How To Dye


Dying Cars by David Elliott

The recipe is simple: 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar, salt, and RIT dye. I usually go with 2 cups each of the liquids, 1/2 tsp of salt, and a half package of dye.

You need a deep pot and a stove, or a jar and a microwave. A pair of plastic salad/pasta tongs is useful, as is a roll of paper towels and newspaper.

If you use the stove, warm the liquids until the pot is hot enough that you can’t keep your hand on the side of it for more than around 5 seconds. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the salt until it’s dissolved, and stir in the dye.

If you use a microwave, heat the liquids in the microwave until hot enough that you can almost not hold the jar. Stir in the salt and dye.

Put the cars in for around 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally, and watch for deposits, which can be taken off by stirring. Try not to take the cars out until you are finished. Doing so won’t damage the cars, but you will probably drop it and cause a splatter. My only tie-dyed shirt was a shirt that I was wearing while dying cars. NOTE: Liberal use of newspaper on the floor or counter will help prevent stains on them.

Now, the color you get will depend on the color you start with, the dye, and how long you leave it in the solution. White cars will dye with a lighter shade of the dye color. For example, the purple isn’t as dark as the package, but it’s not far off after 45 minutes. Other colors can do weird things. Also, the black and gray give you a brown car, not a black or gray. I did a bus with this, and it looks almost like a root beer brown. It’s not useless, but it is unexpected. In general, the obvious mixes do well. Blue and red make a nice dark purple.

The wheel chrome and metal parts don’t generally take dye. There are exceptions to this, though. The Tomart’s Corvette wheels and base took the royal blue, but left the chrome tinted. The results are quite pleasing (at least to me – we should get a more expert opinion soon). Whitewalls do take the dye. I did one of those lavender 59 Caddys with royal blue and the wheels are now bluewalls, but the car looks really nice. You can supposedly coat surfaces with Vaseline to prevent dying.


From Joe’s Diecast Shack Custom Board

This is a copy of the Rit Dye chart.

Create your own high-fashioned colors. Just combine the colors as listed in the recipe, dissolve the powder dye thoroughly according to package directions, and then follow the timing or dyeing instructions as listed in each RIT package.

Amethyst : 1 pkg Purple, 1 Tbsp Wine

Apricot: 1 Tbsp Rose Pink, 1 tsp Tangerine

Aqua: 1 pkg Royal Blue, 1 Tbsp Kelly Green

Avocado: 1 pkg Dark Green, 1 Pkg Golden Yellow

Aquamarine: 1 Tbsp Mint Green, 1 1/2 tsp Teal

Beige: 1 Tbsp Tan, 1 tsp Yellow

Bittersweet: 1 pkg Golden Yellow, 1 Tbsp Scarlet

Bone: 1 tsp Tan, 1/2 tsp Pearl Grey

Camel: 1 Tbsp Yellow, 1/4 tsp Kelly Green

Caramel: 2 pkg Golden Yellow, 1 1/2 tsp Cocoa Brown

Blue Spruce: 1 pkg Royal Blue, 1 Tbsp Dark Green

Bright Navy: 1 pkg Royal Blue, 1 pkg Navy Blue

Burgundy: 1 pkg Wine, 1 pkg Cardinal Red

Burnt Orange: 1 Tbsp Tangerine, 1 Tbsp Tan

Celery: 1 tsp Yellow, 1 Tbsp Rose Pink

Charcoal Grey: 1 1/2 tsp Royal Blue, 1 1/2 tsp Black

Chartreuse: 1 pkg Yellow, 1 tsp Kelly Green

Cherry Red: 1 pkg Fuchsia, 1 Tbsp Scarlet

Chestnut Brown: 2 pkg Cocoa Brown, 2 pkg Tangerine

Cranberry Red: 1 pkg Scarlet, 1 Tbsp Wine

Dark Denim: 2 pkgs Navy Blue, 1 Tbsp Black

Dusty Rose: 1 Tbsp Mauve, 1 tsp Tan

Eggshell: 1 tsp Tan, 1 tsp Yellow

Flesh: 1 tsp Tan, 1 tsp Peach

Forest Green: 2 pkg Dark Green, 1 pkg yellow

Gold: 1 pkg Golden Yellow, 1 1/2 tsp Tan

Grape: 1 Tbsp Wine, 1 Tbsp Purple

Hunter Green: 1 pkg Royal Blue, 1 pkg Kelly Green

Ivory: 1/2 tsp Tan, 1/2 tsp Yellow

Khaki Green: 1 pkg Tan, 1/4 tsp Dark Green

Khaki Tan: 1 pkg Tan, 2 tsp Pearl Grey

Lilac: 1 tsp Purple, 1 Tbsp Mauve

Lt. Blue: 1 Tbsp Evening Blue

Light Green: 2 tsp Kelly Green

Lt. Turquoise: 2 tsp Royal Blue, 2 tsp Kelly Green

Lime Green: 2 pkg Yellow, 1 pkg Kelly Green

Magenta: 1 pkg Fuchsia, 2 tsp Wine

Marine Blue: 1 pkg Royal Blue, 1 tsp Purple

Maroon: 2 pkg Wine, 2 tsp Dark Brown

Misty Lavender: 1 pkg Evening Blue, 1 Tbsp Mauve

Moss Green: 1 pkg Golden Yellow, 1 Tbsp Dark Green, 2 tsp Tangerine

Mustard: 2 pkg Golden Yellow, 1 pkg Tan

Old Ecru: 1 Tbsp Yellow, 1 1/2 tsp Tan, 1 1/2 tsp Peach

Olive Drab: 1 pkg Dark Green, 1 Tbsp Dark Brown

Orange: 1 pkg Golden Yellow, 2 tsp Scarlet

Paprika: 1 pkg Golden Yellow, 1 Tbsp Scarlet

Peacock Blue: 1/2 cup Royal Blue, 1 Tbsp Kelly Green

Pink: 1 1/2 tsp Rose Pink, 1/2 tsp Yellow

Plum: 1 pkg Navy, 1 Tbsp Wine

Rust: 1 pkg Tangerine, 1 Tbsp Cocoa Brown

Sage Green: 1 pkg Pearl Green, 1 Tbsp Sea Foam Green

Sea Coral: 1 pkg Rose Pink, 1 1/2 tsp Tangerine or 1 pkg yellow

Shocking Pink: 1 pkg Rose Pink, 1 1/2 tsp Fuchsia

Shrimp Pink: 1 pkg Rose Pink, 1 tsp Tangerine

Soft Raspberry: 2 Tbsp Cardinal, 1 Tbsp Fuchsia

Spice Brown 1 pkg Cocoa Brown, 1 Tbsp Tangerine

Teal Blue:1 pkg Royal Blue, 1 1/2 tsp Kelly Green

Teal Green: 1 1/2 pkg Kelly Green, 1 Tbsp Royal Blue

Tiger Lilly: 1 pkg Tangerine, 1 Tbsp Rose Pink

Violet: 1/4 cup Purple, 2 Tbsp Fuchsia

Additional dyeing ideas and color information can be obtained by writing to:

RIT Consumer Affairs Department

P.O. Box 21070

Indianapolis, IN 46221

(317) 231-8044

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