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Thread: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

  1. #1

    Default Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    Some of you veterans tell me what colors to use to achive a dark cremona burst. From base to last color. I will be using transtint with d- alcohol. I have amber or yellow for a first coat, and medium brown, dark walnut, red mahogany, and black. Thx. Gentleman

  2. #2

    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    Hi. I am NOT a veteran, though I've been experimenting recently trying to learn sunbursting. I am using Honey Amber mixed to 1/2 strength as a base. I then go back with full-strength Honey Amber. My second color is Reddish Brown (full strength), and then the third, darkest color is Black. I first tried Black at full strength but it was very clear for some reason, so I added a few drops to further darken it. I also have Dark Walnut, and for my next practice I think I'm going to mix a full-strength batch of that but add a couple drops of Black to darken it. If it is helpful, I am posting progressive images of the piece I used to test this weekend. It is scrap pine carved and sanded to 320. The images are (1) before any dye, (2) Honey Amber, (3) after adding Reddish Brown, (4) with first edge of Black and then (5) with further darkened black on the edge.

    In the times I've tested Dark Walnut on its own, it has seemed too light to me. That's why I went with Black.

    Also, I've tested Brown Mahogany and Dark Vintage Maple as my second color in previous tests. Both appear to me to be too brown and lack any redness.

    And did I mention I'm not an experienced professional? :-) Just want to be REALLY clear on that...

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  3. #3
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    Quote Originally Posted by justrythym View Post
    Some of you veterans tell me what colors to use to achive a dark cremona burst. From base to last color. I will be using transtint with d- alcohol. I have amber or yellow for a first coat, and medium brown, dark walnut, red mahogany, and black. Thx. Gentleman
    I'm sure a process using those colors will work. You have to choose the outcome and work towards that.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    Trans-tint and denatured alcohol? Why not water?
    I bought amber, bright red, medium brown, red mahogany, brown mahogany, blue, and black. You can mix any color, other than bright greens, from that combination.

  5. #5
    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Trans-tint and denatured alcohol? Why not water?
    I bought amber, bright red, medium brown, red mahogany, brown mahogany, blue, and black. You can mix any color, other than bright greens, from that combination.
    Can’t speak for anybody else, but in my case, I was unsure about the effect of adding so much moisture to my instrument. I figured if I ended up building color very slowly (and making some mistakes along the way) that I’d be better off using alcohol as my solvent.

    Of course, when I sprayed shellac to seal it, everything ran everywhere and I essentially had to start from scratch anyway!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Streip View Post
    Can’t speak for anybody else, but in my case, I was unsure about the effect of adding so much moisture to my instrument. I figured if I ended up building color very slowly (and making some mistakes along the way) that I’d be better off using alcohol as my solvent.

    Of course, when I sprayed shellac to seal it, everything ran everywhere and I essentially had to start from scratch anyway!
    Try using water... way easier. No detrimental effects just from dying it with waterbased dye. It raises the grain a bit, then you sand the raised grain with 400-600 grit and dye again, and it no longer raises the grain. Plus, it allows you to add back a bit of shimmer and transparency instead of the muddle "colored in with a sharpie" look of overly saturated dyed wood.

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  8. #7

    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    Practice on some scrap.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    Personally, I have been using pure grain alcohol because it does not raise the grain. In my past experiences in woodworking I have had poor luck (poor skill, more likely to blame) with dealing with raising grain. The little experience I have had thus far in applying alcohol dissolved dyes has been satisfactory, with the only major hurdle being that I need more experience with blending colors.

    I will also add that in most of the tutorials I have viewed the demonstrators have used alcohol as the solvent. I realize that just because something is on the Internet doesn't make it the best way. But it has been the most common method by far. And in self-teaching, I take that as an indicator that I can expect to have good success with that method.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

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  11. #10

    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    I used water after sanding to 320 grit 3M freecut paper to raise the grain, let dry and sand again. I did this three times. Then I used Transtint with water. Hit the whole instrument with medium brown lightly and sand the whole instrument again leaving the dark brown in the grain. Then apply Lemon Yellow to the whole instrument. Sand any raised grain and apply yellow again. Let dry. Then I start with red mahogany around the outside and blend it in with the yellow, sometime using more yellow. Then I make a very dark, dark walnut. Apply to the outside and blend into the red carefully. Go back and forth between the red and dark walnut. I will leave more yellow at this stage because I will then use an airbrush to even out the red transition into the yellow toward the middle. The spruce takes a lot of practice. The maple is quite easy and you can fix mistakes. -Josh

  12. #11

    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    You have all the colors you need to do your burst. I've only done a few but here's my latest attempt
    • If you want to pop the grain on the maple back, dye it very dark (or at least amber) and sand it back until the dye only remains in the valleys of the grain
    • yellow all over the whole area
    • orange or red-brown around the outer 3", blend this into the yellow center
    • next darker shade red or red-brown around the outer 2", blend this into the orange
    • outer rim the darkest color you want around the outer 1"
    * keep a tray of your mixing medium out with lot's of rags for the blending
    • this is backwards from how all the experts I've seen on the web do it, they start at the outside and work their way in, this way just seemed more intuitive to me
    * I lightly seal spruce tops with super blonde shellac and scuff sand before shading, otherwise the spruce turns out splotchy no matter how much I've sanded.
    I tried using water when I first switched from alcohol based aniline dyes to Transtint. I had a real hard time controlling the color blending, it seemed to sink straight into the wood and I couldn't lighten it by further rubbing. I ended up switching to a spirit based medium cut with retarder to have more time to move the color around. Like I said, I've only done a few and the other experts posting here say water is much easier, so I would go with their recommendation, BUT practice on scrap first to get the feel for the process.
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  13. #12
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transtint Dye for finishing HELP?

    I don't use any black because when I tried it in past it seemed to take some of the vibrancy out of the color, so I just mix the browns as strong/dark as necessary.

    Transtint is much more difficult to blend than aniline dyes, and lightening the dye with alcohol or water once it's on doesn't work very well. I don't use water because I don't like getting the wood that wet at this stage in the game, so I use alcohol and apply the dye in many coats, trying to blend as well as I can very quickly. I always apply color right at the edge first and very slowly "sneak up" on the center of the sunburst so I (hopefilly) don't get it too dark in that area.

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