A Color to Dye For

I’m building a small table for the December issue of Woodworker’s Journal. It has some nice features and techniques — through wedged tenons and clever use of butterfly keys are just a couple examples. But I am also going to use dye to color the legs and undercarriage.

Dye is an underutilized means of adding color to wood. The scope of colors one can get from dyes is amazing. The depth of color it can provide, especially on close-grained wood, is wonderful. And another fun fact: you can glue dyed wood with the same results as gluing up raw wood. Don’t try to do that with an oil-based stain!

Dye is not the be-all and end-all of adding color to wood, but it is an easy-to-use and tremendously effective way to do it. If you haven’t tried dye before, I encourage you to do so on a future project.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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