Mixing transtint with finish

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by bullhead1 posted 11-10-2013 04:55 AM 2120 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 3029 days

11-10-2013 04:55 AM

I’m starting a project this weekend that I was contemplating trying the Transtint dye. Has any one mixed it with a water based finish such as Minwax polycrilic (I have an extra quart left from a previous project)? It is a baby changing table with several shelves made out of birch. I planned to use a water based prestain conditioner to avoid blotching. After sanding, conditioning, sanding, can I mix the the dye with the finish and apply several coats. Will I regret it? Just trying to expand my finishing techniques. I like the trying to use the water borne stains and finishes for ease of cleanup.

5 replies so far

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 3958 days

#1 posted 11-10-2013 06:06 AM

Transtint can be mixed with either water or oil. I just used it for the first time myself this week. I mixed it with just plain water so I can’t speak on mixing it with anything else.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6160 posts in 3593 days

#2 posted 11-10-2013 06:20 AM

Yes you can do it, and yes you will regret it.
Mixing colorant into the topcoat is called tinting. It tends to cloud the finish, obscuring the grain somewhat. That may or may not be desirable depending on how nice your lumber is. The worst part of tinting—- if the finish runs it will create a dark streak. It is also difficult to get an even color (actually impossible unless you spray the finish)

You will be much better off doing the coloring (either dyes, stains, or a combination of the two) and the topcoating in two separate steps.

The prestain conditioner will control blotching. My favorite prestain conditioner is a washcoat of shellac.
Here is how to do the washcoat…

And here is a discussion on dyes and stains…

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

View descolada's profile


54 posts in 2578 days

#3 posted 11-10-2013 10:06 PM

I’ve mixed transtint with shellac as the first coat in a few projects with good success. It highlights the grain rather than muting it when used that way. It looks great with an oil based finish as a top-coat.

I based it on the info from this video:

View TDSpade's profile


121 posts in 3196 days

#4 posted 11-11-2013 07:02 AM

I’m still learning about all the different ways to finish wood. But from the books I’ve read and research I’ve done on line, you only want to add tint to a clear or glossy finish. Do not add tint to a semi gloss or satin finish, that will cloud or cover over the wood.

I used transtint red mahogany dye in Zinsser clear shellac on my mitered box, posted in my projects. And deft satin brushing lacquer as the final finish coat, no dye added to the lacquer..

-- For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 3029 days

#5 posted 11-11-2013 09:51 PM

Thanks for the answers. TDSpade, I really like the look of your mitered box and may try that method. Thanks again.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics