Using a black analine dye on white oak. Problem is the dye doesn't
penetrate deep enough into the open grain. Used foam and bristle
brushes with similar poor results. Mixed dye as per instructions on
the label, even added a drop of dish detergent to get the solution
'wetter' but no joy. Oak was sanded to 150, shop-vac'd then wiped down
with a wet shop rag. Any suggestions as to what I need to do for
deeper grain penetration?
The stuff I've seen analine dye on was not "ebonized"- it just dyed
the grain and increased the contrast on the piece. FWIW though, I did
do a project that was ebonized using india ink a couple of weeks ago,
and it worked great.
Are you talking about getting the dye down into to grain lines and you
are seeing little white lines? This is very common with Red oak and
less with White but I've seen it.
You were on the right path with the detergent. It is a surface tension
problem. I assume you are using a water based solution of Analine if
you were adding detergent.
One idea might be to try an alcohol based solution. Harder to work with
but depending on the form of the piece might be better.
The other thing (that I do with water based stain on Rad Oak) is to
scrub it in. You need to get a stif bristle brush and actually scrub it
into the grain. Go both against, with the grain and in circular. You
aren't necessarily getting the bristles into the grain, just breakling
the surface tension soi it can flow in on its own.
I've also found when using NGR type Analine pre-mixes that flooding the
surface gives a much better color than just dainty application.
I've tried all the usual fixes: detergent, application variations
(spray, brush, you name it)...
Bottom line is water based dyes don't like coloring oak pores. I follow
the dye with tinted topcoats. That hides those pesky light spots. It
takes more experimentation, because you'll be adding color
post-staining. If someone's got a better idea when you absolutely, must
use a WB dye stain, please offer it up!
Flooding the surface is the best you can do. Note that you will get color
reversal in any case with ring porous and rayed woods like oak. I have been
doing some experimentation on black ash, though with alcohol as the vehicle,
and find the dye superior to ink, permanent marker (which is purple) and
Minwax Jacobean. Blotting with the cotton T-shirt worked better than
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