22) I Tried to Dye Wood and PVC with Fabric Dye #NewThingEveryDay

Dyeing supplies

I caught an article on Make that showed how to dye PVC, so I did a little more research. I found several sites saying you could use something called Rit dye that’s cheap and available everywhere. It’s used as a fabric dye, but it’ll dye wood and plastic. Most sites still said you had to soften the PVC with either a cleaner or acetone.

I picked up some cherry red liquid Rit dye the other day for less than $2. I wanted to try to dye PVC, but I was more interested in how well it would dye wood. If I could find a cheap source of liquid dye, that would be really cool. I tried some powdered dye a while back and it was a disaster, the powder got everywhere.

Applying dye

I grabbed a few sticks of pine and I sanded a length of PVC to get rid of the printing. Then I applied the dye straight out of the container to the materials with a brush. After letting it sit for about an hour I wiped off the dye. I wasn’t too satisfied with the PVC so I trued rubbing acetone on the unstained part to soften it. Now, the dye wouldn’t stick to the PVC. I painted an extra coat of dye on the sticks for good measure.

Dyeing results

I¬†wiped the dye off after an hour again. The dye just didn’t penetrate¬†the PVC this time. I also sanded one of the sticks with some 220 grit sandpaper to see how that would look (the one on the left).

I’m not satisfied with the results. I need to go back and read the directions on how to dilute the dye and then soak the pieces. I was hoping to be able to just paint the dye onto the surface, but I’ll have to do it the hard way I guess.

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