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Subject: colouring wooden cubes and meeples rss

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Shoosh shoo
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Hello all

I had a quick question. I have a bunch of standard wooden cubes and meeples that I want to use as replacements in another game. The problem is that the colour of cubes and meeples I have for this purpose are natural. I need colours like red, green, blue, yellow, etc.

I tried painting a couple so far and I should have thought of this initially, but after painting them you don't see the grain at all. This made me wonder how these kinds of things are coloured during manufacturing and if it was something I can replicate.

I won't be upset if I have to paint everything a solid colour to match. I don't mind the look. This is more curiousity now.
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Leif Carlsen
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Kennewick
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Illegitimi Non Carborundum
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You may be interested in the Rit Dye experiment thread.
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manus trium
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I use india ink to dye all my wooden components for print and plays. It gives a bright vivid color, allows the grain to shine through, soaks in and dries almost immediately, and is really affordable (I've used the same small jars of dye for several games and am just now starting to get a little bit low).

Also, I've had good results mixing colors to get different hues and colors. Whether it be mixing blue and red to get purple, or just adding the tiniest bit of red to yellow to subtly change the yellow to match colors on a board etc.
 
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Jake Staines
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Note that dyes and inks will only work if by "natural" you mean "unfinished". Several board-game-part suppliers use "natural" to refer to pieces which are uncoloured, but are still varnished to protect the wood and prevent it absorbing grease from players' fingers, liquid from spilled drinks etc. which would discolour the wood.

If your pieces have this varnish then they won't take dye or ink unless you sand them down completely, which is a time-consuming process that's difficult to get completely right. It's much easier if your pieces are varnished to paint them with an appropriate spray-on primer and then paint them the colour you need with enamel spray paint.
 
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Shoosh shoo
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I think these may have a finish on them. I guess ill have to paint them instead. No way am i going to sand down all these cubes

The ink/dye method sounds interesting. Thanks!
 
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Paradox Games
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Believe it or not, I used Sharpies to do this! Do a test on a pice you don't mind losing to see if it satisfies you.
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Shoosh shoo
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I just started painting now. I wish i had used sharpies instead! Less work!
 
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Jake Staines
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Regular sharpies are much like dye or inks - because they are ink. They work well on unfinished wood, but if drawn over varnish will rub off over time and leave ink all over the fingers of the people handling the pieces. Especially if they fiddle with their game bits.

On the other hand, several manufacturers - sharpie included - make paint pens which work OK. It's still best to lightly sand the surfaces to give the paint something to stick to, and some brands are better than others, but they're a viable option.
 
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