Comparison of Wood Dyes

Wood dyes are a great way or adding colour to your wood - be it craft items, furniture, or natural wood flooring - before coating it with a lacquer or varnish. Whichever type of wood dye you choose, they are all transparent so will give colour to the wood but still allow the grain to show through. dartfords® range of wood dyes consists of three main types - Interior Water Based, Interior Spirit Based and Powdered Dyes. Each have their benefits and features which will determine which one is best suited to your project.


dartfords Interior Water Based Wood Dye

Interior Water Based

Interior Spirit Based

Powdered Dyes

Ready to use?

Yes

Yes

No, needs dissolving in solvent

Sizes available

230ml, 1 litre, 5 litre

230ml, 1 litre, 5 litre

28g (1oz) packets

Number of coats

2 minimum

1 minimum

Alcohol soluble: 1 minimum

Water soluble: 2 minimum

Use on Hardwood?

Yes, but will require sanding after first coats as it raises the grain

Yes

Yes, but water soluble powders will require sanding after first coats as it raises the grain

Use on Softwood?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Grain raising?

Yes - sand after first coat to flatten grain, then reapply

No

Alcohol soluble: No

Water soluble: Yes - sand after first coat to flatten grain, then reapply

Thinned with...

Water

Spirit Wood Dye Thinners

Varies by type, either:

Water, or

Shellac and Aniline Thinners

Mixes with...

Water

Water based finishes

Spirit Wood Dye Thinners

Acetone

Some Solvent Finishes inc. Nitrocellulose up to 5%

Depends on solvent used

Use over...

Bare wood

Thixotropic Grain Filler

Bare wood

Thixotropic Grain Filler

Other dyes

Bare wood

Thixotropic Grain Filler

Other dyes, depending on solvent used

Use under...

Shellac Sealer

Cellulose Sealer

Varnishes

Lacquers

Oils

Shellac Sealer

Cellulose Sealer

Varnishes

Lacquers

Oils

Shellac Sealer

Cellulose Sealer

Varnishes

Lacquers

Oils

Lightfastness

High

High

Alcohol soluble: Low

Water soluble: Medium

Metal Complex: High

Coverage

8m² / litre

8m² / litre

8m² / litre when mixed

Cleanup

Water

Interior Spirit Dye Thinners

Water or Aniline Thinners, depending on solvent used

Application methods

Brush/Sponge/Cloth

Spray

Dip

Brush/Sponge/Cloth

Spray

Dip

Brush/Sponge/Cloth

Spray

Dip

Shelf life

24+ months from purchase

36+ months from purchase

36+ months from purchase in powder form

3-6 months when mixed depending on type

Storage instructions

Tightly closed original container

Avoid frost

Avoid direct sunlight

Tightly closed original container

Avoid frost

Avoid direct sunlight

Powder: Sealed container in a cool, dry, dark place

Mixed dye: Tightly closed container, avoid frost, avoid direct sunlight


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