stain comprises of colorant that is suspended in a solvent that can be in
form of water, petroleum distillate, alcohol or actual finishing agent like
lacquer, varnish, polyurethane. Here, two types of colorants are used -
pigments and dyes. The difference is in size of particles.
- Dyes are microscopic crystals that dissolve in vehicle
- Dyes are used in effectively coloring very fine grained wood like
- Pigments are suspended in vehicle and are much larger in size
- Pigments cannot color fine-grained woods as the pores are too small
for pigments to attach themselves to. These deeply color woods with
large pores like pine woods.
Most commercial stains contain in the both dye and pigments with the degree
to which they can stain the wood dependent on length of time these are left
on wood. The composition of stain includes three primary ingredients as:
Much like dyeing/staining of fabric, wood stains are designed to add color
to substrate of wood as well as other materials while at the same time
leaving substrates mostly visible. In principle, stains are not provided on
surface coating or film. However, as binders are from same class of
film-forming binders used in paints and varnishes, there is some build-up of
film that occurs. With many choices available to woodworkers who want to add
color to their projects, the techniques include:
Stains: pigments and dyes
Pigment stains are primarily oil-based and are finely ground mineral
powders. These are held in suspension by kind of thinner and mixed with
resin binders. Being the easiest type of stains to apply, these work better
with open-grain woods like:
These are made of much smaller particles dissolved in a solvent and are
available in both powder and liquid form. With solvents being alcohol,
lacquer, oil or water-based, dye stains allow much better clarity than
pigment stains. These allow seeing of patterns in wood grain more clearly
after finishing. These also tend to penetrate more deeply and leave more
color on wood surface after theyve dried.
These are clear finishes usually in lacquer or shellac form that are tinted
with pigment or dye stain. These help to even out color variations and leave
a more balanced overall tone behind to the wood.
These are simply pigment stains that are applied through brush or rag to
already sealed surface and are wiped off partially that leaves some color
behind to highlight molding details or open grain of wood surface.