How to Stain Wood with Fabric Dye!

all right so today I'm going to show you how to stain wood with fabric dye and this is an idea I got from a commenter in another video and I thought I'd try it out and it works awesome so let me show you alright so for the sample in the video here I'm just using the piece of pine and I went ahead and I sanded it with 1:20 to kind of get rid of all the rough edges and then I finished it by smoothing it with 220 grit sandpaper so that it's really nice and slick and hopefully that will help the stain go on a little more evenly as well now if you're using a rougher piece of wood or like pallet wood or barn wood where has saw march or just different you know dips and dives and gouges and texture and all that kind of stuff those areas are gonna catch the stain or the dye more and they're gonna get darker which could be a cool effect but a nice smooth piece like this it should be pretty even now because this is pine it's pretty soft and the soft parts really soak up the die quite a bit if it had harder spots like knots or like on plywood how it has the crazy texture the darker spots are usually harder than the light spots so that means the lighter spots will soak up more stain they're gonna get darker so just be aware that whenever you're staining a piece of wood so as far as applying it there's a couple different things you can do you can either just go straight out of the container with a rag get something wet stain the wood wipe it off with a clean rag and just let it dry you just wouldn't be careful to not get heavy in spots because it will get dark or what you could do is thin it out this is get you a little cup pour some in there and then thin it out with either water or you could even use a rubbing alcohol a cool thing about rubbing alcohol is it dries a little bit quicker so if you need to speed things up it's a good way to go that's what I'll use here in the video but like I said water works just as well the other thing is that the ratio of mixing it is just something you're gonna have to experiment with just to see what you like so hopefully you have some scrap wood you can kind of try it out and just use some old like measuring spoons or whatever and just find a ratio you like I mean it might be one to one it could be thirty to one I mean who knows so just see what you like so what I'm gonna do on my little sample board here is half of it I'll just go straight up out of the container and then the other half I'll thin it down probably somewhere around one to one or two to one I'll let you know but you'll see the difference okay so like I said for the first half of this go straight up this stuff is very messy scan get all of your hands all over your work surface to be careful with it but I will put it on here now this is red being see it's kind of like a mulberry color which is kind of cool but I'm assuming that you know when you're dyeing fabric or whatever it's gonna be a lot more red so I think you can also actually mix this stuff too so you might be able to mix it with blue and get kind of a purpley color or you know whatever but there we go that's just straight-up the cherry red kind of has like a wine look to it okay so for this other half I'm gonna thin it out now I did just say that you should probably use measuring spoons and all that I'm just gonna kind of wean it here excited and graduating for this video alright so there we go got about what is that a teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon or so and then I am going to use my rubbing alcohol okay that's probably a whole 1 to 1 but I think I'm gonna go a little more than that we'll call that probably 2 or 3 2 1 somewhere around there and then just mixed up really well it will take a while to mix up you can see it it doesn't want to at first it takes a little bit to do this alright so it's mixed pretty well but you see how there's still little chunks in there that's the part that you probably really want to filter out this is when you could run it through the coffee filter or paint filter or whatever but again kind of like I didn't use measuring spoons to get a true ratio I'm not gonna send this either and those should sink to the bottom and I'll just try to skim off the top here to get my rag soaked but if those little gunky pieces get on here that's what will cause dark spots as well she's got to be a little careful with that so anyway let me get some soaked on my rag here and put it on see how much thinner that is it's pretty cool so you can just mess with the ratios and just you know find the color you like that looks pretty cool like I said that was probably close to a three to one or so really good now so maybe my example earlier of a 30 the one that's probably too much but anyway that's pretty cool so there we got like a mulberry red and in a super light pink so well dudes real quick just show you a couple of color samples of ones I have and then they have a cool little special treat at the end okay so I have these little pieces of wood this one's a little bit darker pine has kind of a pink look to it so whenever I put on the cherry red I've got that real nice mulberry look to it I also try to add teal they got a really nice teal color and see how this one is darker on one end that is because that would right there is a lot softer and I didn't say in that half I was testing out smooth wood versus you know kind of rough wood and those rougher softer sections soaked it up and that's what I was trying to say earlier about it getting darker which could be a cool effect it just depends on what you want but that is the teal okay so this one right here is actually I thought I'd grabbed a black but I actually grabbed a synthetic graphite so I guess this is kind of a dark gray but to me it's basically so dark it's almost black but that's a really cool looked here okay and then if you want a more traditional look this is what the dark brown looks like there's kind of a hint of purple to it but it's still a really nice rich kind of chocolate brown this is a really good example of what the harder sections will do the knots and the like if you look at a regular piece of wood the more like orange a yellow they just don't soak it up as much but the really soft light colored ones do so it has a really cool sort of graphic look to it that way so this board had really even grain an even color and I used the lemon yellow on here and it just has a really cool turns almost like a butter yellow on the wood but that was a pretty cool color I thought alright and then the last color I tried although it looks almost black this is actually the navy blue which is a really cool color almost like a midnight blue black color which is pretty awesome kind of menacing looking but they do have a lighter blue and they have a regular green and there's orange and things like that but these are just the colors I happen to grab just to try out so now what I'll do is I have just a simple little project that I will stain up with this dye just to kind of show you what it looks like in real-world application all right and there we go we have a fabric dye stain wooden cheeseburger hey thanks for checking out this video I really appreciate that if you liked it go ahead and hit that thumbs up that really helps get it out front of other people that might like to check it out too and if you haven't subscribed be sure to do that keep up with more videos and if you don't see some other projects I have I have some here on the screen and down in the description below as well


  1. Dear Mr Diy Dork,

    Thank you for discussing the fact that wood will make you dye. I did my own PSA here:

  2. I wanna dye some cork screw willow branches. I wonder if i could use this mixter in a spray bottle? Has anyone tried it? It would take so long to hand wash every one of them separately.

  3. I used Rit "blue jeans", expecting a blue, but it came out almost indistinguishable from black, even having significantly diluted it.

  4. Not bad, but it doesn't seem very cost effective. While wood dyes are very expensive, they go a long way. It looks like you really need to use the fabric dye in it's concentrated form if you want some bold colors. Given that this "dilute" fabric dye is $6-12 a bottle, that makes it substantially more expensive per ounce. I will stick with wood dye.

  5. scrap wood is the key if you are actually afraid of starting a project , with the fear you will ruin it for lack of artistic abilities and/or if you know nothing about anything of refinishing..even the pros use a cheater board

  6. Great video!

    I've been using the powered Rit dye mixed with Denatured Alcohol for many years, and with amazing results.

    Quick tip –
    Try a light coat of black, sand it down until only the harder grain is white again, and then do a second coat of a color (brown, etc… whatever color you want) for a sort of two-tone effect – it REALLY makes the wood's figure pop, especially with fiddle back maple, etc.

    The liquid Rit has been a bit disappointing, but with the powdered Rit mixed with DNA (Denatured Alcohol), the color penetrates better, dries super fast, and the combination options are almost limitless!

  7. I really wasn't thinkin 'bout a cheeseburger but on my way back from wallyworld and getting some dye I stopped by McDs and got me a cheese burger..thanks!

  8. I was thinking about you making a fan with this rye which is what I thought this reminded me of instead of a cheese burger 🍔 Lol 😂 Thank you Kevin for the first to share Rit Rye on wood that I’ve ever seen ❣️

  9. Will this work on maple? I have some maple drum shells I want to just get plain black color on as my drum set is black, and I don;t want a complicated solution. Otherwise I will have to go with a wrap I guess.

  10. I think after your first experience using coffee filters to strain out concentrated blobs out of your fabric dye solution, you'll start to see the added value in dedicated wood dye products.

  11. You need to make a plaque with the wooden cheeseburger and your channel name MrDIYDork. Have a subscriber drawing to win it. The dye demo was very cool and you gave me some awesome ideas. tfs

  12. This works so good for laser cutting! If you cover the wood in this first, the engrave it and remove it with acetone the engravement will have a color

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