View Full Version : question for the wood experts on finishing

Dee Gallo
05-22-2009, 9:34 PM
Now that I have settled on a technique for 3D which suits my needs, I need to create a finish which replicates rosewood lacquer.

Does anyone know how to do this? Every stain I've tried is too brown, I'm looking for an almost unnaturally red finish.

I can spray lacquer with my airbrush. I also have a commercial waterbased lacquer which is excellent, but it is clear - can it be dyed?

What I'd really like is to make something as nice as rosewood piano finish. Okay, stop laughing and HELP!

cheers, dee

Mike Null
05-22-2009, 9:41 PM

I suggest you copy the link to a few of your pictures and post the whole thing on the finishing forum where you'll have some real experts.

No slight intended to the engravers but the pool of experts is larger there.

Dee Gallo
05-22-2009, 10:19 PM
Thanks for that suggestion, Mike! That's exactly what I just did... I hope there is someone out there who can help me.

cheers, dee

James Jaragosky
05-22-2009, 10:50 PM
Thanks for that suggestion, Mike! That's exactly what I just did... I hope there is someone out there who can help me.

cheers, dee
Dee have you thought about using a different wood? May I suggest Padauk it is very beautiful and red.

Scott Challoner
05-23-2009, 10:55 AM
I agree with James. Padauk is very pretty (I think it's pronounced padook). I bought some 1/4" awhile back to play with. It cuts on the laser pretty well too. I got it at ocoochhardwoods.com. Go to the scroll saw ready hardwoods.

Dee Gallo
05-23-2009, 12:03 PM
Thanks James and Scott, I'm looking into padauk and also bubinga, suggested by Mike. Having the right wood to begin with will make my work a lot easier!

cheers, dee

Ray Mighells
05-23-2009, 1:18 PM
Ultimately it will come to the wood that provides the best engraved look. The least grain showing will give the most uniform engraving. With your artistic abilities and a good variety of analine dye powders you can replicate any wood look you want. You will need to learn the basics of preparation and sealing, but I'm sure your husband can help you out there. The shading, blending and graining is right up your alley. You are on the right track to create original fine art with your laser. Kudos to you.

George M. Perzel
05-23-2009, 1:21 PM
Hi Dee;
I think your best bet is to experiment with dyed lacquer- can be dyed with just about any of the commercially available aniline dyes-try Transtint colors red and purple and maybe a bit of walnut.
The rosewood "piano" finishes that I'm familiar (plaques, pen boxes, etc.)with are not really rosewood wood based-not sure some are even wood based.
Try it on some of the close grained jatoba but will take a bit of experimentation.
Good luck
Best regards;

Dee Gallo
05-23-2009, 1:33 PM
Thanks, Ray and George -

That confirms what someone on the finishing forum suggested too. I am very good at faux finish painting with glazes, so I don't think it will be hard to replicate the wood if I can make the right color. Transtint in a water-based lacquer is looking like my best choice.

I am hopeful this will turn out well, as I have a good market for these panels.


Martin Boekers
05-23-2009, 2:40 PM

One thing you might want to check out if you delve into the exotic woods,
is protection from allergic reactions.

I turn pens and some of the woods, their dust has caused some severe rashing.

I haven't explored this area with lasering, but if you are doing larger pieces
it might be something you want to research a bit.

It's best to stay safe!


Dee Gallo
05-23-2009, 3:20 PM
Important safety tip, thanks, Martin! I have very sensitive skin and that's the last thing I need! This tips the scales back to finding the perfect finish for the wood I've got.

cheers, dee

Ray Mighells
05-23-2009, 6:16 PM
When I was "in the business", I used Mohawk Finishing Products. They are in Amsterdam NY and offer discounts to the trade. You can get Aniline (thanks George) dye in many colors in 2 oz containers. It is highly concentrated and goes a long way. It takes a little experimenting but when you get used to it you'll appreciate its versatility. I've used it to tone clear oil stain, used it with shellac, but mainly I used it with regular furniture lacquer sanding sealer. I would typically be working 4 colors at a time using a clear plastic coffee can top as a palette. Just keep everything handy to maintain your color density and viscosity. I can send you a PM if you want more detail. Their shading lacquers are good also.