Dye for MDF and how to apply
  • Hello everybody:) , I am looking for some advice on dying MDF wood. I,m planning on using Procion MX but I would like to now if I can dilute the dye with something else apart from water so it does not effect the structure of the MDF.

    Also I was looking for the best way to apply it?

    And last of all what would be the best way to protect the dyed suface from scratches and general wear and tear?

    Thank you so much in advance for any info given guys and girls;)
  • Hi

    MX Reactive Dye Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl) or Denatured (grain) Alcohol. Both 70% rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl) and denatured (grain) alcohol work equally well.

    Make the dye solution by dissolving between ½ - 8 tsp depending on the desired shade, in ½ cup (120 ml) of room temperature 75o to 95oF (24oto 35oC) water. Add ½ cup (120 ml) alcohol to make 1 cup (240 ml) of total dye solution. Store dye solutions in tightly capped glass bottles.

    MX is not particularly soluble in pure alcohol unfortunately. To seal the wood use a wax or urethane varnish should be fine.

  • Celia thanks so much for replying to my question.

    I have been trying to find the 70% Alcohol but have had no luck at hardware stores. Do you know of any suppliers in Auckland NZ?

    I have just received my deep black 609 procion MX dye from a supplier and its a dark shade of red/brown - is this correct?

    I have just applied the dye with a rag to the MDF surface using Meth Spirits but the MDF seems to be absorbing the dye and not building on the surface to give a good solid colour. Should I seal the MDF surface 1st with an oil sealer before applying dye solution?

    I also tried applying the dye to the machined edges but it looked terrible: ( . Same again should I seal 1st before apply dye solution?

    I read on a diff forum to seal MDF machined edges with 50% PVA glue & 50%water but this was to enable painting not dying, what do you think?

    Sorry for all the questions but I'm really new to all this so your expertise is much appreciated Celia.

    Thanks so much,

  • Hi,

    Try a pharmacy for the alcohol. In the USA it is readily available but that varies from country to country unfortunately.

    609 is Blue violet in our Procion H colors 614 is Jet Black...The Jet black MX Procion which is the powder I referenced from Jacquard should look dark black col# 150 when added to water. There is a warm black col# 128 is more reddish and warmer.

    MDF is really absorbent and wetting that too much will destroy the material. Build up in layers if you can to achieve saturation.

    If you apply a sealer it will prevent the dye from penetrating the material so I would not recommend it.

  • I am interested in doing this as well. Which line of your dyes do your recommend for dyeing MDF?


  • Hi,

    You may also wish to try Pinata color it is a spirit based dye.

  • Hi Celia,

    Am interested in dyeing MDF boards as well. Are there others you would recommend beside Procion MX?

  • Hi Ashley,

    If you are trying to dye the MDF through and through you may find that difficult. Too much moisture and the MDF is going to 'melt' and crumble. There is no product that I can think of that will allow you to achieve that in a standard household setting.
    If what you are after is a stain for the surface another dye to use could be the Basic Dye: http://store.jacquardproducts.com/category_colors/dyes_basic-dye/. Our Pinata Inks are another dye based product that you can use. These are an alcohol based liquid dye with beautiful transparent colors.
    Another good product is our Dye-Na-Flow paints. These are very flowable, transparent paints that will give you a dyed look with greater light fastness than you can get with dyes.

    hope this helps!