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from Jeff Jewitt Q & A on ‘lightfastness’
Response To:
question on lightfast... ()

Wiley Horne
Hi David,

From Jeff Jewitt’s Homesteadfinishing.com website……Jeff here discusses the limits of his metal complex dyes. Note he concludes that if you must have lightfastness, then pigment stains are kind of the gold standard. He does not address Warren’s point about the wood itself will change under your nose:

“ Are your dyes lightfast?
First of all, there is no concrete definition for “lightfast”. When dealing with dyes, it’s complicated because lightfastness of a particular dye is also dependent upon what it’s applied to and the concentration of the dye. What this means is that a particular dye, when applied as a solution to bare wood might have better lightfastness than the same dye, when used in a dilute concentration as a toner. That said, let’s put lightfastness into perspective.
Our Homestead dyes (TransTint® Liquid Dyes & TransFast® Water-soluble Dye Powders) are fade-resistant and can be expected to be reasonably lightfast when used in conditions of normal, indoor ambient light or indoor manufactured lighting conditions. Prolonged or intermittent exposure of dyes to strong sunlight from overhead skylights or windows (like picture windows or bay windows) may fade the dye, just like it will on textiles like fabric and carpeting. You should avoid using blue, purple, and violet dye colors that are exposed to a strong source of sunlight.
All our other dye colors should perform fine in most indoor situations, however, the best performers we offer are the TransTint® Dyes (except the color blue). Our TransTint metallized dyes offer the best lightfastness you can get with a dye stain. However, they are not rated for exterior use.
If you are unsure of the lightfastness of a dye in any given situation, remember that pigment based stains offer the best lightfastness. Another option is to glaze over the dye with a pigment based colorant to protect the dye underneath or use a finish with an UV absorber to protect light sensitive substrates.”


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