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Question About Tinting Oil Based Polyurethane

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Forum topic by Targa posted 06-17-2015 04:05 PM 1317 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Targa

117 posts in 1204 days


06-17-2015 04:05 PM

I recently added some additional kitchen cabinets finished in a merlot/Bordeaux satin finish. I also have some old solid maple wood kitchen cabinets in another part of the kitchen that have a clear poly or varnish on them. (I’ve tested the existing finish to insure the finish is not shellac, lacquer, water base or something not compatible with oil based products)

What I want to do is spray several light coats of tinted oil based poly on the existing kitchen cabinets to closely match the new ones. I’ve been able to create a close color match on scrap wood by using two different Zar oil based stain colors. (Dark Mahogany & Merlot in a 2 to 1 ratio)

I’ve been told by some experienced painters the best way to tint the poly so the grain of the wood in the old wood cabinets shows through and doesn’t look like its painted is by adding oil based paint not stain. I spoke with a Benjamin Moore paint dealer about doing this and they said they’ve never heard of using paint as a tinting agent they have always used stain.

Just wondering if anyone here has experience with what I’m trying to accomplish and the best way to do it.

Thank you

-- Dom


11 replies so far

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2155 days


#1 posted 06-17-2015 05:48 PM

Asking house painters about tinting finish for cabinetry is beating a dead horse. Either method works, as long as they are compatible materials. But I would suggest Transtint dye, which is what colors the paint and some stains, in the first place. See it here – http://www.woodcraft.com/search2/search.aspx?query=transtint

Where is Charles Neil when you need him? Oh Charles??

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#2 posted 06-18-2015 12:48 AM

I did all the woodwork in my daughters clinic with Spar Urethane/minWax Gunstock stain mix wiped on. Worked very well and still looks good.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2278 days


#3 posted 06-18-2015 01:02 AM

I use universal colorants for tinting purposes. They are available at any paint store, and they are inexpensive. They have names like raw umber and burnt sienna. I use lacquer though, not poly.
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OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#4 posted 06-18-2015 02:08 AM

Transtint is not a good option. It is water/alcohol soluable, not oil based soluble. Jeff Jewitt does now sell a chemical to get Transtint to mix with oil based finishes, but I have no experience. In a similar situation, I mixed Transtint with shellac to get the color change, then top coated with wb poly, but would work with ob poly.

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Targa

117 posts in 1204 days


#5 posted 06-19-2015 12:45 PM

Transtint is not a good option – For tinting oil based poly this is what I’m also discovering as well.

Any other ideas anyone?

-- Dom

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conifur

955 posts in 616 days


#6 posted 06-19-2015 01:10 PM

I am no way and expert but have many of the better finishing “bibles”, adding an oil base stain to the finish will hide some of the graining/variances in the wood. It is better to add a dye to get your color since it will dry clear not cloudy. I would use a water based poly and add the transtint dyes. I use them often and so easy with shellac or water based poly. MHO.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2155 days


#7 posted 06-19-2015 01:40 PM

Of course you are correct OSU55 – my mind always thinks in water based finish, I’ve been using it for thirty years. Transtint in any Aqua Coat water based finish works great.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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Targa

117 posts in 1204 days


#8 posted 06-19-2015 02:04 PM

I would use a water based poly and add the transtint dyes. I use them often and so easy with shellac or water based poly

I’ve been under the impression that for best results and proper adhesion you should put oil poly over oil poly or varnish. Is this not true?

-- Dom

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OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#9 posted 06-20-2015 12:44 AM

If the existing finish is over a year old and scuffed up beforehand, a wb finish SHOULD be ok. I would not have any concern using shellac as a tint/barrier coat and then a wb finish over it.

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Targa

117 posts in 1204 days


#10 posted 06-22-2015 05:04 PM

OSU55 said – “I would not have any concern using shellac as a tint/barrier coat and then a wb finish over it”

If this works, it would be easier than trying to tint and use oil based poly.

However, in checking the Zinsser Bulls Eyes Shellac website it says the following:

“Bulls-Eye Shellac is not recommended for use as a sealer under polyurethane. When sealing wood under polyurethane finishes, use Bulls-Eye SealCoat”

Should I be concerned?

-- Dom

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OSU55

1058 posts in 1454 days


#11 posted 06-30-2015 11:50 PM

I did not differentiate shellac types – DO NOT use shellac with wax under any topcoat, the wax can create adhesion problems. Bulls Eye shellac has the wax in it. The Sealcoat is dewaxed. Sealcoat has caused issues under WB topcoats due to the chemicals added to extend shelf life. This can be tested prior to finishing a project. I use flake dewaxed shellac for this reason.

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