3 Tips for a Applying Wood Dye

Wood dye can be a very good thing to use for staining wood but there are things worth knowing to make the whole process smoother.

Water-Based Dye

When you use water-based dyes, the water causes the grain of the wood to swell. To eliminate this, first sand the wood, then wet it to let the grain swell, Allow it to dry, then sand again before applying the dye. This isn’t a problem you’ll encounter with oil-based dyes.

For exterior use, follow this practice to keep the finish uniform on the wood. If you’re adding sealant, give the dye ample time to dry before applying.


As wood dye dries into the wood far more quickly than paint, you need to work fast, and use even brushstrokes to create the best effect on the wood. Make sure you use a large brush and a good amount of the dye. You can also apply the wood dye with a cloth.


If you overlap strokes, you’ll create a darker area of wood dye, so work carefully. You can only really overlap if the edge is still wet. You can add a second coat if you feel the woods needs it then apply the varnish.