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ColorFX Liquid Dye Concentrates - 6 Color Wood Tone Kit

We've pre-packaged our recommended starting colors together into a "Wood Tone Kit" in your choice of a 15ml, 60ml or 250ml size.

This very small collection of dyes can yield a tremendous range of wood tones simply by changing ratios of the dye concentrates. Choose the 15ml sized kit for small projects or if you're just experimenting with dyes. The larger 60ml kit contains enough concentrate to stain multiple projects.

  • Can be mixed with water for an economical stain.
  • Can be mixed with alcohol for a fast drying, NGR stain
  • Can be added to many finishes including shellac to create custom finish toners.
  • Compatible with most waterborne finishes and stains including Target Coatings.
  • Colors can be intermixed for unlimited shades
  • Traditional colors match common recipes and formulas
  • Excellent Lightfastness (but not intended for exterior use)
  • NOT Recommended for Childrens Toys or Food Service Items.
  • Each 15ml (1/2 oz.) bottle of dye concentrate will make approx. 1/2 quart/litre of standard dilution stain
  • Each 60ml (2 oz.) bottle of dye concentrate will make approx. 2 quarts/litre of standard dilution stain
  • Stain intensity is easily increased or decreased by adjusting the ratio of solvent (water or alcohol or a mix of both)
  • 15ml bottles have integrated droppers
  • 60ml bottles include auxilliary droppers

ColorFX Dye Colors Included in the 6 Color Wood Tone Kit

Colors are shown on curly maple, topcoated with Target Coatings SuperClear Polyurethane. Colors may not be exact on all monitors. Test dye solutions on scrap prior to application to projects.

Burnt Umber

Burnt Umber

Dark and slightly Reddish Brown.

Raw Umber

Raw Umber

Dark Brown with slight greenish and yellow appearance. Frequently used as a base dye for a dark mission brown finish.

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Sienna

Reddish Brown, can be darkened with Burnt Umber for a deep, rich colored stain.

Raw Sienna

Raw Sienna

Dark golden brown without a reddish appearance. Very attractive on maple and other light woods.

Van Dyke Brown

Van Dyke Brown

Our darkest brown shade. Commonly used as dark walnut or to deepen other colors such as green or red. Perfect for the base on Espresso finishes.



Very nice amber color, can be used as a stain on bare wood or as an amber additive for waterborne clearcoats.


Burnt Sienna & Burnt Umber

Sample of a 50/50 blend of two dyes...Beautiful!!

Common Color Formulas (corresponding to popular homestore variety wood stains)


1 part Burnt Umber + 1 part Burnt Sienna + 1 part Raw Sienna


3 parts Burnt Umber + 1 part Burnt Sienna

Early American

2 parts Raw Umber + 1 part Burnt Umber


1 part Raw Umber + 1 part Burnt Umber

Golden Oak

3 parts Raw Sienna + 2 parts Raw Umber


4 parts Raw Umber + 1 part Black


4 parts Burnt Umber + 3 parts Burnt Sienna + 1 part Black

Ipswich Pine

3 parts Raw Sienna + 1 part Burnt Sienna

Colonial Maple

3 parts Raw Sienna + 3 parts Burnt Sienna + 1 part Yellow-R

ColorFX Liquid Dye Instructions

ColorFX Liquid Dyes are concentrated metal complex acid dyestuff dissolved in glycol ether solvents.  The dye concentrates can be diluted with water, alcohol and numerous other mediums including waterbased finishes, stains, shellac solutions and many solvent lacquers, finishes and stains.

Mix with water for a low cost, non-flammable stain. Or add to other waterbased stain bases or finishes for an environmentally friendly stain or toner.

When mixed with alcohol, ColorFX dyes create a quick drying, non-grain raising stain.

All ColorFX dyes can be intermixed for an infinite range of colors, customized to your exact project and liking.  No more “settling” for what you can buy off the shelf.

How to use ColorFX Dye Concentrates:

The starting ratio for ColorFX dyes is 1 part dye concentrate to 30 parts solvent (water, alcohol or a blend). Dye intensity can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the ratio as desired. The brightest blues, reds, yellows and greens are obtained by doubling the ratio of dye concentrate to solvent (1: 15).

There are approximately 30 drops (pierced dropper tip) of ColorFX Dye Concentrate in one ml.  An easy starting ratio is 1 drop of dye concentrate in 1ml of solvent for a 1:30 ratio.  The 1:15 ratio would be two drops per ml of solvent.  Blunt syringes are an excellent means for accurate measuring of dye concentrate volumes.

After mixing, apply the dye solution directly to prepared wood using a rag, sponge or spray equipment. Allow the dye to saturate the wood surface, then blot up any excess with a dry cloth. Once the dye has dried, the surface can be finished with any popular wood finish.

Notes to ColorFX Dye Use:

Blotching:  Many woods, such as soft maple, alder, birch and cherry demonstrate blotching when stained. In many cases, when dyed, otherwise unsightly blotches become attractive figure after topcoating.

Test the complete finishing schedule on off-cuts to determine if the results of the dye are suitable. When desired, blotching can be prevented by first applying a control coat of clear stain, highly thinned finish, shellac, glue size (or numerous other methods) to the wood surface and then applying the dye solution to the dried control coat.

Grain Raise:  When using a water dye solution, applying the dye to prepared wood can cause grain raise. Pre-grain raising the wood and lightly re-sanding will minimize problems with grain raise during dye application. Using a blend of 50/50 water and alcohol for the dye solvent can help reduce grain raise.

Color:  When dried, dyed surfaces may look dull and off-shade….this is normal. When topcoats are applied, the dye returns to it’s true color and vibrancy. To confirm colors, dyes must be tested on actual wood species off-cuts and followed through with topcoats to ensure the correct color is obtained.

Bleeding:  ColorFX Dyes contain no binder and if a compatible solvent (water, alcohol) is allowed to touch the dyed surface, the dye may re-activate and bleed into the applied solvent. This is typically a problem when brushing or wiping waterbased finishes or alcohol finishes (like shellac) over the dyed surface.

To minimize the effect of this, the first application of any topcoat should be applied with minimal working of the finish.  Once dried, the first coat will bind the dyed surface and subsequent applications can proceed with minimal trouble.  Be sure not to allow a brush or rag that has absorbed dye to contaminate your primary source of finish (i.e. a full quart or gallon being “dipped” into with a brush).

Another method to prevent bleeding of the dye is to wipe the dyed surface with a very light application of boiled linseed oil. Once cured, the boiled linseed oil will “lock” the dye into place, allowing subsequent finishing to proceed as normal.

And another method is to add a small amount of waterbased finish or shellac (solvent compatible) to the dye solution to act as a binder once applied to the wood.

Compatibility:  ColorFX Dyes are most often diluted with water or alcohol (methyl hydrate, ethanol or isopropyl 99%).  Other solvents can be used such as acetone or lacquer thinner...be sure to test your application. 

ColorFX Dye concentrates can be added to many waterbased, solvent based or oil based products. However, the dyes typically will not work in finishes that have a high content of mineral spirits, such as “danish oils” or wiping varnishes. It is best to trial small quantities of unsure products to determine compatibility by reviewing the dyes’ ability to disperse into the solvent.

Light Fastness:  Metallized acid dyes such as ColorFX dye concentrates are considered light fast for interior applications. They are not intended for exterior use.

Storage:  ColorFX Dye Concentrates will last many years in concentrated form. Once mixed with solvent, the shelf-life ranges from a few months for reds and blues to many years for other wood tones. Keep dyes and solutions in a cool, dry, dark place for best storage.

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