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Thread: Mix Stain & Varnish??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Jay, Maine

    Thumbs down Mix Stain & Varnish??

    I see that there is tinted varnish available so was wondering if oil-based stain and oil polyurethane can be mixed to produce the same thing. Since both are mineral spirits based, I would think it could be done.

    Has anyone done this and, if so, what were the results?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    I wouldn't even if it were possible. I've seen a few of the commercial products available applied the names escape me right now. But they didn't look nearly as nice as the furniture that was stained & then had the finish applied afterwards.
    I think one was Millers & the other may have been Shirwin Williams but I could be wrong.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 05-17-2008 at 05:02 AM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Villa Park, CA
    Spraying a tinted finish is a pretty advanced finishing techique and is only done to create a special effect or to deal with a certain problem. For example, suppose you had some cherry and wanted to darken the sapwood to make the overall piece appear more even colored. You could spray (usually with a small detail sprayer) a tinted finish only where the sapwood is. You'd have put on a sealer coat prior to doing that.

    Glazes are also used to create certain effects - usually to make low spots look darker, or aged.

    But if you're just doing an overall finish, Bart is exactly correct. The best results are obtained by staining the wood to whatever color you want, and then putting a clear finish over it.

    In fact, if you want a satin finish, the pros recommend that you use clear gloss as the base coats and only put satin on as the last coat. The reason is that satin has a substance added to it to make it satin and that makes it less clear than clear gloss.

    When I spray lacquer, for example, I use a "water white" lacquer which is very clear. You don't want to hide the wood. The commercial furniture people do use tinted finishes because they use cheap wood and the finish is used to make it look like a more expensive wood. Often you can't even see through the finish to see any wood grain. "Grain" may even be put in as part of the finish.

    I was in at my hardwood supplier - in the wood stacks - and some guy was buying a bunch of Lyptus (a lower cost plantation grown hybrid). I asked him what he was going to use it for and what it looked like after it was finished. He grunted and said, "I've got a finisher that can make it look like any wood you want."

    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 05-17-2008 at 05:27 AM.
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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