Positive tints

      Some ideas for controlling color intensity and depth in stained finishes. 1998.

by Rick Hill

Q.
I read your Q&A "Finishing Maple and Birch" and it hit home. I have used aniline dyes, but they are very messy and tend to fade in direct sun (we make a lot of merchandise and coffee carts). I have been using Mohawk Ultra-Penetrating stain for a few years now. The colors do not fade on us, but it is still messy and it requires very careful application to obtain uniform color and to control intensity.

Do you know of any other dye that we should try? I am also looking for a water based exterior clear coat, preferably with UV blockers. Any recommendations?

A.
Have you tried opening up the grain first with a light prewash of water and alcohol? This helps to reduce the different grain textures.Also try different sandpaper grits to look at what gives you the best results.

As to other dyes, there is a new batch of CNA Dyes from ICA that I am playing with. These are called positive tints. They are made in Italy for softwoods. This special dye is made to reverse the grain definition on soft woods so the dark color lays on top and the light color in a stain lays in the grain. This keeps it from blotching. It is really cool!! I think this may work the same on woods like cherry and maple that have soft and hard areas.

I wish I could offer advice on exterior applications, but my background is in interior finishes. You may want to try the Paintcoating.net for more exterior application information.

Rick Hill is an independent representative and consultant for industrial wood finishes. He has been involved in the woodworking industry for 12 years, and has been known to actually hold, shoot, and clean a spray gun.

If you have an industry related question, visit WOODWEB's Finishing Forum to post your question.



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