Lightfastness of Dye Stains

Tips here on how to apply a subtle light-blocking pigmented masking coat over dye stain, to prolong the colorfastness in the presence of UV light. July 26, 2010

Iím using dye alone to get my color. Glazing gives me a clearer look than dye, stain then glaze. My question is, will it hold color over time? Dyes are Sherwin Williams Universal Dye Concentrates. They are supposed to be light fast. I emailed the SW tech guy and he said it would be fine if it didn't have any UV exposure. What kitchen doesn't have some UV, especially near windows? Any thoughts? Do I need to put a stain on top of the dye?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor S:
You may want to talk to Becker Acroma. Their dyes are great along with their colors and lacquer.

From contributor O:
Every dye or stain has a lightfastness associated with it and they are all a bit different. Consult with manufacturer. They spend a good amount of their research funds on testing for lightfastness and should be willing to pass the data on their product along. The issue is not a dye vs. stain issue as such, but an individual material issue.

From contributor R:
Every job is different. Different wood species, color, build of finish, exposure to sunlight, and etc. SW dye stains are very light fast. The best thing for you to do is make a sample board, cut it in half. Put one half in a dark drawer and put the other half in sunlight for a week. Put them back together and see what happened.

From contributor F:
Seal in the dye stain by laying down a very thinned out pigmented toner. The pigments in the toner will help a little with some possible fading. Some dye colors fade more than others. You are using metalized dyes so that's one big plus. Valspar is said to have a great UV inhibitor in their clears.

From the original questioner:
My Clear is SW Water white CV. It does also have some UV inhibiters. I've got a sample in the window now to see how much it fades. Thanks for the ideas.

From contributor F:
Add this step to your finish schedule: add a small amount of zinc white colorant to your vinyl sealer and lay down a spit coat (6% to 12% solids by volume). There's your interference coat. If you lay it down thinly enough then no one other than you will notice any diminishing aesthetic to your color. If you tint your zinc white with a colorant color close to your final color, even better and more imperceptible.

Do not huff and puff, wax poetic or chart a course of fade to your customer. If you do then you paint yourself into a corner. You tell them that you've used the best in materials and techniques to safeguard against such but the march of nature, time and the ravages of light are not variables that you can predictably control.