Applying Dye Without a Stain Coat

Can a finisher rely on dye alone, without stain, to achieve his intended look? September 25, 2014

For years I have used NGR dye and then stained over it. Do any of you guys spray dye and use it as the finish color? I have done a sample and it looks good so I was just wondering if this was a common practice. I have been spraying dye and spraying a stain over top of that for the last couple of years with good results. If the dye will work then I can eliminate the stain step, and probably even get better adhesion in the process.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From Contributor C:
You can absolutely use nor spray dye for your final color. You can spray multiple cars to deepen your color and even use it as a shader to hit light areas or fix blotching. The question is - what look are you trying to achieve? Dye stains are transparent and have clarity and allow the woods natural iridescence to show. Pigment wipe stains will muddy the clarity of the wood. Both ways have their place in finishing.

From Contributor G:
Yes you can. Be aware a lot of dyes are not lightfast. Sunlight can fade the dye over time. Pigmented stains resist this because the pigments block sunlight. There are metalized dyes that are lightfast.

From contributor J:
Talk to your stain supplier about a spray only stain. You can achieve the dark colors just like with the NGR in a single step. In addition to dyes, they contain pigment. Another method is to try cutting your wiping stain about 5:1 with Naphtha, then use it as a spray only stain. You will need to experiment with this for adhesion as not all wiping stains can be converted to a spray only by this method.

From contributor S:
Non grain raising stains are designed to give undertones as well as a higher end look it also is good for blending sap wood in various wood species. I like to use the hybrid stain it has the dye/spray stain characteristic and you can control your color with one spray operator instead of two. Sherwin Williams is our supplier.

From the original questioner:
The dye that I would be using is Chemcraft Grain Perfect Stain. I don't know if it is lightfast or not, I hadn't given that much thought. Contributor J - I did talk to them about only a spray only stain, my rep had big concerns about adhesion. That is why he is recommending just using the grain perfect stain. He gave me a chain of samples of just the dye a finish and they really look good so we will see. I have been using Sherwin Williams Sherwood stain and cutting it 3 to 1 with toluene and it has worked pretty well, but sometimes I wonder how good of adhesion that I'm getting.

From contributor K:
We use Sherwin Williams Dye Stain Concentrates and have not had any adhesion problems, ever.

From contributor J:
When I convert the wiping to spray, before I spray the seal coat of clear, I give a good rub with a rag to make sure there isnít any build-up of stain that would prevent a good bite of the seal coat. I have been doing it for a long time and am yet to have any lifting or adhesion issues. FWIW, I use Valspar stains cut 5:1 with naphtha.