Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Follow-Up on Aniline Dyes
Last week, I wrote about aniline dyes and how they're different from oil and water-based wood stains. Your response indicated that a lot of you have tried aniline dyes and like them. At least no one wrote to tell me a horror story.

And I got some interesting information that was not in last week's tip, so I though that I'd pass it along this week. Barry Travis writes, "I have had good luck with the Aniline Dyes, but always wear rubber gloves and also a face mask. I have also used vinegar to mix the dye with just like water, but heating it first. This works great on bad spots that don't cover well. I pour out a couple of spoonfuls of dye from the mixed bottle, and water it down a little (you can always darken the spot later) to see what the color will look like."

"I also filter the mixed dye through a paint strainer," says Barry Travis, "just like you would do if you were going to use a paint sprayer. This means the liquid does not have any undissolved bits of dye in it."

Sandy Fitzig offers this health warning: "Aniline dyes need to be handled carefully. They can be implicated in the formation of bladder cancer. This is from a reliable urologic medical source." So use this stuff in a well-ventilated area.

Charles Garrod has another good tip: "Always mix your dye in hot (Not Boiling) water. And always, yes, always use Distilled Water. Never use tap water because of the dissolved impurities in it like iron, calcium, chlorine, fluoride, and a host of other chemicals and metals. If you use tap water, you will have some of the prettiest colors imaginable, but of no use for staining wood."

Go to Tip #34
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