DIY Home Aluminum Anodizing

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  • Some comments on home aluminium anodising Dye

    After the aluminium has been anodised in the acid bath, it is time to dye it a pretty colour. There are commercially available anodizing dyes. I have no doubt that these provide good, repeatable results. However, they do cost. Depending on the colour, they cost between 20 and 40 for a dose of dye that makes about 4 gallons. This is not overly expensive, but still, a cost to be avoided if possible. The other problem is that there are only a handful of places that sell it to the home anodiser.

    As I have said elsewhere, clothes dye makes a pretty good replacement. A few points about clothes dye:

    • It doesn't last forever - I imagine it will fade in sunlight over time, but I have not proved this yet.
    • A batch of dye made up in a pan - I usually use about 1 litre of water for a pack of dye, does not last forever either. After three or four uses you will need to replace it. A packet of dye costs about a pound, so sooner or later you might as well buy some proper commercial anodising dye.
    • You have to be very very careful about which dye you select in the shop
    • Dye does exactly what it says on the tin. Try not to make the kitchen go pretty colours as well as the aluminium anodising.

    I have not had much luck with food colouring. Food colouring advertised as "natural" sort of works, but clothes dye with a much more striking finish to home anodised aluminium parts.

    THe only clothes dye that I have found that works is Dylon Multi-Purpose dye. Other Dylon brands do NOT work. I guess the dye particles are not small enough. Dyes that do not work include the Dylon COLD range and the dylon PURE COLOUR range.

    These dyes do work. Navy Blue give an almost black colour. Ebony black is a great black. Most of them give pleasing results, but after a few uses start to give poorer results.

    These dyes do not work. Don't bother trying them

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