Using food coloring to paint projects

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Forum topic by Rustic posted 09-25-2008 11:06 PM 6863 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3253 posts in 3591 days

09-25-2008 11:06 PM

Has anyone used food coloring to paint a project or stain? I was thinking of mixing some boiled linseed oil with some food coloring to stain a project. Any thoughts?

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

6 replies so far

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3562 days

#1 posted 09-26-2008 06:17 AM

IIRC most food grade colors are water based – you might mix a small (Tsp or Tbsp sized) batch first. UV stability might also be an issue.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3708 days

#2 posted 09-26-2008 07:11 AM

Here is a quick link to many methods of coloring. What you are looking for is in the “Adding Colorants: Common household colorants” part of this article, about four-five sentences into it, where it talks about food coloring.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 09-26-2008 09:41 PM

I never thought about using Food Coloring to dye woods, and this from someone with a culinary background. I’ve got a few things to try out now. Very informative article Steve, thanks for the link.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View DanM's profile


90 posts in 3704 days

#4 posted 09-27-2008 10:48 AM

I’ve recently used “RIT” fabric dye successfully as wood stain on a couple projects where I wanted “unusual” colors (red, purple & yellow) with the grain also showing. You just mix it with water. Very easy to use, comes in a lot of colors & you can probably mix them for more, and WAY cheaper than the purpose-made colored wood stain powders I’ve seen at places like Rockler. Although the items I’ve dyed have not been around too long at this point, I would expect fabric dye to be more durable than food coloring, in terms of light exposure, etc.


View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3762 days

#5 posted 09-27-2008 02:22 PM

Nice link, Steve.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3591 days

#6 posted 10-23-2008 02:52 PM

thanks Steve very helpful

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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