Full Chisel Blog

March 28, 2011

Staining with Spices

Filed under: Finishing,Historical Material,Of Interest,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 10:28 am

Keeping up my culinary approach to woodworking I have been using some traditional dyes available right in the kitchen.  Kids you can try this at home.  Of course household vinegar and iron filings makes the stain ‘iron buff’.  Tea and coffee can be used to dye woods brown.  These are actually dyes rather than stains as there is some chemical reactions going on not just depositing fine pigments on the surface [stain].

I was going to do a sample of saffron dye, however it is terribly expensive, around $3,000.00 per pound.  I have some Annatto seeds which are currently soaking in alcohol.  I did pick up some turmeric (Curcuma longa) and not for making curry.  I mixed some up with alcohol and added a bit of lye (kids get your parents to help with this one).  It starts out yellow and with the addition of an alkali base (increasing the pH to above 7) it turns quite orange and imparts the following color to hard curly maple.  The sample has dried.

The alcohol I am using is some local Valley Tan (moonshine) so as to keep everything edible.  I will do another sample with the turmeric without the lye and the annatto seeds.  All of this of course will be covered in Shellac, Linseed Oil & Paint – Traditional 19th Century Woodwork Finishes, hopefully out by the end of April.

Stephen

4 Comments »

  1. “All of this of course will be covered in Shellac, Linseed Oil & Paint – Traditional 19th Century Woodwork Finishes, hopefully out by the end of April.”

    Can’t wait!

    Comment by Badger — March 28, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  2. Awesome color. I cook sometimes with turmeric and can testify to its staining abilities. Never thought about using it on wood. Since it’s pretty pungent, would shellac seal out the aroma adequately?

    Best,

    Tico

    Comment by Tico Vogt — March 28, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

  3. that color would look amazing on a spinning wheel! when it’s sealed would it be lightfast?

    Comment by anastasia — March 28, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  4. Where will it be available? In the Full Chisel store?

    Thank you,
    Trevor Walsh

    Comment by Trevor Walsh — March 28, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

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