Email from Ale 12th Dec 2022

Good morning,

I’m starting to make wood toys and need a tint and finish. Would you think that the non-toxic water dyes + beeswax would be the best way to go?

My response 12th Dec 2022

Hello Ale

Water dyes… YES.

Beeswax… NO!

Beeswax won’t seal the dye into the wood and beeswax is easily damaged with handling, especially so with wooden toys.

Best bet for toys is Water Dye, followed up with White Shellac (Dewaxed) or if you want a really tough finish the Hard Shellac, both are foodsafe and won’t darken the wood any more than wetting it down with water. So, they will allow the colour of the dye to show through without discolouring it. Personally, I would use the White Shellac, both are the same shellac only one has a hardener in it so it takes a little longer to dry.

You will need a good brush to apply the shellac. Go to an Art Supply shop and ask for an Artists Camel Hair water colour mop. That will do the finish beautifully and without brush marks if used right.

Your other alternative is to use the dye and a polyurethane but the Poly will take a long time to dry and need another coat a day later, where you can do 2-3 coats of shellac within an hour or so.

Hope this is of some help to you.

Regards – Neil Ellis
Reply from: Ale 12th Dec 2022
OHH WOW, thank you so much for your help.
I will purchase soon to do the first round of test.
Have a great week,



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