Creating Stains with Artist Oils

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Forum topic by Kacy posted 02-09-2010 05:14 AM 1213 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kacy's profile


101 posts in 3106 days

02-09-2010 05:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: custom stains layering color painting wood question

I was at the local bookseller, thumbing through some woodworking tomes, when I came across the idea of making custom stains using artist oil paints and thinner. I was just wondering if anyone else has done this, as the idea is attractive to me. As a better artist (here is a recent example that I am particularly proud of
than I am a woodworker, I can see how custom colors (and, more importantly, the layering of colors) could provide some real depth to items that might otherwise just be painted a single, monochrome color. I am trying it right now with layering of blacks, reds and blues, but it will be awhile before everything dries and can be photographed. So, does anyone else have experience doing this?

-- Kacy, Louisiana

5 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117113 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 02-09-2010 05:17 AM

you can mix most medias as long as the have the same base like.Oil,water, Alcohol

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kacy's profile


101 posts in 3106 days

#2 posted 02-09-2010 05:28 AM

What is neat, at least as an idea, is that many of the artist oils take on translucent qualities as they are thinned (in addition to some of them just being translucent given the nature of the pigments used). This provides the opportunity to layer colors in a way that allows light penetration and provides “depth” to the color. I’ve done this many times in a painting, but for some reason never thought of doing it as a finish on a wood project.

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View billythek's profile


18 posts in 3092 days

#3 posted 02-09-2010 07:12 AM

Hi Kacy,
You can also use Mixol , Transtint or furniture powders for the dye/stain. They don’t have a binder so can be mixed with alcohol, water or oil. Artists colors are usually oil based or water based (acrylics) and can’t be mixed with a dissimilar binder.
Don’t forget a barrier coat in between or the different layers with merge and you’ll end up with something rather ugly.

-- Bill

View Kacy's profile


101 posts in 3106 days

#4 posted 02-09-2010 07:34 AM

Thanks for the tips, Bill.

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View Sleff's profile


28 posts in 3772 days

#5 posted 02-09-2010 08:32 AM

I’ve used artists acrylic paints as stains before on kids furniture and bookcases. Just thin it down with the appropriate base like a1Jim said. Works like a charm (and in certain instances can be particularly cheaper than premixed stains).

-- -Sleff

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