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Application of Dyes and Pigments
Woodworking Industry
In the woodworking industry, using dyes is very common. They are used for a number of applications. From finishing for making the stains, to toners that is applied for blending in different species of wood, to make the unmatched colors appear uniform in the same wood. Dyes are also added in coatings for making shading stains, that results in color and coating in one operation. Dyes are also excellent for preparing color touchups. All in all, the dyes are a versatile colorant which has the capacity to improve and enhance finishing, and restoration operations. In this digram (below) are shown some of the most popular combinations of dye colors that are used in furniture:

Woodworking Industry
A: Red mahogany; B: Brown mahogany; C:Dark walnut; D: Medium walnut; E: Red maple F: Golden oak.

For use in Woodworking industries the Dyes are solid generally in primary, secondary and various premixed colors. They can be found in liquid or powder form. They are also found in different solubles, like water, alcohol, lacquer and oil.

Tips on Selecting the Right Dye

Alcohol and Lacquer Dyes- These dyes are quite similar to each other. Both has the capacity to dry exceptionally fast. This makes them very difficult to apply by brush or wiping. They give best results when sprayed. Any of of these dyes can be applied to coatings as a transparent shading stain. They do not raise the wood's grain. Generally solvents for these solubles are denatured alcohol and lacquer thinners.

Water type Dyes- It displays the best clarity and is the typically most transparent. Among the dyes used in woodworking it is the most colorfast. One factor that is to be considererd here is that as the solvent is water, the dyeing process is very slow. Unlike Alcohol and lacquer dyes, they raises the wood grain.

Oil Dye- Compared to others the oil dye is slow drying process. Although it allows more open time, but more longer dry time is required.

Dye Colour- It would be foolishness to judge dye colors when they are applied, as they are very deceiving to the eye. It is seen that both the powder and liquid stains sometimes appear as one color, but after coating, the colors look quite different.

Powder Dyes- Can also be used along with suitable thinners.

Color strength of Dyes- It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Please be careful about the manufacturer's recommendation, to make sure as to what ratio of dye to the solvent is the right one.

Compatability- There are now a variety of dyes that are available in the market today. Before opting to buy any dye, it is important to determine whether it is compatible when sealed with the coatings. Also, if it can be added to the coating and used for making shading stains. It is also imperative to know how the dye is applied, what solvent is used to dissolve or dilute it and which solvent types quickens or slow down its dry time.

Dyes or Pigments: The perennial dilemma

Dyes Pigments
Dyes are very good for doing touchups on furniture because of transparency. Dyes do not block out the natural wood, as pigmented colorants generally does if they are not thinned out. Pigments has its plus points too, as on some finishes, pigmented colorants are better in matching opaque-colored finishes. Also, pigmented colorants come up with white colors plus a plethora of other colors that can be mixed from them. All in all, there is place in the sun for both dyes and pigments.

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