-2011 01:46 AM

MSDS sheets are a bit misleading. They only pertain to use of the product in its raw form. It doesn’t require any information on the end use of the product. They are meant to protect people in manufacturing.


View yellowtruck75's profile


464 posts in 2488 days

#7 posted 05-09-2011 02:29 AM

Well not to take any chance I talked to the customer and told them its a no go and built them a red and white one using Maple and Padauk.

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