Please tell me about Aniline Dye Powders (Water Soluble)

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Forum topic by David Grimes posted 11-08-2011 06:20 AM 5917 views 2 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David Grimes

2078 posts in 2637 days

11-08-2011 06:20 AM

I have never used the aniline dye powders of any kind. I a wondering how well they mix, blend, overlap, SUNBURST ?

What about shelf life (dry and mixed) ?

Also, what are some good brands you recommend. I came across J.E. Mosers so far.

Any of your pictures would be greatly appreciated.


David Grimes

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

9 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#1 posted 11-08-2011 06:23 AM

Get Charles Neil’s A-z finishing beyond the books or it’s all about color. or e mail him

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3559 days

#2 posted 11-08-2011 06:47 AM

Stacking Shelves

Stacking Shelves

David – these are a stacking shelves that I built a few years ago, using water soluble aniline dye on poplar and birch. The shelves and back panels are birch plywood, and the uprights and rails are poplar.

After several years they have not faded or otherwise discolored. The unmixed dye as an indefinite shelf life and can be combined to create the exact color desired. I mixed way more than I needed, and kept the mixture in a plastic container for future use. I made a quilt rack for a lady a few months ago, and the premixed dye worked just as well as it did when first mixed. I can dig those pictures up if you want to see them.

It’s a lot of extra work compared to just using a wood’s natural color, but you have a lot of flexibility. If you don’t like what you get, you can keep miessing with it to find the look.

PS – I used Transfast dye powder. Also experimented with RIT (fabric dye) and while I didn’t use it, I think it would work just as well.

-- Joe

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 2679 days

#3 posted 11-08-2011 08:04 AM

I was very impressed with the results achieved by Tim Pursell in using some ( alcohol based ) aniline dye on some QSWO . . It really struck me as something I would like to try in the future .

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Fred Hargis

4985 posts in 2491 days

#4 posted 11-08-2011 02:17 PM

I’ve Moser’s, Transtint (powder and liquid), LEE Valley’s private brand. Among the powders I can’t tell the difference, and once mixed I can’t tell the powders and liquids from each other (performance wise). The shelf life of them once mixed is fairly unlimited (at least when mixed in water) so I mix them in a one quart jar for storage (using warm water) and then dilute that as I use them. (They do need to be stored out of direct sunlight) If I color wood, dyes are my favorite way to do it since I’m fairly adept at screwing things up with stains.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3426 days

#5 posted 11-08-2011 02:35 PM

I’ve only used Lee Valley’s brand of water soluble. Used it on QSWO and the effects were spectacular.
The 3/4 of a quart I have left is still good to use after 4 years on the shelf. Plus, two unopened packs of the powder are still good, too.
Someday, I may find a use for it all.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2691 days

#6 posted 11-08-2011 02:48 PM

My brother used RIT fabric dye some years ago on some small carvings he did out of hickory and it worked just fine. Lately I’ve been thinking about trying it just to do something different.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2921 days

#7 posted 11-08-2011 02:56 PM

I used the Transfast. Bought a dozen 1/2 pint canning jars so I have a variety of colors mixed. They are easy to use and mix.

-- Life is good.

View JimDaddyO's profile


545 posts in 3077 days

#8 posted 11-08-2011 04:31 PM

Here is a vid on how to do it…...

Now that I have given you that, I have to say I tried it, but, as it was my first time with water based dyes, I was less than successful. Good thing I experimented on scrap first. I got my dyes from LV.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

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Bill White

4929 posts in 3958 days

#9 posted 11-08-2011 06:37 PM

Great vid. Thanks. I’ve saved it for future use.


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