Question about using paint as stain

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Forum topic by QUlrich posted 12-11-2018 04:52 PM 697 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View QUlrich's profile


23 posts in 1319 days

12-11-2018 04:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: paint finish stain

Hello all,

Been a while since I’ve posted anything, but i just came up with a question and thought you guys would know better than I. I am making a box out of some pine and would like to stain it. I’ve seen lots of people talking about using paints to stain wood different colors that are sometimes hard to find stains in, and I was wondering how to go about that? Obviously wipe on/off and all that good stuff, but should I thin the paint before doing so to help it soak in better? Thanks for any replies!


4 replies so far

View LesB's profile


3143 posts in 4730 days

#1 posted 12-11-2018 05:29 PM

First off be careful with pine. It is notoriously bad at taking stain evenly. I would suggest you start with a coat or two of de-waxed shellac to seal the wood. Also you can add colors to the shellac if desired which might eliminate the need for the paint coloring.
A common “paint” for what you are looking for is milk paint but I have little experience using it so hopefully someone else can answer that.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Phil32's profile


1613 posts in 1190 days

#2 posted 12-11-2018 06:10 PM

The prep depends on what you want the stain to do. For a uniform color you may want to apply a thin mixture to raw wood, but that is risky on some woods like pine or basswood. The results are often blotchy. As a woodcarver I like to use stain to emphasize lines, undercuts, or textures – so a usually seal the wood before applying gel stain, and wipe off the excess stain within minutes. Here is an example:

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View ArtMann's profile


1483 posts in 2103 days

#3 posted 12-11-2018 09:03 PM

Nice piece! I can’t argue with that result.

View OSU55's profile


2900 posts in 3276 days

#4 posted 12-12-2018 07:50 PM

Yes thin the paint, but its more to reduce the amount of pigment so it does not completely cover the grain. Most all box store stains contain pigment and dye – thats why they need to be stirred prior to application. It can be difficult to find lighter brighter colors at the box store. You might check into Transtint dyes, there are some bight colors available and the dye doent fill in the grain. Just depends on the color and look you want. I think most paint providers, even the box stores, have utc pigments, which are mixed in the paint. Those can be used with a carrier/binder to mix custom colors. You migh be able to get the dark base paint (it doesnt have pigment) and have them add the utc color you want – never tried it.

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