Although Blake has a decent amount of knowledge regarding dying, I couldn't help but try to soak up as much information I could find. Here's some of the stuff that I have found, and I hope some people can share some personal experience, and tips.
Please help a beginner.....I know it's frustrating to try to teach someone EVERYTHING there is to know about dying, but I just wanted to create something that I'd be proud of.
Rit Dye & Rit Powder
PROsperse Disperse Dyes
PRO Dye Carrier NSC to mix with the dye
Mixing Agents Options
Acetone (somewhat dangerous)
Laundry Detergent & Table Salt
Non-acetone finger nail polish remover
Contact Paper (Clear) (SLO?)
Blue Masking Tape
Sign Quality Vinyl
I took clear contact paper and covered the top of the disk completely with an extra inch on every side. I then took a printout of what I wanted to dye and taped it to the contact paper. I cut out the design carefully with an xacto blade and removed the contact paper from where I wanted the color to go. I bought a pan at the thrift store and some black Rit dye. I filled the pot 1/3 full, boiled the water and stirred in the dye. I let it cool for about 8 minutes until it seemed lukewarm. I then lowered the disc upside down into the dye holding it by the flaps of the extra contact paper. I let it soak for five minutes. I then removed the disc and rinsed it in cool water. Finally I removed the contact paper mask and whoop there it is. I am pleased.
$3.75 Rit dye
$1.99 Pot at thrift store
$6.95 Contact paper
Well, no spin art from me...I just did these this morning. It took about 30min to cut the masks out, then I let them soak for about 8-10min in the dye and then washed them off. I had a little bleeding at the edges of the contact paper. It was a little hard for me to see what wasn't cut when I started to remove the mask and I ended up with a few rough edges, hence the bleeding. Maybe I need some glasses, or more lights Overall though, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. Maybe I'll try some multi-colors next time.
However, if I was to create a solute that was too thick, I could add acetone to help thin out and emulsify the substance. This would also severally reduce the time needed for this dye to sit on an object in order to dye it.
Other thought would be to create a very gelatinous two rit powder pack to small amount of acetone creation. Mix this creation with a small amount of detergent and salt until the mixture is the right consistency. This might prove easier to dye with, creating a stronger dye with less curing time.
Dunno.... gonna have to spend some money and try it all out.
I find the art on the internet, print, resize and tape to the bottom on the disc. First color I do is black. I have found that I get better results if I mix a little blue and/or green in with the black. I have a package of popcycle sticks I use to measure and mix the dye. I will take the stick and get two or three little scoops on the end of the stick and put it into a very small mixing bowl. I think they might be called single serving custard bowls or something. the amount of powdered dye I get with 3 scoops is about equal to 2 certs breath mints. I will then add about a half scoop of green and a half scoop of blue. If I go with just the black sometimes the dye will have a brown tint when I wash it off. I then use a small one-piece plastic eye dropper I got in a package of 3 at Hobby Lobby to add a little water to the dye. I add just enough to turn the dye to a thick liquid. After that add about the same amount of the PRO Carrier NSC chemical. I don’t measure it, I just pour a little bit. mix and paint on with the smallest brush you can buy.
I use a 18/0 spotter brush to trace over the design I have taped to the bottom of the disc. Leave the dye on for anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours. When you rinse it off, use LOTS of flowing water to prevent a shadowing effect as the extra dye washes away. I the dye seems to thick on the disc you can place regular scotch tape over the dye/disc, rub it down good then pull it off. That seems to remove extra dye buildup.
When I fill in color areas of the design I use powdered RIT dye and Acetone. I get the Acetone at Lowe's, it is right next to the cans of paint thinner. I put about 2 to 3 times as much RIT dye in the bowl as I did the other dye. I also add a little more water (it is the colored water you get, not the granules, that you will be dyeing with). I then use the same eyedropper I use for water to add the Acetone. The acetone evaporates very fast, I sometimes dye the same are twice if I need the color deeper, I will keep the same mix and add more acetone as needed.
To mask off areas to dye I use lots of stuff. If I am going to do a pattern on a disc that is not transparent I will cover the disc in blue painters masking tape ( a little more expensive but it does not leave glue residue on the disc like manila masking tape). I will draw, trace or whatever my pattern onto the tape then as carefully as you can use an x-acto knife to cut the tape taking care not to dig into the disc with your blade.
For a basic color area I will cover the entire disc with clear hockey tape that can be bought at Play-It-Again-Sports or any hockey rink/shop. I will also stretch the tape around the outer rim of the disc, this keeps the dye from running onto the bottom lip (a pet peeve of mine). The tape is very stretchy and will mould itself to both sides of the edge of the disc. Now take your x-acto knife and very carefully cut the tape away from the area you want to dye. Cut about 1/8 inch back from the area you are working on. What you will do now is use decorative liquid way to paint from the tape right up to your black dye line. I used to get the wax at Hobby Lobby but the do not carry it anymore. They have some stuff that is Liquid Lead for fake stained glass windows that works ok. The problem you will have with that stuff is that it is water soluble and you cannot redye the same area twice without touching it up. With the decorative wax I have dyed the same area 4 or more times without any problems. I plan on getting more of the way when I need it online somewhere. The product is Candle Deco Paint made by Uchida Corp of America. They have a website on the product that I have not tried yet, www.ucida.com
You use a small paint brush (not as small as the dye one to paint the wax up to the tape/black dye line. To apply the Rit/Acetone mix I use a half inch wide or larger flat brush. RIT dye can leave streaks so I always brush from the center of the disc out. Just be aware of the "grain" when you brush this stuff on. You leave this on from 5 to fifteen minutes. To clean the wax off I scrape it with a Plastic spoon then use a grease cutting dish soap. Be careful you don’t use too abrasive a pad and scratch the disc. Also you can get pretty creative with this wax stuff as regards to background areas. I use sponges, altered paintbrushes, toothpicks, whatever I think will give a cool effect to the area to mask off parts of areas. One last tip, some dyes don’t work as well as others. Flesh colored dye for skin sucks, it is very streaky and grainy. What I will do is place it on a little darker then use a Scott Rags in a box towel that I tip the corner in Acetone to "blend" the dye to a better tone (do this before you remove the wax or you will spread the dye)
Another good way to mask off your lines without bleeding is Vaseline. Cut out your contact paper pattern with an X acto, but do it the OPPOSITE of what you want to dye. Paste it to the disc and put the Vaseline on liberally along the edges. Carefully peel off the contact paper without smearing the Vaseline. Use a paint brush to brush your dye on thick. Just don't run over the Vaseline lines. If you do it right, the dye will not bleed at all Once it dries, rinse it. You can even re apply the dye if necessary and the Vaseline will not rinse off. This takes a bit of practice, but if you have a little skill and patience, it works great.
I leave the area I want to color taped... I cut VERY carefully cuz there is always some tard who will want to tell you that even the most microscopic scratch you put on the disc will make it illegal... then I cover the area I just removed the blue painters masking tape from with clear hockey tape... the stretchy kind you use for your shin pads, not the cloth kind that you use on your stick....I put this tape about a quarter to an eight of an inch from the blue masking tape... then I use a small paintbrush to paint/push the wax up to the blue tape, after the wax sets I pull the blue tape off, leaving a nice clean line... also I stretch the hockey tape around the rim of the disc before dyeing... one of my pet peeves is seeing dye that has run up under the bottom rim of the disc... I know you cannot see it from the top but I guess I’m just particular that way.... now... if you use this companies colored dyes you can just paint them on like you did the black dye... it might tint the black dye a little but you can put scotch tape on it a few time and remove some of the dye (this is after rinsing)... doing this is helpful because it removes some of the dye and keeps the disc from fading as fast... I don’t care what anyone days if a disc is dyed it WILL fade/bleed/whatever over the course of a year or so.... faster if you store it in the trunk of your car.... the only reason I use the rit dye/masking method at all is because this pro dye stuff only comes in basic colors
Here are a few ideas and some tips that I've found that might answer that as well:
If you go with taking the image you want and then tracing it onto the disc itself, what you may do is take a few different color sharpies. Trace the image onto the disc with sharpie. Then remove the original picture on the back of the disc. Mask over the picture on the disc. Then you can use or rig a sort of light box. Basically, just take the disc and put it close to a bright light source. If you are using a regular masking tape, the image will shine through. Take your sharpies again and then trace onto the masking tape. Use a reverse color printing scheme starting from your darkest colors (black, midnight blue, browns) to your lightest in the dyeing process. Sometimes you might run into a problem where one will bleed into the other and not look good. In this case, re-mask the disc, the image is still there in sharpie and you shouldn’t run into problems.
I have to disagree with Steve as to the masking choice. I actually used blue painters tape for a while and it has a tendency to bleed through the tape, especially in the darker colors. I use 3M 2020. Yes, it does leave residue from time to time (and only if you tear it off when wet) but you can pick up a bottle of Goo-gone at the Dollar store and it works great! It’s never bled on me no matter how many colors I’ve put on and it's WAY cheaper.
There’s also a small debate about the effects of bleeding on a disc. Most dyed discs, over time, will lose its sharpness and almost seem blurry. I’ve found that the intensity of the dye, when applied, had a huge effect on how fast and how bad it will blur. Something for people to try but is definitely a bit more risky: Take powdered RIT and mix 1 cup hot water and 1 cup acetone. The hot water shouldn’t be so hot that you can’t put your finger in it. Put it in a Tupperware container that is just bigger than the disc you want to dye. Take the exposed parts you want to dye on the disc and flip it over so the face and exposed parts to dye, is floating directly in the dye solution. The dye is very diluted and so you’ll have to give it a few hours but the bleeding is very minute. I have a few pro plastic discs, that are notorious for their quick and heavy bleeding, that still look almost perfect like I had just dyed them. WARNINGS ON THIS METHOD! Make sure the water isn’t so hot that it will melt the sticky off the tape. The heat will also help in the dyeing process. This method is a lot messier, so make sure you have the proper working space.
A few other pointers I have to add:
-Try inks and dye pens for shading effects. They don’t come out as strong but you can use that to your advantage
-There’s a thing in most art stores called a bone file. It’s a large smooth object that looks like a file and is used to give an even and precise fold in paper. Use this to make sure the tape is airtight. In my opinion, masking is the most important part of the process and you want to make sure there are no errors going into the dyeing process.
-The gummier the plastic, the more it will bleed but the easier it is to dye.
I’ve thought about trying to put together a list like this and posting it onto my site. This isn’t the first time this thread has come up, it just seems to get buried. Would pictures maybe help people or does this all make sense? Would it be worth it to those not in the know to post it somewhere a bit more permanent? It seems as if people have questions but don’t ask the people that are doing it regularly. I’m not sure of the people that Steve has said he feels have “arrogant, elitist attitudes berate the little man who only wants to put a little dye on their disc...” but I’ve felt that most of the regular dyers have been pretty cool about sharing knowledge. I’ll go on record saying that I’ll also answer any questions or help who I can in becoming successful dyers.
I use powdered rit dye ($1.48 a box at hobby lobby) and I mix it with just enough 100% acetone to make it liquidy...you have to hurry to get it on the disc, though, because the acetone evaporates quickly. you don’t have to leave it on the disc very long at all. the longest I’ve left it is 15min or so, but I’ve washed it off after 20sec with the same results. I brush it on.
I use stuff called "frisket film" from hobby lobby to mask on the disc (it is thin transparent film with a tacky backing to stick to the disc). the main challenge is getting the film on the disc w/o any wrinkles or bubbles (that will cause bleeding). after applying the film, I cut out geometric designs with a compass with an xacto knife (swivel blade) instead of a pencil, and a straight edge. I can do designs that are similar to drdye's designs (my first ace disc is a drdye and I examined it to figure out that he was cutting out the patterns on the disc itself). I’ve been recreating crop circle designs and working in diatonic musical ratios, Fibonacci series ratios, and Mandela meditative art designs into my dyes.
you can also use the frisket film on a clear(ish) disc, and tape a black and white template to the underside of the disc, and use an xacto to cut out the design, tracing from the picture under the disc. I’ve seen guys do very detailed cartoon character type pictures like this.
I have used contact paper (the clear stuff used to put on cupboard shelves) instead of frisket paper. I have never tried frisket but have heard it is more expensive than contact paper.
To get my designs (I usually do images rather than geometric designs) I trace my image onto the contact paper by placing the image on glass table and put the contact paper over top of the image. I put a light underneath the table to allow me to trace better (I have no artistic ability so I must rely on tracing) and use a permanent marker to write on the contact paper.
I then stick the contact paper onto the disc and cut with an xacto knife. I also use a powdered Rit and acetone mix.
I figured out how to do a brainwave style dye. Use fairly thick rit dye & tide. Place some in a plate, take the disc and press it top down into the dye then pull the disc up off of the plate. If you don't like the pattern you got stick it in the dye again until you get something you like.
another tip to keep the disc clean (dye that bleeds/runs over the top of the lip onto the bottom of the rim is a big pet peeve of mine) is to get some clear hockey tape from play-it-again-sports and pull it tight around the edge of your disc.... this tape stretches very well and will wrap itself around both sides of the edge of the disc.... as for getting a true black, I no longer use rit dye/acetone for black, but when I did I found that the black rit dye came out a crappy shade of brown.... if you add a little dark green and dark blue rit dye to your black you should get more of a true black....
Put your contact paper on your disc OPPOSITE of the design you want. Then rub Vaseline along the edges of your design. Next, carefully peel the contact paper off, making sure not to smudge your Vaseline lines. Now you can dye without fear of bleeds. This works great, even with acetone dyes.
Practice, practice, practice. Especially with players that are better than you. It's one of the only ways to learn new things.