While there are some woodworkers who might cringe at the thought of staining wood, there are good reasons why you might want to do so. Some lighter colored woods, such as poplar, alder, beech, and birch tend to look somewhat bland, and can benefit from a bit of color.
Who hasn’t bought a load of wood, only to find, after milling, a disappointing variation in the color? Staining can even out the tone of the wood. When building new furniture or cabinetry to match existing pieces, staining might be the only way to blend the two. With the price of some exotic woods, such as ebony, staining a wood to mimic the look of another species might not seem like such a bad idea. You might simply want to make a really bold design statement. Whatever the reason, enhancing, and even completely altering, the color of wood is a valid woodworking tradition.
A stain is a colorant that’s dissolved in some kind of carrier like a solvent or water. The two most common types of colorants are pigments (which cover the wood), and dyes (which penetrate the wood). Some manufacturers combine both pigments and dyes into a single blended stain. The carrier can be alcohol, a petroleum distillate (such as mineral spirits and kerosene), water and even the actual finish. A binder is added to pigment stains to help the colorant attach itself to the wood – typically the binder is a resin (acrylic, vinyl, alkyd).
Aqua Tone Water based Wood Stains by Aqua Coat
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