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Old 10-21-2012, 03:06 PM
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Using Food Dye for Wood

I remember reading how to effectively dye wood for parrot toys, boil the water (opens up the pores in the wood to allow the colour to sink in longer), mix in the dye, etc. Use vegetable based dye rather than chemical as it is safer. Don't use sweetened products/dye like Kool-Aid because it encourages the bird to 'swallow' the chips of wood, etc...

But I cannot remember the process or the ratios. I've heard that you can mix with vinegar or methylated spirits to get 'brighter' colours, but I'm having trouble finding information on what to use, how much, etc. =\

The other thing I've heard as well was after the wood has dried, to soak it/dip in water for a few minutes to get rid of excess dye and stop the wood from dying the inside of the birds mouth and from leeching colours into the water.

Anyone who has done this, please drop by to verify the information for forgetful me!
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:20 PM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

i'll be interested to hear ideas too.

you wrote "methylated spirits". i don't know what it is, but it doesn't sound natural to me. is it?

i was thinking about using spices/foods to dye some wood (or redye toys faded from washing over time) -- like tumeric, paprika, spirulina, blueberries, beets. Like cook some fresh beets, the water turns dark red, and then i can soak the wood and see what happens. It stains my wooden spoons and would have to be safe for the birdies too.
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--Uh, Pritti is kind of busy looking for something right now...

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Old 10-21-2012, 06:03 PM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

Quote: Originally Posted by WannaBeAParrot View Post
i'll be interested to hear ideas too.

you wrote "methylated spirits". i don't know what it is, but it doesn't sound natural to me. is it?

i was thinking about using spices/foods to dye some wood (or redye toys faded from washing over time) -- like tumeric, paprika, spirulina, blueberries, beets. Like cook some fresh beets, the water turns dark red, and then i can soak the wood and see what happens. It stains my wooden spoons and would have to be safe for the birdies too.
I believe in US they call it 'Rubbing alcohol'? The idea is that when you use it, it evaporates when it dries but makes the colours more intense. Given it evaporates, it's safer to use apparently??

Be careful using food based dye, see my point about Kool-aid, if it tastes like food then they might ingest it. I haven't looked into the stats yet, but it is a potential risk.

I'll dig around and keep searching if I don't get a response back and post here.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:30 PM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

I use Wilton's, it's a dye used for coloring icing, no flavor to it, very safe. You can buy it at Michael's Arts and Crafts or AC Moore. I use the 1 oz size, add to 3/4 c boiling water( the coloring is very thick) mix thoroughly, then add 3 cups of rubbing alcohol, dip your wood and dry, it dries quickly.... also you will want to wear gloves.. also wanted to add if you make it in a tupperware container you can put a lid on it and reuse it!

Last edited by triordan; 10-21-2012 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:57 AM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

This is how I color wood:

And yes, do wear gloves. I'm currently resembling a smurf since I forgot to put those gloves on.



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Old 10-22-2012, 03:57 PM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

i dont know what they call rubbing alchohol where you are from, but that is the point of using it once the wood drys give it a while and it will evaporate out and be harmless.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:05 PM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

Quote: Originally Posted by JerseyWendy View Post
And yes, do wear gloves. I'm currently resembling a smurf since I forgot to put those gloves on.
Pictures please!
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:40 PM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

Quote: Originally Posted by Eloy View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by JerseyWendy View Post
And yes, do wear gloves. I'm currently resembling a smurf since I forgot to put those gloves on.
Pictures please!
Over my dead body.

I've scrubbed and scrubbed and rubbed and rubbed....hands, arms, and parts of my face are STILL blue (now mixed with red from all the washing)
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:52 AM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

Hmmm...I have loads of cake decorating food colours...and a food-grade cake decorating airbrush. Am thinking there might be some wood-dying in my future...
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:05 AM
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Re: Using Food Dye for Wood

We have tried different ways of coloring wood.

The food coloring in rubbing alcohol seems to work the best.

Letting the wood "dry" and air out for a week or so assures us the alcohol has completely evaporated.
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