Wood is undoubtedly one of the most popular materials within a home. It is able to provide a sense of organic beauty and thanks to its innate durability, wood can last for literally hundreds of years if properly cared for. Although the natural appearance of wood certainly attracts attention, there are many instances when a specific colour might be desired. Wood dye is a very common option in such a case. In order to make an informed decision, let's take a look at the basic principles behind this type of dye as well as some factors to take into account.
What is Wood Dye?
This type of dye is simply a pigment comprised of both organic and inorganic materials. Binders, filling agents, the colour itself and drying agents are all present within very specific combinations. Unlike lacquers and the majority of varnishes on the market, wood dyes are available in both latex and oil formulations. You are able to choose from a nearly endless spectrum of colours, and customised options are sometimes available.
This type of dye essentially works by soaking into the pores of the underlying wood. Unlike traditional paints, an ability to penetrate the surface tends to provide excellent protection against fading and the effects of ultraviolet light over time. Such dyes will often be used on exterior surfaces such as decks, railings and cedar shakes.
The first factor to address is the type of formulation desired. As mentioned previously, oil and latex variants are available. Oil-based dyes can cause strong odours; even after they have dried. It may, therefore, be better to employ a water-based solvent if you live in a home with children or the elderly.
The second concern is choosing a solid or a semi-solid finish. Semi-transparent varieties will enable some of the wood grain to be seen; a good choice for more expensive substances such as mahogany or cherry. Solid coats are better at hiding knots and other imperfections.
Lastly, we should always keep in mind that certain formulations are intended for exterior use while others can only be used within a home. This is normally marked on the label. Also, specific dyes are designed for high-traffic areas such as decks and timber walkways. These are more resistant to physical wear and tear.
Appreciating the different varieties of dye is essential so that you can make an informed choice and select the formulation that is best for your needs.