TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Finishes, paints and coatings

TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:47 pm

Technically, this isn't a question of skinning a teardrop. But since most conversations about protecting and coloring wood seem to happen in this forum, I thought it would be more appropriate. Moderators, feel free to redirect me.

Back story: I'm tired of using generic pigmented stains. The only hardwoods that seem to stain well are oak and ash. Everything else - birch, alder, maple, poplar, aspen, cherry, and all the softwoods like fir, spruce and pine - don't want to take stain well. I'm tired of dealing with the blotching, and I refuse to restrict my designs to the tried n' true varnished raw Baltic Birch :p

I've spent the last 48 hours of my life crash-coursing in hardwood finishing. I'll spare you the gory details. Long story short, I'm interested in TransTints. They are dyes, not stains, intended for interior use. They are soluble in just about any water- or solvent-based finish (not oil-based), and can be used as "stains" on bare wood or seal coat toners. Colors can be mixed to achieve custom colors. They are somewhat similar to aniline dyes, but they have better color retention and versatility.

I'm thinking of making the jump to dyes and forgetting about stains entirely. Only so much room in the shop, after all. But at $20 for a 2-oz bottle, I'd like to hear from any voices of experience before I shell out $150+ for a set of dyes and learn a new skill.

Fire away.
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Re: TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Postby greygoos » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:31 pm

Pretty sure that Ryan used dyes on his tear and aggie also. I think da bear sox is dyed also
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Re: TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Postby QueticoBill » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:16 pm

I've specified Sherwin Williams Sher-wood dyes for stage floors for a long time. Much better penetration and doesn't get "blotchy" or leave light colored dense fibers show (since I'm mostly using black). Probably a good move - but I'd look around at different brands.
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Re: TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Postby Andrew Herrick » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:52 pm

The things I'm most concerned about are:

1) Color steadfastness
2) Versatility in different chemical bases.
3) Appearance. Want it to highlight, not muddy wood figure.
4) Ease of application. At this point, no HVLP sprayer for me. Just good ol' brush.

TransTints seems to fit the bill? ...

Other options: Transfast Aniline Dyes, Sher-Wood Universal Colorants, W.D. Lockwood Dyes ... my head hurts. :?

Here's a good article on the basics of wood dyes: https://www.finewoodworking.com/FWNPDFf ... 190044.pdf

I might just take the plunge and go for TransTints.
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Re: TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Postby aggie79 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:16 am

I used TransTint dyes on my tongue box. The wood is cedar.

Image

I blended two colors of TransTint dyes to get the shade I wanted. I used a foam brush for applying the dyes and cotton rags to wipe off excess. It can be a little tricky maintaining consistent color, but one of the bonuses of using these is that you can "add" as well as "subtract" dye.

Image

The cedar was weather-protected using 3 coats of epoxy.

Image

After allowing for cure, I added 3 coats of Emtech EM9300 for UV protection.

Image

Then I assembled the tongue box, installed the trim, and attached it to the teardrop.

Image

My teardrop is stored indoors, but the color-fastness and weather-tightness have held up for 6-7 years.
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Re: TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Postby Andrew Herrick » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:51 am

Beautiful work as usual, Aggie. Those dyes sure make the figure pop!

I'm think I'm just about sold ...

Did you have better luck with water or alcohol as your solvent?
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Re: TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Postby HMK » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:21 pm

@Aggie79

Dude! I love the "trunk" box. My uncle used to build/restore those. Trust me, I know it's not as easy to build a lid to fit a boxes as it looks. Awesome Job!
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Re: TransTints Dyes - The Voice of Experience?

Postby aggie79 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:52 pm

Thanks. I used alcohol since it does not raise the grain of the wood.


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