Introduction: Acrylic-dyed Wood

This project shows you how to dye hardwoods with acrylic paint to achieve an organic, artistic feel. Great as an art project and can also be used in woodworking projects.

You will need:

Plastic to protect your surface (optional)

Acrylic paint (I prefer Golden brand liquid acrylics)

Wood (I used a small scrap of poplar that I'd sanded the edges on. If you use a dark wood that will affect the appearance of the colors since many acrylic paints are translucent.)

A vessel with water in it

Mixing cups

A pipettte (optional)

A sealant like clear gel acrylic or Polycrylic

A brush or trowel

Step 1: Step 1: Wet the Surface of the Wood

Begin by wetting the surface of your piece of wood. Mine was small enough that I could dip it in the water vessel, but you could run larger pieces under a faucet.

Place your wood on a surface that you don't mind getting wet/ paint-stained. Or line your surface with plastic.

Step 2: Step 2: Mix Your Pigments

Begin by placing some water in your mixing vessel. I used a pipette full (about a tablespoon). Then, add your paint to the water and stir. I wanted a rather dark pigmentation in the final product so I used 3 drops of high-quality paint. Repeat for all the colors you're using.

Step 3: Step 3: Drop Colored Water Onto Your Wet Board.

This is where the pipettes come in really handy, but you could also do this with a spoon or even your fingers. Transfer a bit of your colored water onto the surface of your painting. You can drop it on, as I have here, and allow it to spread naturally, or you can smear the colors around f you'd like to exert a bit more control over it.

The water on the surface of the painting will encourage the colors to run together.

Step 4: Step 4: Let the Painting Dry.

Let your painting dry thoroughly.

In this picture, you can see a second painting that I used less pigment on - this was 1 drop of paint in the same amount of water.

Step 5: Step 5: Seal Your Painting.

Seal your painting using a clear gel medium or Polycrylic. Here, I dipped the painting in the clear gel and then spread it out with a trowel because I wanted a thick layer. You can also brush your sealant on.

Step 6: Step 6: Allow to Dry.

Let your piece dry and enjoy!