How To Dye Wood All The Way Through (4 Step Guide)

The color of our furniture can change the whole interior outlook of our house. Getting the wood pieces dyed completely gives the best outcome. 

However, deep penetrating dye work is very hard to acquire. The layers in woods are not easy to pass through for the dyes. 

So, how to dye wood all the way through?

Pick the right kind of wood that is perforative enough for the dye. Also, choose the right kind of dye that can glide through the layers. It just doesn’t end here. Best of all, there’s even a process by which you can “treat” the wood. Treating the wood makes the layers penetrative. 

Are you intrigued to know more about this process? You better dive into the topic then!

The Type Of Wood To Use

how to dye wood all the way through

The type of wood highly affects how our dye would mix in. We also need to choose the color of the dye according to the wood type!

If you want to dye the wood any color other than black, go for white wood. There’s a wide variety in white woods alone. But among them, sycamore, lime, beech, etc would work best. 

On the other hand, what if we are looking for an ebony outlook in our furnishings? 

Oak, soft mahogany, cherry, or pear are your options to pick from. As the black dye is of an intense base, the woods that we mentioned earlier soak in the dye well. 

Simply put, softwoods are a must if you want the dye to perforate deep through. The fibers within softwood are not as gluey and held close together as in hardwood.

 Hence, hardwoods are a no-no for this matter.

The Type Of Dye To Go For

Oil-based dyes are long-lasting and deeply penetrative. They have the ability to lock in the color. The dye remains protected and the outlook is augmented. 

Best of all, it can slide in through all the layers!

Preparing Wood For Dyeing All The Way Through

Now that we’ve known which basic elements to pick, let’s dig deeper. 

Furthermore, we’ll walk through 3 steps for pre-preparation of the wood. So that the dye materials soak through all the layers!

Step 1 of 3: Boiling The Wood

We need to start by preparing the solution in which the wood should be boiled. We need to take the proportion in a certain ratio. 

That is, take half a pound of caustic soda or lye. The lye then should be mixed with 5 pints of water. 

Then we need to immerse the wood in it. And bring it to a boil for around half an hour. After that, the wood should be left to soak in the solution for 24 hours. 

Step 2 of 3: Wiping Off The Solution

The wood should become soft as leather but hard as plastic at the same time. When it reaches that stage, we should begin step 2. 

The piece needs to be wiped thoroughly with the help of clean deal shavings. This is done to remove any alkali from the surface. 

However, make sure not to put extra pressure on the wood while wiping. 

Step 3 of 3: Pressurizing The Wood

In this final step, we need to place the piece between two boards. Adequate weights should be placed above the boards to create pressure on the woods. 

The setup should be left in this manner until the wood dries completely off of the soda. 

After all of these steps are done, our wood is ready to be dyed. However, why did we go through these extra procedures though? 

The “soda treatment” of the wood was done so that the dye can go all throughout the layer. This treatment has some important effects. 

That is, it makes the wood get rid of the gluey and adhesive matters between the layers. 

Hence, the pores are open for the dye to soak in.

Step 4: Dyeing The Wood

We will follow the conventional dyeing method. That firstly comes with sanding. Make sure to sand it just enough so that the surface is not grimy

Don’t sand it to roughness! If the surface is too rough, the dye will not be able to adhere well to it.  Then we wipe it off with a damp cloth. 

After that, we can put on the oil-based stain of our choice of color. Make sure it’s of the best type.

If you can’t decide what to buy, here’s our top pick of stains-

 Here, we need to ensure that the stain is put on with soft and continuous strokes. It must not be rubbed on the surface. That won’t give us the smooth finish we crave for!

That’s it! Your wood should be dyed all the way through.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How do you blacken wood?

Answer: One single additional step needs to be followed before the traditional dyeing method. That is, we need to soak the treated wood in an adequate amount of bark tea. The solution may start to pool in some part of the wood. In that case, we should simply wipe it off. This is better than stroking it more in an attempt to make it settle. Then when it dries off, we can put on the dye. 

Question: How long does it take wood dye to dry?

Answer: It usually takes 12 to 24 hours to dry off. However, try not to rush in this process. You can leave it on for longer before you do the final touch-ups. 

Question: Does the second coat of stain darken wood? 

Answer: Yes, the second coat does darken the wood. Make sure to do it after the first stain is dried off completely. It is better to start off with a dark stain instead. Putting on the second coat just lengthens the process. 

Wrapping Up

You see, the whole dyeing process requires a lot of time and patience. However, since you’re looking for how to dye wood all the way through, extra effort is fundamental. 

Make sure to do the steps right, and the efforts will be worth it! 

 You can have the wood piece with the deep-penetrating finish and enjoy it for a long time!

Let us know if it helped you. Good luck!

Kevin Smith

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