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From some of the things I was reading I have seen that  the eco flo water based dyes are just crap but I've had some luck with them. One of the issues I have had is that when I put on the satin sheen a lot of the dye comes up. For some things that has worked out well but I am trying two tone and it makes keeping the colors separate very difficult. Is there something I am doing wrong or is it something that the products just do? I am applying both the dye and sealer with a paint brush if that matters. 

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Are you using the Tandy Satin Sheen, or something else?
I am betting (but I am not an expert) that water based dye for your two-tone project isn't going to work, no matter how long you let the dye dry and set.

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For the 2-tone, my suggestion is to apply the finish (satin shene?) to just one of the colors. Maybe do 2 or 3 coats. Then do the other color. My thinking is that the first part will act as a "resist" and resist the dye from being further picked up when you go to do the other color. I'm not sure a paintbrush is the best tool - I've always used a damp sponge (cut up into small pieces for easier handling and control). When I use satin shene, yes, it will pick up the dye pigmentation molecules that didn't penetrate into the leather. It actually helps a little with smoothing out any blotchiness from dyeing. How long are you letting the dye dry before applying the finish?

Wool daubers are recommended for applying dye, though I imagine a paint brush may be helpful for additional control. The problem might be getting the dye out of the paintbrush afterwards! Sometimes it wicks up into the ferrule and no matter how many times I rinse or let the brush soak, more dye keeps coming out, like a cornucopia.

Edited by Alaisiagae

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I am using the Tandy satin sheen. I only applied one layer so that may have been the problem. It is something I have noticed happening even with just one color as well. When I put on the satin sheen it seems to pull up some of the dye. Could this be from not buffing it enough to there is still too much dye on the surface? I think I have read something about that sort of thing happening.

 

Also should I be prepping the leather with anything or just putting it on clean dry veg tan?

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I apply the satin finish (or any other finish) using an air brush , regardless of the dye i am using. 

 

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11 hours ago, Randatso said:

I am using the Tandy satin sheen. I only applied one layer so that may have been the problem. It is something I have noticed happening even with just one color as well. When I put on the satin sheen it seems to pull up some of the dye. Could this be from not buffing it enough to there is still too much dye on the surface? I think I have read something about that sort of thing happening.

 

Also should I be prepping the leather with anything or just putting it on clean dry veg tan?

Yes, I notice it, too. The workers at my local Tandy store say this is absolutely normal, that the acrylic in the finish is "activating" the dye pigments sitting on the surface of the leather. After I dye, I wait at least an hour for the dye to dry before putting on the finish. I apply the finish and wait about 5 minutes between coats. Even though some of the dye pulls up, I find that it doesn't noticeably lighten/water-down the color. I don't think you need to prep the veg tan with anything. I find that Neat-Lac pulls up the dye less than Satin Sheen and Super Sheen. It also makes a great resist. It will produce a glossy finish, unlike satin sheen. There are also other types of finishes, but I don't have experience with them. 

 

I was told that, particularly with alcohol-based dyes, it's good to add a little leather conditioner (such as an oil) to the finished product a few days after all the dyeing and finishing. This gives the dye and finish enough time to thoroughly dry. I was told that the alcohol based dyes in particular will strip some of the natural oils in the leathers, which is why you'd put them back in later to make sure the leather regains its flexibility. 

Edited by Alaisiagae

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OP needs to just replace the Eco-Flo dyes with a dye that isn't junk.  Eco-flo is only good if you are in prison and can't buy spirit-based dyes.

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1 hour ago, johnv474 said:

OP needs to just replace the Eco-Flo dyes with a dye that isn't junk.  Eco-flo is only good if you are in prison and can't buy spirit-based dyes.

I started off with the Waterstain dyes and only had two problems. The first was that it did not seem to like being covered with Neatlac and the second was that I just did not like the yellow. Otherwise, I thought they covered evenly and gave great results. The only reason I switched to Angelus dyes was because the alcohol dye was easier to use to fill a background and it dried faster.

Due to some of the comments on this forum, I ran a test and made six coasters. Three I dyed with Waterstain and three I dyed with Angelus (six different colors). All six turned out fine.

Perhaps you can explain what problems you encountered with the Waterstain dyes.

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If you browse through this forum you will see more problems related to Eco-flo than perhaps any other dye.

Maybe that is because it may be used with some of Tandy's lower quality leather offerings.

Water-based dyes are not inherently bad.  In fact they may soak in better...yet there are an awful lot of people asking these questions specifically about Eco-flo.

I rarely see questions related to problems with preferred dyes such as Angelus or Fiebings pro dyes.

I'm not going to be bothered with figuring out how to make something work when there are already suitable solutions for cheaper, that work better.  Tandy should have done that before releasing the dyes... not that they actually research them except to find someone to package them and slap Tandy's name on there.

For what it's worth, I love the pro dye Yellow and have never had problems covering one of my dyed projects with Neatlac... but I have answered hundreds of questions online and in person and the most frequent thing they have in common is Eco-flo.

Edited by johnv474

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