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Mixing dye in 2k poly?

Mike Fuson

I've been using strictly dye for the last couple years and my finish rep told me that I could mix a couple once of the dye in a gallon of the poly. That might be what you fellows call toners? I was just wondering if any of you guys do this and is there pros and cons? I do a lot of deep rich colors and wondering how hard it would be to achieve a dark color with this method. Thanks
By the way, im using Mohawk dyes and Chemcraft Verde 2k.

6/14/16       #2: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...

I to am interested in others advice to your question. How do you like the Verde 2k and what does the pakage cost?

6/14/16       #3: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...

use only acetone based dyes

6/14/16       #4: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Mike fuson

Jim, I used cv for years but I'm doing a lot of the 2k now. Dry times are fast and the sealer sands like a dream. I think the poly, sealer, and hardener all run around $35-$40 a gallon. I use the medium reducer also. My only beef with it is that you can't use oil based glaze with it. I'm getting ready to try some water based. But I have used some of Mohawks breakaway glaze with it and had really good results.

6/15/16       #5: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...

Which has more odor 2k poly or cv? I personally don't like the off gassing of cv.

6/15/16       #6: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...

Thanks Mike F.
Do you find it a lot more scratch resistant then CV?

I love the scratch resistant properties of CV by far over even post cat lacquer. I was wondering if 2K poly was another large step.up in hardness/scratch resistance??

Thanks Jjm

6/15/16       #7: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Mike fuson

Al, cv off gases much more than the 2k. Nowhere near the odor with the 2k
Jim, it's definitely a step up in scratch resistance. Even more than that though is the moisture resistance. I finished my island top with it and it has held up great and my kid is rough with it when it comes to the hot wheels cars. Much better product than the cv in my opinion.

6/15/16       #8: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...

Chem craft needs more suppliers/distributors .....shipping is expensive and inconvenient and slow....!!

6/15/16       #9: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Paul Snyder  Member



You can use dyes with 2K PU - no problem. Mix the dye in with your reducer and then mix the reducer with the finish.

You'll need to experiment a bit with the ratio. If you're using uncut dye concentrates then 1/2 - 1 oz per quart of finish will be plenty. If the dye comes reduced, then you may want to double the amount.

You should not expect to get all your color from the toner. Yes, it can be done pretty easily, but has a laminate look you may not like. Better to get at least half your color from a dye and stain (both can also be sprayed) then use the toner to get the final shade and depth of color (my opinion).

Here's a picture of a maple step board. bare wood at the bottom, then dye, then dye plus stain, then dye plus stain plus toner and the very top is 2 coats of toner.

If you haven't bee spraying toner, I'd recommend you start with a light mix and practice spraying to avoid stripes. if you get a run you're pretty much stuck with a stripe in your color.

6/15/16       #10: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Mike fuson

Thanks Paul. That's the info I was looking for. Especially about mixing the dye with the reduced. Good tip.

6/19/16       #11: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
jimmy cream

last time i bought Verde 2 gallons resin and one gallon hardener came to about 140 bucks.....a bit over 45 a gallon . buying by the pail wasnt any cheaper .

Paul......if you dont mind me asking , could you explain your use of "toner" ?
is this a highly thinned coat of color sandwiched between topcoats ? or an unthinned topcoat with color added ?

it seems some folks refer to both techniques as toning.....or shading stains.....or some other regionally accepted terminology

6/20/16       #12: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Sam Member

Hey Mike, great question. One thing to remember is that toners are originally intended to be used to even the tone of the wood. So if you have one door or flitch of wood lighter than the other you can tone it up to match the rest of the job with out sanding to bare wood and re-staining. The danger in doing an intire job with toners is consistency. You must spray at exactly the same rate through the whole job, or risk getting a stripe as another poster pointed out. Another problem is that if somebody nicks/chips the finish it usually takes the toner coat off which means you lose all color in that area making it difficult to do a repair. No drop filling tiny spots, for instance. I try never to rely on toning as a finish for the whole job. You can get a darker color this way but since all color is now laying on top of the wood instead of penetrating into it, it will be a muddy color with little grain showing.

6/20/16       #13: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Mike fuson

Thanks Sam, that makes perfect sense. I'll probably stick with what I'm doing.

6/20/16       #14: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Sam Member

I'm curious Mike, what type of dyes are you using and what is your application method? I use a lot of Chemcraft Aqua dyes for any true custom matches.

6/20/16       #15: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Mike fuson

I'm using Mohawk dyes, acetone based. I use a gravity gun with a 1.0 tip. Pressure turned down to where it just like a sprinkling rain.

6/20/16       #16: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Sam Member

Awesome. It's nice to hear someone applying ngr dyes the right way. Most guys try to crank up the pressure but it only leads to halo's in the corners and uneven spots. One reason I use the alcohol/water dyes is because if the slower drying time. Therefore you can shoot a little faster with more presure, if you desire to, and no halo's at all. But it does raise the grain.
Let us know how you like the 2k poly. I've been considering changing to it strictly for the moisture protection.

6/20/16       #17: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...

Mike F
"sprinkling like rain" ?? Is that a gental fog or a soft ......spitting? Sorry , not getting a clear picture. But very interested.....

6/20/16       #18: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Paul Snyder  Member



You can use it thinned or un-thinned depending on your preference. If you plan to use multiple coats of toner, it's better to seal the surface and then spray thinned coats. That way you don't have to worry about building up the film thickness too much. Once you have the color you like, then apply a regular clear topcoat to provide the durability you want.

There are a lot of terms like toning, shading, sap stain, etc. that seem to mean different things in different parts of the country. That's why I usually like to explain what I mean when I use those terms.

To follow up on what Sam was saying, if you use stain to make a toner (a lot of people do), the pigment in it will mask the grain of the wood if you apply a little too much. There are times when you will want to do this on purpose, but most of the time it's better to use dye so the finish stays transparent and doesn't give you a muddy look.

I often use toner because it creates a depth of color that looks very nice. The two pieces below are an example. The piece on the right has been stained, the other has toner added. On items like this I also add a glaze step to accentuate the dimensional characteristics of the mill-work.

View higher quality, full size image (795 X 596)

6/20/16       #19: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Sam Member

Good call Paul.
I suppose I do use it as a shader more than a traditional toner. I only use dye when making a toner/shader and even then I've seen it begin to get a muddy look to it. Of coarse that depends on how much dye is in the mix and how many coats are applied.

If I'm trying to get a darker tone I use a more concentrated mix of dye on the raw wood. I don't care for the plastic look that toners can get. What you've done looks very nice. How do you avoid the "ultra uniform plastic" look?

6/20/16       #20: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Mike fuson

Jim, I really don't know the right terminology I guess. Like Paul said different terms mean different things. What I've come up with has been by trial and error. I constantly adjust my gun depending on what I'm spraying. More fluid and less pressure and wider spray pattern on flat surfaces and the opposite on like face frames. To much pressure creates a cloudy effect and won't get into crevices. I want an even saturated look. That's the best I know how to describe it.

6/20/16       #21: Mixing dye in 2k poly? ...
Mike fuson

Thanks for the pics Paul. That really helps. I'm going to do a few samples and tinker with it a little.

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