economically staining

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Forum topic by tworkswood posted 01-19-2015 03:51 PM 821 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1426 days

01-19-2015 03:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Does anyone know what brand water based wood stain is the least expensive?

9 replies so far

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2641 days

#1 posted 01-19-2015 10:17 PM

For what purpose are you using the stain? You must be more specific in your application to have a response.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View bonesbr549's profile


1549 posts in 3065 days

#2 posted 01-20-2015 01:44 PM

I agree with first poster, and to add to that, if color is what you are considering, I’d do dye’s instead. Much better, and if you don’t like how it turns out it’s simple to correct. Stain has binders and that complicates things to the n’th degree.

As with any color, or finish, cheap is not what you want to talk about. You spent all that money time and effort to make something so wonderful and then throw a cheap finish on it? Think about it.

I Like to build and until I learned from Charles Neil the right mode of thinking (build to finish), I had a hard time. Now, i’ts a piece of cake.

General finishes dye’s & top coats are very good and not that expensive.

Also you need to consider what the wood is and what your going for in deciding the finish. Some are pretty dang expensive, but have their place depending on the look and wood.

Lots to consider for sure.

I’d suggest you provide a good narrative of what the project is, the wood and the style of finish you’re lookinig for and you wil get some good responses here.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2295 days

#3 posted 01-20-2015 02:17 PM

Strange question. If cheap is what you are after go to a discount store like Big Lots and look around. Or make your own out of mineral spirits and oil based paint.

View tworkswood's profile


3 posts in 1426 days

#4 posted 01-20-2015 03:23 PM

Well, cheap is not what I am looking for… I am looking to start stocking up on different colors of water based wood stain and I would like to do so in an economical manner. I want to make sure I have quality but I don’t want to necessarily be paying for the name on the stain. I prefer water based stain due to the lower likelihood of the fumes kicking me out of my shop while I am applying the stain and allowing it to dry. Additionally, I prefer stain over paint due to being able to see the grain of the wood… I think paint on wood makes the wood look cheap and if sanding is done properly, the quality of the wood and work doesn’t show well under paint but this is just my opinion for those of you that like paint and stain alike.
I am not asking about one project in particular, that is why the question was about the brand of the water based wood stain. I have been researching and I have been finding 6 oz bottles of water based stain and those little bottles may cover a small project but the money adds up if you decide to do larger projects.

View OSU55's profile


1672 posts in 1988 days

#5 posted 01-20-2015 04:16 PM

Like you, I can’t hardly bring myself to paint a quality wood project (outdoor stuff exempt). I use dyes, not stains. From your comments, I recommend you give dyes a try. Target Coatings has a WB dye stain WR4000 in many colors as well as a clear base. It is a WB BLO emulsion that looks like BLO when dry and it dries much faster, and can be tinted with Transtint dyes. I keep the clear base on hand, along with many 2 oz bottles of Transtint in different colors so I can create any color desired. The transtint can also be added to shellac or WB topcoats for toning and shading. It took me awhile to figure out how best to apply the WR4000, but it’s all I use now. It’s about $50/gallon, and Target sends out discount coupons often. Shelf life is long if kept in the house out of heat and cold. I have some that is several years old and works fine. Transtint runs ~$18-20 for a 2 oz bottle that is highly concentrated. Larger sizes are available. I keep a gallon or 2 of WR4000 and about a dozen bottles of Transtint. While not cheap, it doesn’t break the bank and provides infinite flexibility.

The Transtint can also be used in water or alcohol directly on the wood, but I find some type of binder is needed to keep the color from lifting when topcoating. The general finishes WB dyes are more readily available at the retail level and may be worth a try. Transtint will work with them as well. I think most Woodcraft stores carry GF products and Transtint. I’ve tried other dye concentrates, and Transtint is by far the best.

The box stores don’t have higher quality wood finishing supplies. You will need to get into architectural and furniture finishing suppliers for the good stuff. Most of it is available online direct from the mfr or from distributors.

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2983 days

#6 posted 01-20-2015 04:26 PM

I would get aniline powders. They store dry and don’t take up hardly any space until you mix them. They are more light fast than some other dyes or stains, come in a wide range of colors, and are relatively cheap compared to buying stuff in a can.

Transtint is nice, but more expensive.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2641 days

#7 posted 01-20-2015 07:09 PM

+1 Ripthorn

I would suggest you get a good finish book such as those written by Bob Flexner and others to give you some background as to dyes and stains, both oil based and Waterborne which should help you with their pros and cons.

Further, thier is a wealth of knowledge in free vids out their, do your reseach before you waste your money.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View OSU55's profile


1672 posts in 1988 days

#8 posted 01-20-2015 07:49 PM

Not so sure aniline powder dyes are cheaper than Transtint – how did you calculate it? Then there is the question of just what concentration did you end up with. They are no more lightfast. I definitely agree with getting Bob Flexner and Jeff Jewitt books for finishing.

View tworkswood's profile


3 posts in 1426 days

#9 posted 01-26-2015 01:38 AM

Thanks Ripthorn, I did research on the reviews of the aniline dyes and the reviews place them as top notch and they are less expensive than the Transtint and other stains. I am going to look at buying some of the books you guys talked about.

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