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Thread: India Ink

  1. #1

    India Ink

    I recently ebonized a bowl with Speedball India Ink, which has shellac in it. After it dried, the surface was rough, although I suppose that shouldn't surprise me. I went ahead any applied Watco Danish Oil without prior sanding. I was concerned that sanding would cut back the india ink and I would be left with partially ebonized surface. Any suggestions as to how to smooth the surface without taking off the india ink? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weingarden View Post
    I recently ebonized a bowl with Speedball India Ink, which has shellac in it. After it dried, the surface was rough, although I suppose that shouldn't surprise me. I went ahead any applied Watco Danish Oil without prior sanding. I was concerned that sanding would cut back the india ink and I would be left with partially ebonized surface. Any suggestions as to how to smooth the surface without taking off the india ink? Thanks.
    I haven't tried putting india ink on wood and smoothing. Maybe wet sanding with very fine paper? (800 or so?) If you sand through the ink in places perhaps you can re-blacken with leather dye.

    JKJ

  3. #3
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    Perhaps it raised the grain? I'd try to purposely raise it with water first. Then sand and apply the india ink.

  4. #4
    I used india ink to dye the poplar legs of a butcher block table. I put on 1 coat, "sanded" it gently with a brown paper bag, and then put on a second coat of ink and gently rubbed the brown paper on it again. Then I put on a topcoat (cant recall what). The legs are smooth.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies. I think I'll try sanding after applying the india ink, and then a second application of the ink.

  6. #6
    I just made a chair and dyed it with India Ink. I found the same thing. I topcoated with Waterlox and even 3-4 coats later, the ink still rubs off in places. I've had the best luck in the past with it by first dyeing, then sanding to smooth, and then spraying on a top coat with a compatible solvent into which I can dissolve a little more of the ink (shellac or a waterbased finish). Toning covers any sanded through edges and gives a more even ultimate surface, IMHO.

  7. #7
    Thanks Prashun. I apply liming wax after the india ink, and remove the excess wax with Danish oil. Thus, I'm somewhat limited in terms of a top coat due to the wax and oil that's been applied.

  8. #8
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    According to the MSDS they use AQUEOUS BORATED SHELLAC, so yes you swelled the grain. By adding the oil you complicated the addition of more water based product. https://www.speedballart.com/wp-cont...017/11/404.pdf

  9. #9
    Richard:
    Can you elaborate on what you mean by - " By adding the oil you complicated the addition of more water based product".

  10. I used india ink on many things over the years. It always raises the grain and must be sanded back very slightly. I refinished a lot of old pine furniture back in the 1970s' with india ink and formby's tongue oil over the surface after light sanding. Came out beautiful. Once ordered India ink in two liter gallon jugs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weingarden View Post
    Richard:
    Can you elaborate on what you mean by - " By adding the oil you complicated the addition of more water based product".
    Before you put on the oil, you had an opportunity to sand the surface any number of times and the ability to add more ink if you had a light spot on the wood. Once you put on the oil, it seals off the cells of the wood and more coats of ink would not penetrate and possibly provide a different shade or depth of color. As with any water based product, you can whisker the wood before applying it. Take a damp cloth and wipe it over the sanded raw wood. This swells any torn fibers and feels rough. When dry you sand it lightly with fresh very fine sandpaper and it cuts off the whiskers. Then the coat of color, there are no whiskers to swell up.

  12. #12
    Thank you.

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