Metal Complex Dye Powder

Contemporary metal complex wood dye powder, soluble in both water and alcohol (apart from blue which is water only). Metal complex dyes offer exceptional transparency, lightfastness (resistance to fading) and colour intensity.


14 gram bags, each of which will make approximately:

  • 1 litre of standard strength liquid dye

  • 0.5 litre of concentrated liquid dye

  • 2 litres of wash strength liquid dye


1 litre of dye will cover approximately 8 square metres. This can vary depending on the species, type and surface condition of the wood to which it is applied. All swatches shown are 2 coats of standard strength dye applied to maple which has been sanded to 320 grit.


All interior wood dye applications, on soft- and hardwoods, and engineered timbers such as plywood. Suitable for use under all lacquers, varnishes, shellacs and oils.


For vintage finishes where fading is desirable use the Alcohol Soluble Aniline Dye Powder. For all other circumstances use Metal Complex Dye Powder to tint solvent-based lacquers and varnishes (nitrocellulose, shellac etc.).


To dissolve in water:

  • Add boiling water to a suitable container (we recommend glass or HDPE) and stir

  • Gradually add dye and continue stirring until it is all dissolved

  • Leave to cool to room temperature

  • We recommend straining before use to remove any undissolved clumps of dye

  • Dye can be applied by sponge, cloth, brush, spray or dip

To dissolve in alcohol we recommend our Shellac & Aniline Thinners, which are a Synthetic Methanol solvent. Alternatively Methanol (wood alcohol) or denatured alcohol can be used, but these are not as effective:

  • Add the solvent to a suitable glass, plastic (HDPE) or ceramic container and stir

  • Continue stirring while gradually adding the powder

  • Stir occasionally over the course of 30-60 minutes to ensure all powder is dissolved

  • Strain the solution before use

  • The dye can be applied by sponge, cloth, brush, spray or dip

If adding to our clear nitrocellulose lacquer, using a 3:1 mixture of Shellac & Aniline Thinners and Acetone can help to dissolve the solution in to the lacquer.


Powder dye should be stored at room temperature in a sealed container and away from direct sunlight.

Once mixed, the dye can be stored for up to 1 year in a suitable container. Shake well before use.