How to Tint Wood Stain?

few steps to tint wood stain

Finding the ideal wood stain can be tricky when looking for the perfect one for your project.

You might want to darken your wooden frames around doorways or brighten up old patio furniture with a light maple color – getting these colors accurate will always require some guesswork!

But worry no more because there are tintable wood stains available that will help bring out those desired hues without too much hassle (and mess) involved either way.

You can find a clear or pre-tinted light-colored wood stain base to get the color you want. Then add any pigment-based tint color until it’s just right!

If you are looking for more information on tinting and using these tintable wood stains, check them all out before narrowing down what type suits you best by adding more than one hue until satisfied.

What is a Pre-tinted Stain?

Pre-tinted stains are those that have color added to the base already.

These tend to be more expensive than neutral/clear, transparent, or semi-transparent wood stains, but the color will be more consistent throughout since it was pre-dispersed in the can.

Pigment-based tints are usually added to a clear base stain and will provide more color options since there are infinite hues that can be mixed.

You can find these tints at any home improvement store in the paint aisle, and they will be clearly labeled as “pigment-based.”

The main purpose of adding tint to the wood stain is to help preserve the wood by absorbing UV rays and reducing oxidation, thereby avoiding turning the wood gray when exposed outdoors.

Tintable wood stains are essential when using timber outdoors, like for your decking.

The UV-induced drying out of the deck stains will be compensated by their natural and/or synthetic oils.

In other words, if you want your wood to retain its natural color, this is critical.

Tinting Wood Stain – The Process

Tinting the wood stain in your desired hue isn’t very tough. Here is a step-by-step method for how you can do this…

Step 1- Choose the Right Wood Stain Base

When choosing the wood stain, keep in mind your purpose – whether it’s indoor or outdoor.

For outdoors, pick the stain that can protect the wood from harsh weather conditions.

Outdoor stains often give a matte finish, but indoor stains tend to be slightly glossier.

Also, if you want a light-colored wood stain, look for either a clear base or one pre-tinted in a light color of a similar hue.

For achieving a dark-colored wood stain, use a base that is pre-tinted in a somewhat darker color.

When picking, you can check the label that mentions the words “tintable,” “outdoor use,” etc.

Step 2- Pick the Right Type of Wood Stain for Tinting

You will often find stains in three different varieties, i.e., gel, water-based, and oil-based.

Gel wood stains are best for wood veneers. Water-based wood stains are good for finished, well-conditioned wood. Oil-based wood stains are perfect for dry or unfinished wood.

Step 3- Add the Pigment-Base Tint to the Stain Base

Now that you have chosen your base, it’s time to add pigment-base tints such as dark red, orange, blue, green, etc. You can get this from any hardware store or home improvement center.

Mix it thoroughly in the stain base by stirring gently so that the color is evenly distributed and gets deepened according to your liking.

It’s good to use a disposable container for mixing and tinting the stain as it can be tough to clean the container later if you plan to use it in the future.

Step 4- Try the Tinted Stain Out on a Spare Piece of Wood

To see what the wood will look like, apply the newly tinted wood stain on a spare piece of wood. Let it dry, and check if you’re happy with the result.

Keep in mind that pigment-based tints are difficult to repair, so it’s crucial to test the stain in an inconspicuous location before applying it to the entire surface.

Unlike wood stains, pigment-based tints will also not penetrate the wood deeply.

The colorants will rest on top of the wood and will require more maintenance in the long term.

Step 5- Apply the Tinted Wood Stain to the Surface

Once you’re happy with the result, apply it to the surface using a brush, roller, or cloth.

Start from the edges and work your way in. Wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. Let it dry completely before applying a second coat if needed.

process for tinting wood stain

Are Dye-Based Tints for Wood Stains Good?

Dye-based tints are a great way to achieve a consistent, even color on your wood project.

Because they are available in powder form (that gets dissolved in water), they mix easily and evenly into water-based stains, making them ideal for large projects where you want to avoid any streaking or blotching.

And since dye-based tints penetrate the wood deeply, it’s not crucial to sand the surface first.

After application, if the color of the water-soluble dye is too dark, wipe the surface with water to fix it. If the color is too light, add more powder to the dye solution.

Dye-based tints can also be used to tint oil-based stains, but you will need to purchase specifically oil-soluble tints.

These tints are less common but will produce the same consistent results as water-based tints.

Oil-soluble dyes are also long-lasting, so they will not fade over time on surfaces.

The main downside of using dye-based tints is that they can be more difficult to remove from surfaces than pigmented stains.

If you make a mistake while staining, you may need to sand the area down and start over again.

Unlike water-soluble dyes, you cannot wash them away to get them corrected.

The bottom line

So, you see how easy it is to tint wood stain. Try it out the next time you’re staining a piece of furniture or your decking.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to achieve any color you want.

10 Best Paint Colors for Study Room and Office Productivity
best paint colors for study room

Different colors not only have an aesthetic effect, but they also can affect your mood. This means that you should Read more

What Colors Should You Paint Your Birdhouse With?

Bored of the traditional wooden birdhouses? Looking for a way to spice up your garden with a splash of color? Read more

13+ Iconic Shades That Matches Well with Aqua (with Pictures)

Aqua or aquamarine is a hue that rests on the color wheel somewhere between green and blue and involves a Read more

11+ Paint Color Schemes that Pair Best with Salmon

Salmon pink is a hue of pinkish-orange that is named after the color of the fish, salmon. Salmon is neither Read more

About | Contact | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use