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Dying Holly Wood

Ed Twilbeck

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I have never used Holly, but I understand it to be a really white wood. The closest experience I have, would be with basswood. I use acrylic paint mixed with water to make a "wash". This method would get the color on the wood, but would also leave the grain visible. I imagine Holly is a harder wood than basswood, so it may not take this technique very well. I guess it would also depend on how pronounced the grain is. Also, a wash like this probably wouldn't be very bright.


Maybe if you had a couple pieces of scrap, you could try a few different methods.



good luck,



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Transtint is a dye product that I purchased from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware. These dyes should be diluted with ethanol (denatured alcohol) rather than water, which helps to keep the grain of the wood from raising. This is a Transtint Datasheet issued by Rockler about the product:




A recommendation from users of this with small wood coloration is to use a dilute solution with more applications, to build up the color rather than having it be too much and having to "wash" it away.





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Thanks Janel and Izzy, have checked on the dye and found that it is also at Woodcraft. I have some acrylic paints I will test on a small bit of Holly that I have.

The grain on holly is tight the wood is fairly hard, carves great, and the wood I have is very white. I have made 2 Dragonfly pendants with it and now I want to make a Pink Dragonfly pendant.

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  • 4 weeks later...

rooiboos herbal tea makes a very pink color.


i mean the real leaf tea--------- seep in hot water----

take the wood and wet it with the tea.


it does raise the grain a little.


i was trying for red and ended up with a real pink on test pieces.


however i think herbal tea might fade in UV light ---- but im not sure.


turned maple pink.



(also suggested is hibiscus tea which is kind of a red leaf tea)

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