TransFast Dye problems

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Forum topic by DrTebi posted 01-26-2010 12:55 AM 4571 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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402 posts in 4353 days

01-26-2010 12:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: stain finishing transtint

I am having some trouble with TransTint Dye. I am trying to stain a bed frame that is made from Pine. I tried mixing the tint with Shellac first, but the results were less than pleasing—blotchy and it was quite hard to attain an evenly spread stain. I then went the other route and mixed it with water. The results were even worse—really uneven stain, greyish color and blotchy spots all over the place. I ended up sanding most of it off after a couple of days.

I cannot figure out what it is that it comes out so bad? All pieces were sanded down with 100, 120, and then 220 grid. I used cloth to apply the stain.

My goal is to attain a color similar to redwood (trying to match an old window frame). I have had much better luck with linseed oil and shellac finishes, but since I want a darker color, I needed to use some tint and thought TransTint would be the answer.

Are there any nice oil based stains that will get great results? Anything that is not very toxic? The high VOC content usually makes me decide against most oil based stains, as I don’t want to inhale these VOCs every night I am sleeping…

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

6 replies so far

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1626 posts in 4652 days

#1 posted 01-26-2010 01:02 AM

Well pine blotches a lot, first put a coat of zinssers seal coat on (a sample piece), then the tint. Also keep in mind the tint usually looks horrible until you put on the finish.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5177 days

#2 posted 01-26-2010 03:06 AM

I would go oil stain finish. Use some type of gel stain: General Finishes is nice. Put a washcoat of 90% mineral spirits 10% Boiled Linseed Oil and then apply the stain when the washcoat is still wet. This will help prevent blotching.

Bare pine or fir does not accept those dyes in the same way as a hardwood. Practice on a test pieces first.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View DrTebi's profile


402 posts in 4353 days

#3 posted 01-27-2010 06:20 AM

Thank you for your replies. I am glad to know that it’s not just my skills… but that Pine is a “beast” when it comes to staining. I am not sure what route to go yet. Using milk paint sounds like an idea, but since I have a few pieces already stained now I may have to try a sealer and then a stain on top again.

Well, at least it wasn’t a piece of furniture that I built! When time allows, I will just build a new bed and make sure to use something other than pine…

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4664 days

#4 posted 01-27-2010 06:43 AM

Oil is not a good choice for pine but the sealcoat is a good approach or use a solid body stain .


View Kade's profile


4 posts in 4128 days

#5 posted 01-27-2010 10:48 PM

Because pine is so soft, it tends to absorb very heavily. If you are trying to stain, your best bet would be prestain conditioner which helps softer woods absorb your stain more uniformly.

View DrTebi's profile


402 posts in 4353 days

#6 posted 01-30-2010 06:23 AM

After “CessnaPilotBarry” suggested to use Shellac as a sealer, it occurred to me that there are actually “ruby” shellac flakes available. Does anybody have experience with these? I suppose I could just use these and no stain at all, and end up with a reddish (or “ruby”) look?

I have a store near by that sells these:

Would be interesting to try.

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