This week we will continue to talk about another finishing system known as a Dye and A Wipe. In this system, a dye is applied prior to the wipe stain.

Dyes, or NGR stains, (Non-Grain Raising) are a spray-applied product. Therefore, they adhere to the same set of application rules as the shaders that we have discussed in past weeks.

• They are low viscosity coatings.

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• They will, undoubtedly, need to be applied in multiple passes.

• They will create haloing in inside corners.

• The need for a good HVLP, compliant, or conventional spray gun for application are a must.

A significant issue presents itself when applying the dye first. That is that the dye can and will, under most circumstances, be rewetted by the wipe stain. What then happens is that a certain amount of the dye will be mopped up when wiping the wipe stain. You need to think about this and have a solution included in your finishing system least you realize too late that you are chasing your tail.

After you get that dye applied to your satisfaction, you can “lock it down” with a wash coat. That will prevent the wipe stain from getting to the dye and rewetting it.

What’s a wash coat? Well a washcoat is a concoction created from clear lacquer and lacquer thinner in which you significantly reduce the amount of solids in the lacquer. You will usually reduce these down to 5 – 10% by volume.

But Bernie, you’ve gone round and round these past weeks telling us that we should never apply a wipe stain over a lacquer coat. Now that’s precisely what you are telling us to do!

Well, yes and no. Yes, I am saying apply the washcoat and then apply the wipe stain after the washcoat has dried. But there’s more to this than just that. After you calculate what you need to do to your clear coat of choice to turn it into a 5 – 10% volume solids concoction, you will see that there’s not an awful lot left. But there is enough binder there to lock down that dye while still keeping the pores and fibers open enough to give that wipe stain something good to hold on to.

Two rules here.

1. One wet pass only.

2. Wash coats must be scuffed. That also helps the adhesion.

You can also see that getting very aggressive with the scuffing of a wash coat is going to cause you to burn through that dye layer REALLY easily. Be gentle. Work on that “soft hand” when scuffing.

There’s another option. M.L. Campbell has a spray stain base called Amazing Stain. It is the closest thing to a silver bullet that I have on my gun belt. I love Amazing Stain for a vehicle to apply dyes. I also use it on occasionright out of the can as a wash coat. I also love it as a shader base. It’s cool stuff and you should try it.

Until next time…spray on!

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