wiping back dye stains after spraying?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by jimmy J posted 07-18-2014 07:34 PM 1793 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 3011 days

07-18-2014 07:34 PM

Just curious how many people wipe back their stains after spraying dyes (TransTint in my case), rather than just spraying on and leaving as is? I have been doing some practice spraying before my first real attempt on my kitchen table top. at the start, i had the nozzle fairly tight so low fluid but had i had quite a few lap marks. The laps seem to be much less when i open up the nozzle on my Earlex 5500, 1.0mm tip. Open nozzle in this case is a little more than half a turn from completely off (how many turns do you guys with 5500’s use?). I hadn’t really though about wiping back until after seeing these marks and a few quick googles. any pros/cons would be appreciated. If you recommend wiping back, should I open up the nozzle even more? I suppose another reason to wipe back is that I have some curves/edges that i am afraid of having runs on, and I suspect the wiping method reduces the chance of that quite a bit. FYI – i did apply some CN blotch prior (not on my sample pieces i’m using to test my spray technique).
For wiping back, are the Home Depot big box of Scott’s Rags In a Box – aka thick paper towels – ok?

17 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5251 posts in 4592 days

#1 posted 07-18-2014 07:50 PM

jimmyhopps, I appreciate your post, but without good structure in your post it is very hard to define.
To your points, I would always wipe stains to get the color you might want.
I don’t have any reference to Earlex, but ya might be applying too much stain at once.
What are a few quick “googles”?

-- [email protected]

View pintodeluxe's profile


6063 posts in 3445 days

#2 posted 07-18-2014 07:57 PM

I always wipe down dyes and stains after spray application. It is too hard to get the color just right on a one-and-done application.

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

View Todd's profile


420 posts in 2308 days

#3 posted 07-18-2014 08:03 PM

I always wipe. I used TransTint for my stain on the nightstand I did.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2056 days

#4 posted 07-18-2014 08:28 PM

I wipe\rub my stains for most woods except Maple and Cherry.

I suggest using coffee filters for rubbing\wipeing stain on. Does not leave lint like paper towels and rags, is disposable, very cost effective, ergonomic\eco size, and will not discolor your material.

Also great for getting glue out of the cracks and crevices, further saving on sanding from the effects of a wet sponge.

I use coffee filters for everything. Stop wasting paper towels.

-- Brad, Texas,

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 3322 days

#5 posted 07-18-2014 08:42 PM

I always spray it on heavy and wipe off the excess. It may take more than one application to get where you’re going. Experiment on your scrap until you’re satisfied with the result.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View PaulJerome's profile


57 posts in 3665 days

#6 posted 07-18-2014 10:04 PM

I use the 5500 and TransTint. Having said that, I always wipe off the excess. Start light and work your way up to the color you prefer.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View mgee76's profile


4 posts in 2086 days

#7 posted 07-18-2014 10:50 PM

Similar question… I have applied General Finishes dye stain to some chairs. I left too much on, and it is dry now. How much will this effect the finish? Should I sand it off, wash it off, what? I was considering diluting some of the stain in water and using that to wash away any buildup. How bad is it for the finish to leave the dye stain sit and dry, the way this thread suggests? Thanks.

View AandCstyle's profile


3271 posts in 2889 days

#8 posted 07-18-2014 11:28 PM

I always wipe my stain as well. I use white dish cloths purchased specifically for this purpose. That helps blend the color to be more uniform.

-- Art

View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 3011 days

#9 posted 07-19-2014 12:22 AM

I guess to better frame my questions:

1- how much liquid to apply via spray when using a dye and want to have a nice even coat – ie how wet/dry of a coat? (I will modulate the color via multiple passes with a lighter color). I have found that when I do a light coat of fluid, my inexperienced hand causes streaks/laps. When I spray more fluid on, it seems to run together better. Having moor fluid on the surface seems akin to flooding it on anyway which I see a lot of videos about. I could then wipe back any excess. I don’t see many videos of spraying dye then wiping back.

2- are Scott rags-in-a-box OK for this. Clearly better then paper towels, but less good than cotton rags which I would need to buy.

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3611 days

#10 posted 07-19-2014 12:36 AM

I agree with flooding it on and wiping off immediately. I use old cotton t shirt or like material. (think good will) What type of wood is your table,it may not need blotch control unless its cherry or maple. What are you thinning the trans tint dye with, alcohol,lacquer or water?
Something else you might try. Sometimes I like to go over the top of the dye with a wiping stain like watco, it blends it out well. I use solvents as thinner for the trans tint.
As always do samples with entire process before getting on table.
best wishes Lynn

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 3011 days

#11 posted 07-19-2014 12:52 AM

Thanks all.
lynn, it’s maple, and the wife doesn’t want to pop the beautiful figure in it. I am practicing spraying with just water.

View mgee76's profile


4 posts in 2086 days

#12 posted 07-19-2014 07:17 PM

What are the problems associated with leaving too much on?

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3209 days

#13 posted 07-19-2014 09:08 PM

I spray very thin coats until I get the desired color. No wiping.
I set up the spray gun with a very fine mist pattern; backing the fluid almost closed to achieve a fog like spray.
Works great. Much more control this way.

Red and purple on tiger maple:

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View jimmy J's profile

jimmy J

229 posts in 3011 days

#14 posted 07-20-2014 12:40 AM

through experimentation, i found that some of my lap marks are due to the air vortex pushing up a “wave” of the previously sprayed dye creating tracks i suppose this means i am either moving too slow or have more fluid coming out than i need (i’m guessing the former since i have the fluid turned almost all the way back). Maybe i will try a mix of 50/50 water/alcohol so it can flash off before laping/waving up. thoughts?

View JAAune's profile


1873 posts in 2948 days

#15 posted 07-20-2014 01:02 AM

It depends upon the desired effect. Spraying without wiping will result in a very opaque, even color if done correctly. I usually avoid that since it looks like Chinese import “cherry finish” but occasionally I do need to use the technique. This is mostly when matching poplar to an existing finish in a client’s home.

-- See my work at and

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

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