First time for Trans Tint

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Forum topic by mandatory66 posted 05-25-2016 12:57 AM 1649 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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202 posts in 3583 days

05-25-2016 12:57 AM

I have two boards to stain they are 12 1/2 inches wide and 10 foot long. One is Pine & one is Poplar. I intend to mix the Trans Tint with denatured Alcohol. Checking this out on the web I find that some find it difficult to use with the alc. as opposed to water. Some say that the alc dries to fast and the overlaps are hard to even out. Some say to flood the wood to get an even tone. If anyone has some advise for or has done this I could use some pointers, this is the first time I will be using Trans tint. I want to use Trans tint because of the poor staining quality of the wood. (better color & less blotching)

9 replies so far

View conifur's profile


954 posts in 2604 days

#1 posted 05-25-2016 01:26 AM

I use it with Alcohol, yes it dries fast, but if you have that problem, just add some Alcohol to a rag and blend, it reactivates it, I never used it on pine, just hard woods. You dye to get color, stain to add depth to the wood grain. If you get the color and want to pop the grain, after dying, wipe on a 50/50 mix of Boiled Linseed Oil and Mineral spirits, let sit a few minutes and wipe off the excess, let dry over night and finish. As always do a sample piece B4 the main project.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View OSU55's profile


3036 posts in 3442 days

#2 posted 05-25-2016 12:06 PM

Unless you spray the Transtint mixed with water or alcohol, it will be very difficult to have even coloring, especially with blotch prone pine and poplar. Also the dye, with no binder, can lift some into the topcoat. I use a stain base with binder, which provides more open time for even absorption and the binder to prevent lifting. I use Target Coatings WR4000 stain base, but there are others. Any WB finish can also be used. Thin the WB finish 1 to 3 parts water to 1 part finish, then add the transtint. For those wood types, you need a conditioner to help control blotching. Here are some different conditioners.

View Woodknack's profile


13593 posts in 3833 days

#3 posted 05-25-2016 04:21 PM

I used a hand spray bottle and spritzed the dye/alcohol mixture onto the wood, worked well for me. Top coat with spray blond shellac.

-- Rick M,

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7479 posts in 3946 days

#4 posted 05-25-2016 04:27 PM

I’ve never been able to get dye to come out even unless I sprayed it. True enough, you can manipulate it, but it’s just an art I can’t master. I would use water, and try to the flood it on and wipe it off method (even though that doesn’t go well for me).

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

View Woodknack's profile


13593 posts in 3833 days

#5 posted 05-25-2016 05:33 PM

I used alcohol but have read water is more colorfast.

And remember to raise the grain and sand it back first because water or alcohol will raise it.

-- Rick M,

View pintodeluxe's profile


6542 posts in 4266 days

#6 posted 05-25-2016 07:20 PM

I use TT dye in water. Pre-raise the grain on your project with a spray bottle of water. Once it dries, scuff sand by hand with 220 grit. Clean the dust as you normally would, and apply the dye with a rag or spray rig. The water based dye will color evenly.

All the extra steps and associated problems with dye makes me use oil based stain for most projects, but dye can be fun to use from time to time.

Do some sample boards with your intended finish. You may find a pre-stain conditioner such as a thin washcoat of shellac, followed by a rich oil based stain will give you the look you’re after.

Many will say that dye or gel stain will reduce or even eliminate blotching, but I have not found that to be true. What has controlled blotching for me is bullseye sealcoat shellac thinned 50/50 with denatured alcohol. Use this as a pre-stain conditioner. A thinner mix will allow a darker color. A thicker mix will control blotching better.

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

View mandatory66's profile


202 posts in 3583 days

#7 posted 05-25-2016 07:36 PM

To All,
Thanks for the tips,I will do a lot of experimentation to see how this works.

View Kirk650's profile


746 posts in 2201 days

#8 posted 05-26-2016 05:42 PM

I much prefer using the TT dye in water rather than alcohol. In non-botching woods, just apply liberally with a foam brush and wipe off. Naturally, I use scrap wood until I have the dye to the desired shade. But, with botching types of wood I have to admit I’ve never found a technique to stain easily and to my satisfaction.

An old friend brought over a beat up old single shot 22 rifle that had been in the family for generations. He asked if I’d refinish the stock. Looked like walnut. Should be no problem, so I said I’d have it ready in a week. Well, once sanded and scraped, it wasn’t a hardwood. Looked like birch, being whitish and rough. It blotched unbelievably badly. I tried everything I had, and all the tricks on the Internet. No luck. Looked awful. Finally, in the back of my paint/finish cabinet, I found a can of a thick wipe-on poly/stain. I used a couple of coats of spray shellac on the stock, sanded lightly, and then painted on the thick gel type stain/poly with a crumpled up wad of paper towel. The paper towel approach gave the stock a wood grain look. After it dried, a couple of coats of a satin poly, and my friend still thinks the stock is walnut. That was way too much work on a chunk of wood that poor, but a promise is a promise.

Anyway, experiment with the wipe on gel stains, on raw wood or over shellac. You may find an approach that works well.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3822 days

#9 posted 05-26-2016 05:55 PM

I’ve used transtint dark walnut on maple with good results, on two pieces approx. 14×48 and 14×72. However, my wife wanted the maple to be really dark (hand enough on hand, and couldn’t afford walnut). I applied it with a rag (white t-shirt) soaked in the stuff, pushing it around making sure that the entire surface was wet. I waited a few minutes, and wiped off the excess. Sanded back to knock down the raised grain, and repeated again. Topcoated with blonde shellac. It turned out blotch-free and plenty dark. If you can get the whole surface really wet at once, I would think that it would all have a chance to absorb a little more evenly. I’ve also done smaller panels with a foam brush, and that worked fine, too. I didn’t have a sprayer at the time. Now that I do, I’d go that route.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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