I'm trying to (reasonably) match a color. I'm using some powdered
dyes. I've made a couple of very small batches that are moving in the
These powders are very concentrated. A small amount more or less will
make a large difference. I doubt my ability to measure accurately
enough to scale up a "successful" test batch to make enough for the
I figure I'll have to estimate a "formula" for the full batch, then
try it out repeatedly on scrap as I tweak it. When I think it's close
enough I'll apply it to the project. My question is, how big a batch
should I make? There's about 30 square feet of surface on my project.
I'm anticipating that someone will tell me I won't really know what
the color will look like until the test pieces dry. That brings up my
second question: How long will the dye solution be usable after it is
mixed? Hours? Weeks? Months?
Thanks in advance.
Won't a series of twofold dilutions of small amounts get you where you want?
You only need to be able to measure one amount consistently each time,
if you start with two times the end volume in the first batch, then
remove exactly half that into an equal amount of diluent. Mix that and
remove exactly half to another equal amount of diluent (...and so on to
Then mark which one is the proper dilution, and you know it is a 2^n
dilution of the undiluted stock.
You don't know how it will look until it is varnished (or whatever). Dyed
wood changes pretty dramatically.
Since you are talking about drying, I assume this is water dissolved dye. I
have been using some I made up 2 years ago with no problems. Haven't any
idea what its actual life is, but certainly long enough for your project.
I make up a test solution. Add a little more A, dilute it some, add some B,
etc. until I get what I want, and then just use it. The bottle makes up so
much that I have no concern about wasting it.
Hee hee! You think you won't know what the dyed pieces will look like
UNTIL they dry?? You won't have a CLUE what the final color will be,
once they dry. The wood will look funky when dry and only when you
apply a finish , will you know what color you'll get. You need to
practice on a piece of scrap to see what I'm talking about. Dyed wood is
not going to give you a "preview" like when you apply pigment stains.
As long as the dye doesn't start growing nasties, you can use it for
months. Don't forget to stir or shake it up if it's been sitting around
for a while.
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