MarkCdub

Streaking dye

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Im using fiebings pro dye's, and I cant seem to get a finish that doesn't look streaky.  I can tell the streaks are where I reload the dauber and I overlap a strip of what I have already done.  Do I need to use a circular pattern when applying dye?

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A circular pattern will help. A lot of folks opt for a larger applicator when doing larger pieces. A piece of sponge or shearling are good options. 

Also, after you buff and apply some neetsfoot oil the dye tends to blend together a little more. If you look closely a lot of pieces shown on this site have some degree of variation in the dying.

Another technique ( I haven't tried) is block dying. Take a large block and wrap it in an old t shirt. Dip that into a pan of dye. Then take it across the whole piece at the same time.

Edited by bikermutt07

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I saw a video where the guy had a big tub and just dipped the leather into it.  That came out clean, but he also had a gallon jug of dye.  I suppose I need to let it dry a little while.  

Its just a good thing that the part thst is streaked will not be visible.

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For large areas I dampen the leather and apply dye with a sponge about 3 x 4 inches. I apply in a few straight strokes then go over it using circular

For medium sized item I dip dye. I use a stainless steel oven baking tray. I dilute the dye about 2 alcohol to 1 dye

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20 minutes ago, fredk said:

For large areas I dampen the leather and apply dye with a sponge about 3 x 4 inches. I apply in a few straight strokes then go over it using circular

For medium sized item I dip dye. I use a stainless steel oven baking tray. I dilute the dye about 2 alcohol to 1 dye

Listen to @fredk, according to another post he has been at this a long long time.;)

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A lot of times I'll do the initial application using a 2" foam brush in a circular motion. Once everything is covered, I then do a heavy application in a straight line. let it dry then buff like mad. Usually end up with very minimal streaking that way

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I've switched to an airbrush because I didn't have luck either dip or wipe dyeing.

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1 hour ago, bikermutt07 said:

Listen to @fredk, according to another post he has been at this a long long time.;)

Not that long ole chap. Only about 18 years

I found that normally dry leather absorbs the dye unevenly. By dampening the leather, not too wet, the water helps the dye spread thru the leather giving it a more even absorption, I make sure my sponge is not dripping wet with the dye as well as if it is the first part you touch will get the most dye and the rest of the leather will get a minimal amount. A sponge wetted with dye then squeezed out applies dye more evenly

I use Fieblings dye which I dilute with methylated spirits [alcohol]

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13 minutes ago, fredk said:

Not that long ole chap. Only about 18 years

I found that normally dry leather absorbs the dye unevenly. By dampening the leather, not too wet, the water helps the dye spread thru the leather giving it a more even absorption, I make sure my sponge is not dripping wet with the dye as well as if it is the first part you touch will get the most dye and the rest of the leather will get a minimal amount. A sponge wetted with dye then squeezed out applies dye more evenly

I use Fieblings dye which I dilute with methylated spirits [alcohol]

Thanks Fred.

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Wow, bunch of great information.  Thank you.

Does diluting the dye make it lighter and therefore give you more time/control to get the desired color and coverage?  

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Thinning the dye can help get lighter tones, building up to darker by more coats. It won't give you more time tho

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Fredk, oil-based or spirit dye?

On 2/11/2018 at 11:35 AM, fredk said:

Thinning the dye can help get lighter tones, building up to darker by more coats. It won't give you more time tho

 

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Regular Fiebing alcohol based dye

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Thank you!  My partner has an order for 7 knives, and I don't have enough black dye for that.  Thanks for the help -- the forums make my work better, and I appreciate it.

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@Fredk this may be a dumb question, but I'm having a problem finding a sponge that doesn't spread out and become loose, or harden when I use Fiebing's pro dyes. I tried different types like the yellow non-scratch(harden), all of the different Tandy's sponges either harden or spread out too soft its hard to control. Please tell me there is a sponge that holds its shape and allows structural integrity!

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42 minutes ago, DarkGoku said:

@Fredk this may be a dumb question, but I'm having a problem finding a sponge that doesn't spread out and become loose, or harden when I use Fiebing's pro dyes. I tried different types like the yellow non-scratch(harden), all of the different Tandy's sponges either harden or spread out too soft its hard to control. Please tell me there is a sponge that holds its shape and allows structural integrity!

I use the regular washing-up sponges available in multi-packs in normal supermarkets. I suppose Walmart would be to you what ASDA or Tesco is to us in the UK; cheap shopping prices. Sometimes I rip the green pot scrubber part off but mostly I just leave it on. Usually the sponge stays flexible even when the dye has dried on it. I tend to use a new sponge every dye session as they are so cheap. The sponges are about 3 inches x 2 inches x 3/4 inch; just the right size

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1 hour ago, DarkGoku said:

@Fredk this may be a dumb question, but I'm having a problem finding a sponge that doesn't spread out and become loose, or harden when I use Fiebing's pro dyes. I tried different types like the yellow non-scratch(harden), all of the different Tandy's sponges either harden or spread out too soft its hard to control. Please tell me there is a sponge that holds its shape and allows structural integrity!

I found that the best sponge to use are the ones that they sell at the home improvement stores for tile grout finishing. You can cut them into whatever size pieces you want. They have worked well for me and you can store them in a baggie or whatever container you wish until you need it again. Obviously you can't use the same piece for a different color though. To me they are the perfect density and don't flake like some of the dishwashing sponges do.

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4 minutes ago, fredk said:

I use the regular washing-up sponges available in multi-packs in normal supermarkets. I suppose Walmart would be to you what ASDA or Tesco is to us in the UK; cheap shopping prices. Sometimes I rip the green pot scrubber part off but mostly I just leave it on. Usually the sponge stays flexible even when the dye has dried on it. I tend to use a new sponge every dye session as they are so cheap. The sponges are about 3 inches x 2 inches x 3/4 inch; just the right size

I'll see what I can find, and ill get back to you. I know that a lot of the ones I've used harden halfway through dying a holster which makes really bad streaks and scratches.

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6 minutes ago, Ed in Tx said:

I found that the best sponge to use are the ones that they sell at the home improvement stores for tile grout finishing. You can cut them into whatever size pieces you want. They have worked well for me and you can store them in a baggie or whatever container you wish until you need it again. Obviously you can't use the same piece for a different color though. To me they are the perfect density and don't flake like some of the dishwashing sponges do.

I'll check that out, I didn't think to look at Home Depot or Lowe's. I need to make a trip there today anyway:) Looks like I have some testing to do this week end. ill post the results and pics of what I find:) 

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Reading thru this and what Ed has added; we have very different sponge qualities between us. None of the various other sponges I've used has every broken up, flaked or gone hard with dye. I've been using the washing-up ones for several years now as they are handiest to get

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You can dip-dye but that often uses a lot of dye which can get expensive. I had the same problem a year ago and this forum helped me fix it. Believe it or not, a cheap airbrush from Harbor Freight puts on the dye very evenly. That's what i would have used for what you are doing. For what you have already done, (if you have not already put the finish on) I would take a damp cloth and rub it in a circular pattern. That will help it blend in. The finish sometimes helps too. Apply neatsfoot and leave it in the sun until it turns the shade you want (10 hrs or so is usually long enough). The sun does miracles to leather color. I think it heats it up and helps the dye, oil, and finish blend evenly into the leather. However, for best results, it should be placed in the sun right after everything is applied. If it's already dry, another light coat of neatsfoot wouldn't hurt before placing it in the sun.

Hope this helps. :) 

-Ryan

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