Stephen's Step Stool: Part VI

I’ve been wanting to play with dye for a while, so I figured that Stephen’s Step Stool would be a perfect project to experiment with. Before putting any dye on the stool itself, I tested a few dye mixtures on a sample board I had sanded with the stool. I tried General Finishes and Transtint Blue Dyes. While the General Finishes is ready right out of the can, the Transtint needs to be diluted. I tried one dilution with denatured alcohol and one with a .5 lb cut of shellac. All three (3) were ragged onto the sample board.

Three dyes, almost the same coloring.

When they dried, I had a hard time distinguishing them. They all seemed about the same color blue and the small difference there were seemed more to be the wood grain than the dye. I decided on Transtint in shellac since the shellac didn’t raise the grain like the water based General Finishes dye did and unlike the Transtint in alcohol, the Transtint in shellac provided a seal coat at the same time.

The finished dye.

I ended up applying two (2) coats of blue tinted .5 lb cut shellac. The second coat not only made the blue color richer, it also allowed me to rub out streaks and other imperfections in the initial coat. Though the coloring wasn’t perfect it was still really cool and I’m quite pleased with how it came out.

As a finish, I’m applied 4 coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal, as per the method Marc describes in his A Simple Varnish Finish DVD. It’s a simple method of rag applying an oil/varnish blend. The results are good and hard to mess up.

The finished stool.

With the finish on the stool went into Stephen’s room and it was time to get to those pesky Christmas projects. Now, what was it I’m supposed to build . . .

For all of the Step Stool posts, click here.

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