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Can I Mix Sanding Sealer With A Wood Dye/stain?

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I bought some red dye and tested it on some scrap alder wood. It looks okay but is too pronounced and "cloudy" looking. I was wondering if I could just mix some of it with my first coat of sanding sealer, then just use the sealer for the second and third coat (maybe a fourth coat, even)?

I was originally going for more of a reddish mahogany type tint, so the red stain onto the bare wood is just too much. I'm really looking for more of a amber/reddish natural look, as opposed to a translucent color.

Plus, I bought some wax for my final coats, which has a mahogany tint already in it, so I probably wouldn't need to use much of the dye anyway...just a bit with the first coat of sealer.

Anyway, is it then possible to mix wood dye with sanding sealer?


Edited by hendrix2430
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hendrix2430.....What kind of dye did you buy? What is the name brand and specific color.....Is it water or alcohol soluble? How was it applied.....spray or rag....if you spray an alcohol dye, it may appear cloudy. I have color chips that I have made on mahogany possibly in the color(shade and tints) that you may have in mind. Phyfe Red and Cuban Mahogany are 2 great reddish colors that may work well for you. It sound by your description, that you may be using a scarlet red or brilliant crimson.

These dyes should be applied directly to the wood surface(at least that is my prefered method).....Depending on the dye, they can be mixed in the lacquer. Aniline dyes do look strange when they are dry, but come to life once the finish is applied.

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Hi Tdog,

I'm from france, so you probably won't know the name brand of the product. It's called:

Teinte couleur: Rouge Ancien (literally, Color Dye: Ancient Red), and it's made by Liberon.

I'm a little dissapointed with the color, because I wanted something more like Candy Apple transparent red. It's more of a "weak" fiesta red, if you know what I mean.

I tried out a couple different combinations so far (on scrap wood).

-First I applied Wood Paste ("Mahogany" tint), then a couple coats of dye, then a couple coats of sanding sealer. The finish is very cloudy and not nice at all.

-Second sample, I first applied a wet rag onto the wood and sanded it. I dismissed the wood paste and went ahead with some dye (couple coats). Then I used a couple coats of sanding sealer.

I haven't applied the Wax I bought (mahogany tint) but the second sample is much nicer. The grain shows very nicely and it looks much smoother and transparent. It's amazing how raising the grain and sanding the wood as a prep can change the results.

Anyway, it doesn't say whether or not the dye is water based or alcohol based but it only says you can clean it out with water...does this mean it's water based?

I applied it with a rag.

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I'm familiar with Liberon lacquer burn in sticks, but not their dyes. It sounds like you are after a color similar to the red of a Gibson SG or Les Paul Jr. There are several good "recipies" to achieve this red in the Stew-Mac book "Guitar Finishing, Step by Step". If you had this book, it would take much of the trial and error out of your project.

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Hi, well not as dark as the Jr colors, but close, yes. If I can't achieve that, then I'd much rather have a brownish mahogany tint and that's all.

I just applied a first coat of wax to the second sample, and it's working very nicely!

We'll see how that turns out after a few more coats. Thanks for the help!

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I'm glad you're making some progress.

The cloudiness may have been caused by the wood filler not being completely removed. This will cause what you have described.

If the dye will dissolve in lacquer thinner or acetone it probably will dissolve in your sanding sealer.

Have you found a clear top coat yet?

With the resrtictions on supplies that you guys have I'm sort of baffled as to what to recommentd to you.

You might try an antique or furniture refinisher. That's who Liberon targets most of their stuff to. They might be able to steer you to something.

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Hey Doc,

Like you suggested in the email, I got some Liberon Wax in mahogany tint, that I will use for my final coats. Don't know how many yet, but I think I might do that instead of bothering with Poly or Nitro.

If I could, I'd buy some wipe on poly, but I don't seem to find what I need over here.

Maybe use some sanding sealer at the very end for a more glossy look that the wax, no?

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