Pigment Stain vs. Dye Stain
This thread began with a woodworker
who was figuring out whether pigment stains or dye stains would
better achieve the look he was going for. - Editor
are you guys' take on pigment stains vs. dye stains? I know that some
stains use both. I am trying to figure out when to use which one to
get the final colors I am trying to match." - Dan C.
not suprisingly, were variations on "it depends," with
other woodworkers encouraging the first to do some experiments. -
of variables to take in consideration when using dyes or pigment
stains. Most common is to dye the wood first, then apply pigment. Not
all woods benefit from dye stains. The choice is yours by
experimenting and developing sample boards." - Robert J.
stains have very, very finely ground solids in them, and as such, are
more likely to obscure grain. That doesn't mean that they necessarily
WILL obscure grain, just that multiple coats CAN obscure the grain.
Dyes, on the other hand (which can be sold in either powder or liquid
form), once properly dissolved in water, alcohol, or other solvent,
are completely liquid and are translucent when applied. The dye is
sealed, and a subsequent coat(s) of the same or a different shade of
dye stain can be applied without ending up with a 'muddy' look. If
you apply multiple coats of pigment stains you can end up with a
muddied look, in addition to obscured grain. For this reason,
obtaining the right color is often (if not usually) a multi-step
process. The base color is established with an application of dye
stain (or stains), which are then sealed. Then pigment stains can be
applied to get you to (or close to) the final color. Once sealed,
this color can then be finished, or tweaked with toners and/or
glazes." - Bob B.
a couple of responses revealed their bias toward dyes -- and why. -
really depends on your skill level and the look you are trying to
achieve. There are some finishes that simply cannot be duplicated
without using one or the other...or a combination of both.One big
advantage to dyes is you are not limited in the number of coats that
can be applied, at least theoretically speaking. A properly reduced
and sprayed dye can be built up, coat after coat, and not obscure the
grain, whereas the much larger size of the colorant in pigment stains
will muddy the grain quickly if too much is left on the surface, as
well as causing drying and adhesion problems. Dyes are great for
making figured woods pop and building deep, dark colors without
having to leave excess pigment stain on the wood. Pigment stains are
better at ticking and coloring the pores of the wood and generally
require less skill to use than dyes." - Jeff
other thing that dyes will do: create that golden highlight that
nothing else will. An amber shade can come close sometimes, but an
aniline dye is magical. Oil-borne aniline dyes are more light-fast
(resistant to sunfade). Alcohol-based anilines must be sprayed
because they dry almost instantly, and you cannot see how it will
look until it is coated with sealer, or another clearcoat of your
choice, so your sample testing is critical. The other guy is correct
-- dye first, then build your color on that in translucent steps.
Oil-based paste wood filler (aka pore filler) is an essential but
often overlooked step in the process. It comes as thick as axle
grease, and must be reduced with mineral spirits. Note: I am old
school, and will not use anything but an oil-based [paste wood
filler]." - Richard B.
Project Plans for a
Self-Conceived Project from Sawmill Creek
The question that began this thread
came from a woodworker designing his own project -- who was trying to
determine the best method of making that design. - Editor
do you use to develop working drawings for projects you conceived
yourself? I have a closet system I want to build and want to make
drawings to develop the look and dimensions of the components. I do
not need 3D drawings. Do you use CAD software or the good old drawing
board and T-Square route? I am asking because I am struggling with
SketchUp." - George B.
responses included suggestions for SketchUp tutorials - while
acknowledging that the program has a learning curve that can be a
struggle. - Editor
use SketchUp. Have you tried the SketchUp for Wookworkers tutorials?
It was the quick start I needed. http://sketchupforwoodworkers.com/"
- Mark C.
use Visio, but I'm probably an oddball. I like it because I can
easily make orthographic projections to scale and add dimensions,
which is what I use to build from. Like you, I've tried SketchUp and
haven't got comfortable with it yet. But I can see that it would be a
very powerful tool. I'm just not there yet."
- Charlie B.
first struggled with Sketchup also, and fully find the struggling
part true, but fortunately that changed! However, I now use it
exclusively to design my furniture and projects. I found an excellent
set of video tutorials on a woodworker's site, Chief Woodworker'sBlog. I love the ability to generate dimensioned drawings so
quickly and easily after the design is finished. I learned just how
versatile and powerful this tool can be when used as shown. I used to
use AutoSketch 2D, but SketchUp is so much more useful for my needs."
use Visio for some things and SketchUp for most everything else.
is not fun to start with:it takes a while, but then it turns in to
great fun. I installed SketchUp and after about a hour uninstalled
it, then I installed it again and after about two hours I uninstalled
it, I just didn't get it. Then I watched some videos from SketchUp
for dummies (http://www.aidanchopra.com/web-content),
and that helped a lot. Then I watched some videos for woodworkers
and a few others on YouTube, and now I really like it. Don't give up
on it, work on it for a while and then leave it and come back and
work some more. To me the biggest thing is learning to make groups
and moving them to were you want them."
this woodworker indicated that it's a matter of the correct mindset.
comes a moment when learning SketchUp where the 3D space of your
drawing kind of pops into reality on your monitor. Getting past the
2D mindset was the key for me. I knew that one object was in front of
and to the left of another, but I didn't treat it that way. I treated
it like a pencil and paper rendering of a 3D object; doesn't work
well. Embrace "the space."-