I also recently used CCI (Chemical Coatings Inc.). Their stain is pretty good also, and I got good tech help and service here, too. I've never used or seen M.L. Campbell anything, but have used Sherwin-Williams.
I think I would call one of the three companies above for some help, from my experience.
Try the Valspar line, they call it Valton. They have 20 stock colors and the dry time is 15 to 30 min. They don't have any long oils in them, so you can coat them with all different kinds of sealers and topcoats.
The Lilly stain line is an intermix system, allowing for something like 264 "distinct" stain colors.
I also have had good customer feedback on the Valspar Valtone system.
Besides the package colors, they offer clear bases and pigments to alter the colors, or to start from scratch. What's nice with these stains and colorants is that all of them are the same ones used by Valspar in the production of their pre-mixed products. This way you're not adding a pigment that may not be acid tolerant, or may bleed when topcoated.
Some of the best feedback is that they don't "sweatback," and blotching is very minimal.
If you are in the West, Dunn-Edwards' new stains are great. They provide deep rich colors and can be thinned 2:1, 3:1, or more. Very economical.
The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).
Custom stain mixing with utc's and p.t. is still the only way to go. If I have to use a pre-mixed stain, Minwax is the only one for me. It has depth and richness but takes longer to dry.
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