Dye Wood

How to Dye Wood – Step-by-Step Guide


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Wood is an interesting subject. With different curves and crooks, it makes for the perfect addition to any room.

But the real problem arises when you know that the natural color won’t make sense in the room setting. This is where the question of how to dye wood arises.

Once you decide that you want to color your wood differently, you will look for the right way to do it.

If that’s what you want, then you’re in the right place. Here is a guide to help dye wood in some simple steps.

Steps on how to dye wood

Before we proceed to the steps you need to follow, here are all the things you will need:

  • Dye.
  • Paintbrushes.
  • Jars with lids.
  • Measuring spoons or cups.
  • Beeswax or a finish of your choice.
  • Temperature gage.
  • Clean rags.
  • Newspapers.
  • A small block of wood.

Step 1: Prepare your space

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The first step to working on wood is always to ensure you work in a clean space. Declutter your space and keep everything you will need within reach. This improves your efficiency.

Make sure that you spread out some newspapers under the wooden object you want to work with. Next, place the object on top. This helps you keep your surfaces clean and eliminates the extensive clean-up after you finish your project.

Step 2: Mixing the dye

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Before you take the second step of our how to dye wood guide, read the label of the dye you use. The label will give you specific instructions as to how to use it. Follow the steps and directions to a T.

When you mix the dye with water, take it outside the room or make use of a dust mask. Before it is mixed with water, it is not safe to use, which is why you need to be careful with it.

Once the dye completely dissolves, bring it back inside. Now it is safe to use. You can mix the dye as per your preference.

If you’re not sure of the type of color you want, you can start with small spoons and continue increasing the amount of dye in the water. Continue this till you come to a desirable or satisfactory color.

A small side note, if you’re happy with the color and you have some left after its use, you don’t have to discard it. If you store it in a coolish place, it can work just as well for at least a year!

Step 3: Test the dye

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If you’re not dyeing different sizes of wood and have one project to work on, testing the dye is a good idea. The how to dye wood guide does not end with preparing the dye and painting it over.

Before you move to the object you want to color, test the dye. Use the small block of wood to see how the dye turned out.

Since colors do not show up until the dye dries up completely, you can use a blow dryer to see how the color turned out.

If you’re satisfied with the color, you can move on to the next step.

But if you’re just dying different blocks of wood for later use, you can practically dye them up with whatever color you choose. With different colors, you can plan to create something later.

Step 4: Using the dye on wood

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This step of our how to dye wood guide is self-explanatory! All you need to do is paint over the surface. And that’s it.

You can even wait for the color to seep into the wood. This is a fun process. You will see how color travels through wood and how it shows up on the surface.

Once done, you can wait for it to dry naturally or use a blow dryer.

Step 5: Finishing up

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The pieces of wood you dye need to be sealed. Remember, using beeswax or any other finish will darken the color you have. But then again, it makes it look perfect as well.

Heat the beeswax. Make sure that the temperature does not go over 145 -147º (63 Celsius). Above this temperature level, the beeswax will become toxic. Use the temperature gage to check the temperature.

Once the wax is melted, you just need a brush to use on the wood. You can go over it like paint.

If you do not want to make use of beeswax, you can also make use of other sealants like spray varnish or shellac.

Step 6: Taking the extra beeswax off

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The last step of our how to dye wood guide is to finish off the finish of your wood. There’s always a chance that you’d have extra sealant on the wood, especially with beeswax.

You can make use of lint-free cloth to wipe the excess off. With other types of sealants, you will have to use sanding paper.

What else can you use?

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When it comes to finding the right answer to how to dye wood question, there are many options to try out. Here are two other common ways to dye wood:

  • Wood stain is a great option. It is easy to use and does not need much effort. But the only downside to it is that it does not give you many color variants.
  • The other option is to make use of food coloring. If you have children at home, most color options are not children-safe. Since food coloring options are food-grade options, these do not have harmful chemicals.


In terms of craftsmanship, finding the answer to how to dye wood is probably one of the easiest tasks. The only thing you need to be careful of is when you mix the dye in water.

Once you’re done with your project, make sure that you clean the space. If there are dyes you don’t want to use again, safely dispose of them. And the ones you want to keep, store them in a cool place.

Following the steps mentioned above will help you dye wood easily.