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Forum topic by bluephi1914 posted 12-15-2016 01:50 AM 926 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bluephi1914

64 posts in 1193 days


12-15-2016 01:50 AM

I was in my local woodcraft store and decided to try stain from there instead of the minwax or verathane from home depot or lowes…. MAN what a difference. the ” general ” brand of stain is amazing compared to what home depot or lowes sales… even their foam brushes that woodcraft sell are better… I can actually use one brush for an entire project… rather than going through a pack of foam brushes..or having the foam detach from the handle. the general stain flows and coats much better in my opinion than minwax or verathane, it also seems to go further.

I guess there is a reason that woodcraft and rockler don’t sell those brands. I’m sure this topic has been discussed over and over.. but this was a real eye opener

-- Jack of all trades and a master of most of them.


15 replies so far

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Rich

1976 posts in 424 days


#1 posted 12-15-2016 04:29 AM

My wife is the resident finisher. We went through tons of Minwax products without finding one we liked. The General Finishes brand has been our choice. Minwax pre-stain conditioner is a quality product though.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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bluephi1914

64 posts in 1193 days


#2 posted 12-15-2016 11:20 AM

I’ll have to keep that in mind about their conditioner products….

with the water based products I haven’t found a need for the conditioning products. I used a water based minwax a while back and it didn’t really have good color consistency…. so i left water based alone for a while thinking water based just didn’t stain well. But I’m glad i actually decided to try general products.

and the clean up… man o man, what a breeze.

-- Jack of all trades and a master of most of them.

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Fred Hargis

4756 posts in 2328 days


#3 posted 12-15-2016 12:04 PM

I’ve long considered Minwax to be the HF of the finishing world….and it seems like Varathane and Minwax are both under the same corporate umbrella (Sherwin Williams). That said, I haven’t used any Varathane products so I can’t speak from experience. I have used a number of GF products, and haven’t found one yet that didn’t perform as expected.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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OSU55

1423 posts in 1824 days


#4 posted 12-15-2016 12:58 PM

Try working with dyes. I use Transtint alcohol /water soluable and WD Lockwood oil based solvent. Mix about any color and intensity desired. Mix into topcoats as a tint. It takes some practice and experimenting (which is part of the fun IMO), but will really improve coloring techniques.

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Underdog

1051 posts in 1870 days


#5 posted 12-15-2016 01:07 PM

Good to know. I’ll keep it in mind if I ever need to do some stain work.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

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jmartel

7520 posts in 1985 days


#6 posted 12-15-2016 03:21 PM

General Finishes in general puts out really good products. I’m extremely partial to their Arm-R-Seal wiping varnish. Their milk paint is very good as well. I haven’t tried their stains.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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Rich

1976 posts in 424 days


#7 posted 12-15-2016 03:39 PM

I’m happy to hear about the General Finishes water based stain (or rather, my wife will be). I’m about to glue up an entry door for the garage entrance into the house. Since I’m using Flame Stop II as a flame-retardant, the finish has to be water based according to them.

I also bought the General Finishes water based pre-stain conditioner. The Flame Stop II seems like it might act like a conditioner all by itself, so it might not be needed. I don’t have the patience, but my wife loves to do test after test until she gets it right. I always tell people, I just build it — she makes it look good.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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CB_Cohick

483 posts in 1086 days


#8 posted 12-15-2016 03:54 PM

I have had very poor results with the Minwax Polyshades. I recently tried their wipe-on poly over a Watco danish finish and it worked well. Every General finishes product I have tried has worked great, no issues at all.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

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Mainiac Matt

7456 posts in 2163 days


#9 posted 12-15-2016 04:37 PM

I like the General stains a lot. Especially the water based ones.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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xeddog

173 posts in 2842 days


#10 posted 12-15-2016 05:13 PM

I was trying to get a certain brown color on a piece I am building and tried different products. I went to Home Depot, Lowes, ACE hardware, and a couple of others. I bought the small cans of colorants including water based, oil based, and anything else that looked “interesting”. I bought some transtint dye, but I guess I never found the key for getting the proper amounts. I posted on this forum and several responses mentioned General Finishes Dye Stain. I tried it and all I can say is WOOOOHOOOO!!!!

Wayne

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2779 days


#11 posted 12-17-2016 07:53 PM

Regarding the recommendation of dye instead of stain, remember, they are two different worlds.

Dyes are great for getting vibrant colors, for example. That is what you are usually seeing when you see a bright colored item, which was not painted.

Stains are surface coats, other than where the stain moves into pores, cracks and so on. Dyes actually penetrate the wood.

Dyes are not as color fast when exposed to light

If you want to “ebonize” a pieces of wood, the combo of the two can get you there fast.

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2779 days


#12 posted 12-17-2016 07:55 PM

For West-Coast-Ites, I’ve had REALLY great luck with Daly’s, out of the Seattle area, off an on over the last forty plus years. You can send them a piece and they’ll match it.

Paint specialist offering name brands along with locally made wood finishes & design consultations.
Address: 3525 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103
Phone: (206) 633-4200
Hours: Open today · 8AM–5PM

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corelz125

314 posts in 811 days


#13 posted 12-18-2016 04:16 AM

I can’t stand poly shades. How can you combine the stain and the finish all in one just doesn’t add up.

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2779 days


#14 posted 12-18-2016 07:12 AM

They’re only a little evil (or worse).


I can t stand poly shades. How can you combine the stain and the finish all in one just doesn t add up.

- corelz125


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hotbyte

989 posts in 2810 days


#15 posted 12-18-2016 01:31 PM

I used Polyshade in 1988 or 89 and never again!

I’ve used the General water based stain on 2 projects and like it. I would like to try a dye stain.


I have had very poor results with the Minwax Polyshades. I recently tried their wipe-on poly over a Watco danish finish and it worked well. Every General finishes product I have tried has worked great, no issues at all.

- CB_Cohick


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