SCREWED UP! I forgot to dye first, THEN stain...

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Forum topic by groovy_man_6 posted 327 days ago 624 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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140 posts in 1602 days

327 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question maple finishing traditional

In a rush to finish a recent piece (maple), I quickly stained it with an oil-based stain.

The only way I’ve been able to get a really dark maple color is to FIRST stain it a couple times with transtint dye in water, and THEN stain it with a typical oil-based stain.

Now that I’ve already applied the oil based stain out of order, am I screwed? or do you think I could apply transtint in alcohol/water after the oil-based stain dried?

My guess is that I can’t…

thoughts, experience? suggestions?

thanks in advance Lumberjocks!

6 replies so far

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143 posts in 336 days

#1 posted 327 days ago

Well you could test it out on a small scrap and see.

-- -- Cheers, Don K. (Michgan's Kewenaw peninsula)

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1213 posts in 674 days

#2 posted 327 days ago

What is the topcoat?? with the stain set in the wood to bring out some features, you could tint the top coat to get to the dark color?? water after oil… I can answer that, but doesn’t sound good. as don says.. test piece?

-- Who is John Galt?

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140 posts in 1602 days

#3 posted 327 days ago

Well, I bit the bullet and resanded the piece. I figured that would be easier than trying a bunch of crack pot solutions. another feather in my cap of mistakes!!

Thx again for the suggestions!!

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756 posts in 918 days

#4 posted 327 days ago

Once the oil stain is on the water-based dye isn’t going to work the same as on bare wood. It’s possible to put the TransTint in finish and spray it on as a toner but this isn’t my favorite thing to do if I want to change the color a lot. It starts to look muddy when applied heavily.

I think re-sanding it was a wise move.

-- See my work at and

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3272 posts in 1415 days

#5 posted 326 days ago

What is the project? If it is mostly flat surfaces, you can sand stain off pretty easily. If it is intricate, I would opt to not refinish. Try two coats of stain on a sample board. Otherwise, you can tint the topcoat with universal colorants. 1+ this isn’t my favorite technique, but it works.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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140 posts in 1602 days

#6 posted 326 days ago

Hey Pinto…

It’s an antique cigar table/stand… the portion I screwed up on was primarily flat, with some rounded edges – so I just resaded it and did it the right way… I’m already 2 coats deep in the transtint so it’s going well now that I repented for my mistakes :-)

thanks for the ideas… I’ll squirrel them away for the future!


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