Dying birch


I'm thinking of stripping the poly and laid-on stain from a rifle which, I believe, to be birch. I know that birch is sometimes tought to stain and after being stripped I'm probably in for more than the usual difficulty. I've never used dyes. Is this a better process than the poorly absorbed stains or not? TIA
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C & E wrote:

Dyes will color wood even if it has been burnished to a mirror finish. Have you ever had experience with stain not getting dark enough if the wood is sanded past 150 or 180 if a dark color is your goal? You can even lightly sand dyed wood without removing the color. Alcohol based dyes are not as lightfast as the WB ones. There are also oil based dyes. I only used the WB ones. Woodworker's Supply has a great selection of colors and they come in plastic bottles. LV has a few dyes that come in envelopes which pretty much means you have to find a small container with a tight fitting lid to store them. I've asked that they change the packaging, but they aren't interested.
Water based dyes will raise grain, but that's quickly resolved.
Dave
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I use the transtint dyes made by homestead finishing. Comes in a small squeeze bottle.
http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/htdocs/TransTint.htm
Makes it easy to make up small quantities for small projects or for experimenting with different dilutions and or mixing with other dyes. Get out your kitchen measuring spoons and a measuring cup. Instead of teaspoons, tablespoon, ounces, cups pints and quartz. Try going metric. teaspoon is 5 ml, tablespoon is 15 ml etc. Who knows, maybe you're not in the US so you never have to deal with ounces etc. lucky you.
MB
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They give a completely different effect. Stains emphasis grain, dyes hide it. Personally I don't like result of dye, but will use them with stains occassionally.
If you use conditioner with a gel stain it ought to be even enough. Unless of course you want to lose all the grain, in which case dye would be fine.
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Birch is not difficult to stain - just difficult to get a uniform color, because the direction of the fiber can vary a lot in just a little distance. A lot of variation is "figure," a little is an annoyance. Check FWW current issue for an illustration, but realize than you can use dye or stain (or both) to your advantage. Apply, then surface sand a touch more than you actually need to cut the whiskers, and you'll have darker, accented by lighter spots.
If you want uniformity, paint it, or use the semitransparent equivalent - a glaze.
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