Pigments And Dyes

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The colorant in all common stains is either pigment or dye, or a combination of the two. Pigment is natural or synthetically made colored earthen powder. Fach pigment parti-

Amciican Woodwork«! 31

natural birch cherry (birch)

mahogany (birch)

walnut (birch)

1 Stain can do wonders for wood's appearance. It is often used to make less expensive wood, such as birch, look like its high priced cousins. All four samples came from the same plank of birch, but were stained to look like a different species.

Fig. A a microscopic view of wood flHHHHHHHHE

end grain springwood, (early wood)

end grain

2 End grain stains darker than the face grain. That's because wood fibers are like a bundle of straws. The ends are wide open and can absorb much more stain. Sand the end grain with finer grits than you used on the face grain.This will burnish the end grain, sealing up the pores so they take stain more like the face grain.

clc is large enough to see with your naked eye. These particles are much too big to penetrate into the fibers of wood. Pigment lodges in pores and oilier cavities, making these areas darker, but it doesn't add as much color to the denser, in-between areas. The liner the pigment particles, the better penetration a stain will have.

Dyes are transparent and do not obscure the wood like pigmented stains can. Thev are not as colorfast as pigments and can be tricky to apply if a strong color is used.

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