Mixing Alcohol Based Aniline Dye?

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Forum topic by Ron Ford posted 05-21-2014 09:27 PM 1663 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ron Ford

208 posts in 1725 days

05-21-2014 09:27 PM

Hi Fellow LJers – Any of you have a recommendation for mixing small amounts of powdered aniline dye with wood alcohol to use in coloring projects? The information I am finding seems to be based on making large quantities at a time. I just received several 2 oz. jars from Packard and would like to mix up small batches as needed.

Thanks in advance for the always good advice!


-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

8 replies so far

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

931 posts in 2227 days

#1 posted 05-21-2014 10:05 PM

If the directions give the amount of dry powder per gallon just cut in half for a half gallon and keep reducing the ratios until you reach the volume you feel you need. It will still be the same concentration.

-- Jerry

View Woodknack's profile


11600 posts in 2373 days

#2 posted 05-22-2014 06:00 PM

Google a recipe size converter, it will do the math fast. Or just guess, the worst that can happen if you get it wrong is the dye is too strong or too weak and that can still be adjusted.

-- Rick M,

View pintodeluxe's profile


5652 posts in 2806 days

#3 posted 05-22-2014 06:27 PM

If you don’t need repeatable results, you can mix it in any concentration you like. I mix dyes in quart containers, and they seem to last from one project to the next.

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

View JAAune's profile


1796 posts in 2310 days

#4 posted 05-22-2014 06:57 PM

I mix dyes in amounts and concentration that work for my own applications then keep records of each combination.

-- See my work at and

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4979 posts in 2486 days

#5 posted 05-22-2014 07:04 PM

I usually mix the entire pack in a small amount when I first get it, and then take small amounts from the mixture for use, diluting as necessary. Typically I’ll mix it in a pint or quart canning jar. That gets stored out of direct light with one of the plastic food storage lids available for them. It pretty much keeps forever.

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

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2127 days

#6 posted 05-22-2014 07:33 PM

I read instructions and did not need that much dye abd did not want to go through trail & error experimenting. Since only needed small amount got some small bottles of bombay india ink. Said to be color fast and water clean up, but not diluted with water very well, so used right out of the bottle. Found all colors transparent except black.

-- Bill

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2978 days

#7 posted 05-22-2014 07:36 PM

I find that each piece of wood will take the color differently, so keeping meticulous records of mixtures is not something I do. i got some travel size plastic bottles at walmart and mixed up 1 or 2 oz of alcohol with some dye powder, tested on scrap, and adjusted to taste. Don’t fill the small bottle all the way up at first so that you can dilute if necessary. Works great.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Redoak49's profile


3238 posts in 1981 days

#8 posted 05-22-2014 08:44 PM

One suggestion would be to use a small scale to weigh out the proper amount. I bought a small digital scale and use it to mix small amounts of epoxy. I use the small pill cups and tare it out and then put in some epoxy and watch the weight and then add the same amount of hardener. It lets me get the same amount of each almost every time. You could do the same with the dye by weighing out what you think is the correct amount and add it to a given amount of alcohol. This should allow you to repeat the same formula the next time use need the color.

I bought a digital 1000 gram scale on amazon for $7.89. It has worked much better than my expectations.

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