I see your cardboard and I want to paint it... red.
August 21, 2006 4:57 PM   Subscribe

What kind of dye/wash should I use to make thin brown cardboard a dark red?

The thin brown cardboard ill be using are the Arigato CD Cases at Stumptown Printers -- they come unfolded and are brown. Im going to have them screenprinted by a local artist, and intended on spraypainting them dark red, but was informed by the screenprinter that spraypaint would make the cardboard unscreenprintable (I imagine this is because the cardboard would lose its porousness)

I was given the idea of dipping the unfolded cases in dark red dye, but im not sure what im looking for.

Any ideas, related to what dyes would do the job (hoping for blood red) or any ideas for the "enreddenation" of the cardboard while keeping its screenprinting friendlyness?
posted by Satapher to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Have you thought of food coloring? I'm not sure how it would take on cardboard or if it'd be a finish that rub off easily, but it seems like it could work.
posted by mikeh at 5:07 PM on August 21, 2006

Just have your screenprinter do it. Depending on what your packaging looks like, the art will probably have to be trapped anyway.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:08 PM on August 21, 2006

Instead of paint from a spraycan, use a dark red wood-stain in a spraycan - this is a dye-like stain designed to soak into wood, rather than create an opaque surface covering. It's available (in a range of mostly browns and reds) at craft stores and hardware stores.
The cardboard should remain partly porous because when I've used it on wood, further use of woodstain would still soak in. There is probably an upper limit to how much can be used before the printing becomes a problem, how much that is I wouldn't know. Spray some samples and take them to the printer.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:06 AM on August 22, 2006

Can you test several methods on a sample before committing to one? Food coloring may be too wet, may soak in and make the cardboard buckle. I use thin cardboard as stencils and repeated coats of spraypaint eventually buckle the surface and make the top layer peel away.
posted by jessicapierce at 11:28 AM on August 22, 2006

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