Using Red Dye on Lily-stained Table

I recently got a request from a repeat customer to do two tables with red lilies using my staining technique.

RED??? Hmmmm, this would be new!

I did just start adding color to my staining art pieces, but that has been with painted pieces, not stained pieces. However, a few months ago, I had purchased some colored dyes and Merlot was one of those dyes, so this was the perfect opportunity to give this a try.

I started with this Queen Anne style cherry table

I stripped down the top. And gave the base of the table a black wash using Ebony Dye. This gives the finish more depth and a richer feel.

I used the General Finishes Merlot dye where the lily would be, keeping in mind where the stamens are so as not to get stain in that area.

A second coat of the red dye

The Merlot dye is water-based and I would be using an oil-based stain on top, so I needed to wait at least 24 hours for the dye to penetrate and dry.

And now to make this lily come to life with the oil based stain.

I could have been done with the image at this point, but I decided to add extra dimension with shading around the outside of the flower.

I finished it off with two coats of sanding sealer. The raw wood really soaked it up. And then three coats of Polyvine varnish, with a satin finish over the entire piece.

Stay tuned for the complementary piece I will be doing for this same customer...

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Michelle Felmlee


Franklin, PA USA

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