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                                  Water Based Dye Stain

                                  Water-based Dye Stains penetrate deep into the wood to beautifully magnify the grain. They will provide your project with more depth and color vibrancy than any other wood stain. This product is excellent for highly figured woods like mahogany, walnut or maple. Dye stains can also be used as a toner when mixed with Water Based Topcoats.

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                                  General Finishes Medium Brown Water Based Dye Stain, Quart


                                  Step 1: Preparation for Dye Stain

                                  Before applying stain, all raw wood projects require preparation sanding.?If you skip this critical step, your finish may fail.

                                  Preparation for Raw Wood Projects
                                  See our video: How to Prep Sand Raw Wood

                                  1. Sand open-grain wood?(e.g., oak, ash, mahogany, parawood) with 120-grit sandpaper, followed by 150-grit, then 180-grit.
                                  2. Sand closed-grain wood (e.g., cherry, pine, maple, birch, alder) with 150-grit sandpaper followed by 220-grit.
                                  3. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, an oil-free tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.
                                  4. Do not over-sand with fine-grit sandpapers; this will close and seal the wood grain, preventing ideal color absorption.
                                  5. Do NOT use steel wool with water-based finishes; the particles will get?trapped in the finish and rust.

                                  Reducing Grain Raise on Raw Wood
                                  To reduce grain raise, dampen the wood with water after prep sanding. Let dry completely, then lightly sand with fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad.

                                  Step 2: How To Apply General Finishes Dye Stain

                                  General Finishes Dye Stain Application Steps

                                  1. Watch?product overview video here
                                  2. Stir stain to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can before and throughout the application process.
                                  3. Increase open time, if needed,?with up to 5%?General Finishes?Extender, if allowed by local regulations.?Extender will improve flow and leveling and increase open time,?which is helpful in dry climates.?California Residents:?Adding more than 2% of?GF Extender?will make the product non-compliant per SCAQMD Regulations. GF assumes no liability for the improper use of these products.?
                                  4. An initial coat of General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural can improve color uniformity over difficult-to-stain wood species such as pine. However, it will limit color absorption, so a darker stain may be required to get the depth of color you want.
                                  5. Test your complete finishing process beforehand. Stain color can be affected by variances in wood, room lighting, and deepened with the application of topcoat.?
                                  6. Divide your project into manageable sections: top, side, drawer, door, table seam.
                                  7. Apply 1-2 coats. A second coat will create a deeper, richer color. Do not apply more than 2 coats.
                                    • Hand application: Apply a LIBERAL amount of dye stain using a cloth, a synthetic bristle brush, foam brush, pad applicator or roller. Dye Stain penetrates the surface fast; if not enough stain is used, the surface may dry too quickly, causing an uneven appearance. Stain one complete section, such as a side, top, or drawer, and immediately wipe off excess evenly with a cloth, paper or shop towel before starting the next section.
                                    • Spray application: Before spraying, strain topcoat through a fine-mesh filter. Spray wet films at 3-5-mil thickness. HVLP: 1.1mm-1.3mm spray tip, medium air cap.?Verify tip sizes with your equipment supplier.?See our?general guide for spray tip sizes. Wear a full filter respirator (NIOSH/MSHA approved)?and work in a ventilated space. Keep your gun at a 90°?angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large, flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6-8" wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" wide to reduce overspray.?Overlap each pass of stain 50% for even coverage. If coverage is even, there is no need to wipe. If you have issues with uneven coverage, wipe back the excess with an absorbent cloth.?Visit this FAQ for more information on spraying techniques.
                                  8. Dry 2+ hours between coats in ideal conditions: 70°F/20°C; 50-70% humidity. Inadequate dry time is one of the top reasons for finish failure. If in doubt, wait longer. Increase dry time if humidity is over 80%
                                    • To accelerate drying in humid conditions, add General Finishes Accelerator and work in a space with good ventilation and air movement. If you decide to re-coat before the recommended time, test dryness.
                                  9. Allow final coat to dry 2-4 hours in ideal conditions: 50-70% humidity, 70°F/20°C.
                                  10. Finish with 3 coats of General Finishes topcoat.

                                  Warning:?Do not use water-based products with Linseed Oils or Danish Oils.

                                  Step 3: Topcoat Over Water-Based Stain

                                  Always seal General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain,?General Finishes Dye Stain?and General Finishes?Enduro Ready-To-Match (RTM) Water Based Wood Stain with 3 coats of topcoat. More coats will not improve durability.

                                  Grain Raise

                                  After the first coat of topcoat has dried, you can knock down grain raise by lightly sanding with a 220 sanding pad. Watch Grain Raise video here.

                                  Recommended Water-Based Topcoats
                                  General Finishes High Performance?can?be applied by hand or sprayed;?General Finishes Enduro Clear Poly is spray-only. Both topcoats dry clear and are great for high-use surfaces, such as kitchen cabinets and tabletops. General Finishes Flat Out Flat is our flattest topcoat, suitable for projects that do not receive major wear.

                                  Recommended Oil-Based Topcoats
                                  When sealing with General Finishes oil-based topcoats, General Finishes Arm-R-Seal?and General Finishes Gel Topcoat, let water-based stain?dry a minimum of 24 hours first. Oil-based topcoats amber increasingly over time.

                                  Toning with Stains

                                  Toning is the process of adding colorant (tinting), either dye or pigmented stain into a top coat and then applying over an entire piece in order to subtly deepen the color. All of GF water-based stains can be used: Stock base colors of RTM stains, Water-Based Wood Stains or Dye stains. If you are new to toning, we recommend starting with GF Dyes Stains, which can be easier to use as they only contain dyes and no pigments.?

                                  All of General Finishes water-based topcoats with the exception of Conversion Vanish?can be tinted to create lightly colored finishes for toning. ?It is?YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TEST?to your satisfaction before application to your entire project.

                                  There are?limits anytime you add pigments or dyes to water-based topcoats. Toning should always be done in small increments to achieve the desired color. If you are starting with a light honey tone door and you want to create an Espresso color this will take multiple coats of color including base coat of stain followed by several toning coats. It is impossible to achieve a radical change in color in coat application.

                                  A good rule to follow when tinting is starting with a minimal amount of stain or dye, 5-10% by volume. Some colors work better than others. Normally 1-2 ounces or stain per quart of clear topcoat is sufficient to create a toner.?Always test color first?and strain material through a fine mesh filter to remove any undissolved particle of pigment. Once you have achieved the desired color tone apply a clear topcoat to lock in the color.

                                  Some tinting recommendations are:

                                  • Do not exceed 13 ounces per gallon. Excess amounts of colorant can create surface defects and decrease the viscosity (causing drips, sag, etc.).
                                  • Tinting a product black only requires about 6 to 8 ounces (based on strength of colorant).

                                  Creative Finishing Techniques Using Dye Stain

                                  Custom Colors using Dye Stain Reducer
                                  Create custom color Dye Stains by adding General Finishes Dye Stain Reducer in 10% increments until you achieve the color you want. It is not possible to mix too much of our Dye Stain or Reducer together.?Do NOT Use Water to Lighten General Finishes Dye Stains.?Dye Stain Reducer has ingredients that help keep color molecules dispersed evenly in the can.?

                                  Layering Dye Stain
                                  Use Dye Stains to highlight the depth of the grain, to even out color saturation, and to achieve deeper colors under other stain applications. Example: Use Amber or Yellow Dye Stain for a golden glow under General Finishes Gel Stain or General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain.

                                  Dye Stains can be used as a toner when mixed with water-based topcoat. A 10-20% stain to topcoat ratio is recommended for a slight color change.?

                                  Cleanup of Water Based Products

                                  Application tools and materials?containing water-based products can be cleaned?with soap and water immediately after use.

                                  Product Spills
                                  Spills may be able to be removed from fabric and carpet if cleaned immediately with soap and water.

                                  Storage of Water Based Products

                                  Please be mindful of the manner in which water-based products are?stored and how?long they have?been in storage.?They not a forever product.?

                                  Life of Product
                                  Water-based products do not last forever, even when unopened. General Finishes products are best used within 1 year of the manufacture date listed on the can.?However, the life of the product may be extended with proper care and storage (see Storage Tips below).

                                  Water-based products can?last 3-5 years if?the can is unopened, in good condition?and stored in correct temperatures.

                                  Product that is 3 years old will not look like product that is 6 months to 1 year old. You will see more stratification?or?separation as the product ages. Always stir?thoroughly before using.?

                                  If your product?has a foul smell, it?is contaminated and?no longer in useable?condition.

                                  Clumps & Settling
                                  Gravity can cause some solids to settle on the bottom of the can and slight separation on the top. This is normal. If working with older product?stir with a?paint mixing attachment on a drill.

                                  If the solids dissolve and clumps smooth out after mixing from the bottom, the product is in good condition for use.

                                  Inability to reincorporate large, chunky lumps after?stirring for several minutes?is an indication that the product has frozen and can no longer be used.

                                  Storage Tips
                                  See video tutorial: Tips on Storing Leftover Finishes
                                  Water-based finishes crystalize and form a skin?due to evaporation when the air-tight seal on a can is broken at first use. The following best practices will increase the life of your product:

                                  1. Pry open sealed lids with a paint can opener by hooking under the lid's rolled edge. The use of a screwdriver can disfigure the rim and lid, impairing a complete seal.?
                                  2. Keep lid closed while working. Pour what you will use into a bowl, paper cup, or plate, and close can lid as you work.
                                  3. Clean the chime of the can?thoroughly with a paper towel before closing to create a complete?seal. Product falling?into the chime can?be minimized by using a pouring lid, such as Fitsall. Avoid wiping used brushes on the lid.
                                  4. Pound the lid in place?using a rubber mallet to avoid distorting the chime or lid. Dents in the lid from direct contact with a hammer can impair a complete seal. Alternatively, place a flat piece of wood over can lid and firmly pound shut.
                                  5. Store in moderate temperatures.?Avoid temperatures below 50°F/10°C or above 100°F/26°C. Keep from freezing. Frozen and heat-damaged product cannot be revitalized. Temperature-controlled spaces, such as a basement, are ideal for storage. Do not store product in an attic, garage, in direct sunlight, or next to something warm like a water heater or furnace.
                                  6. Store can upside down to create a liquid seal, minimize evaporation and reduce the chance of?crystallization.?Decant remaining product from the can before stirring.?
                                  7. Decant leftovers to a smaller container when the?finish is almost used up. Alternative storage containers for water-based products are plastic FIFO bottles or glass bottles. Do not fill metal-lidded containers completely to prevent them from rusting.

                                  The following water-based product mixtures?can be stored:

                                  1. Product thinned with up to 15% General Finishes Extender or General Finishes?Accelerator can be stored, with the exception of thinned?General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain.
                                  2. Mixtures involving colors & sheens within the same product line, such as:
                                    • High Performance Satin + High Performance Gloss
                                    • Snow White Milk Paint + Coastal Blue Milk Paint
                                    • Amber Dye Stain + Merlot Dye Stain

                                  The following product mixtures?should NOT be stored:

                                  • Any water based product with thinned tap water; water often contains bacteria that will adversely affect stored paint.
                                  • Topcoat + Stain or Paint
                                  • Milk Paint + Chalk Style Paint
                                  • Water Based Wood Stain + Dye Stain

                                  Warnings and Warranties

                                  Dye Stain?Warnings and Warranties

                                  Do not use water-based products with Linseed Oils or Danish Oils.

                                  Limited Warranty
                                  General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using. General Finishes will not be responsible for color satisfaction, misapplication, nor compatibility with other manufacturer's products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products, and not for costs such as labor, damage or project replacement.

                                  Contamination and Compatibility
                                  Our finishes are engineered as a system and are compatible with each other. General Finishes cannot guarantee an ideal refinish when applying our products on top of or combined with another company's products or over surfaces that have been in contact with waxes, polishes or sprays containing contaminants such as silicone. Test for adherence and aesthetics before beginning.

                                  FIRST AID: Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms occur due to the following. EYE CONTACT: Remove any contact lenses. Flush eyes with water for 20+ minutes while lifting upper and lower eyelids. SKIN CONTACT: Wash thoroughly after handling. INHALATION: Move to fresh air and loosen clothing. If not breathing, if breathing is irregular or if respiratory arrest occurs, provide artificial respiration or oxygen by trained personnel. INGESTION: Call physician immediately. Wash out mouth with water. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

                                  Prop 65 WARNING:?
                                  No chemicals were found in this product which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.?

                                  WARNING: Keep out of reach of children. Do not swallow. Avoid contact with eyes. Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Wash thoroughly after handling.


                                  • Amber, Blue, Cinnamon, Dark Brown, Empire Red, Light Brown, Medium Brown, Orange, Pewter, Green, Vintage Cherry, Yellow:?
                                    WARNING HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. CAUSES EYE IRRITATION.
                                  • Ebony:
                                    No related warning.
                                  • Merlot:?


                                  Basic Features
                                  Product Colors Yellow, Amber, Light Brown, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, Orange, Empire Red, Vintage Cherry, Cinnamon, Merlot, Pewter, Ebony, Green, Blue, Reducer (Clear)
                                  Base Type Water
                                  Interior or Exterior Interior only
                                  Type Water Based Stain
                                  Coats 1 - 2 coats
                                  Application Method Brush, Spray
                                  Brushable Yes
                                  Usable over existing finishes No
                                  Sprayable Yes
                                  Spray Tip Sizes HVLP 1.1mm-1.3mm
                                  Dry Time
                                  Dry Time - Touch 30+ min.
                                  Dry Time - Recoat 2+ hr
                                  Can Sizes Pints, Quarts, Gallons
                                  Can Size Exceptions

                                  5 Gallon Pails available in Light Brown, Medium Brown and Dark Brown only.

                                  Coverage 60-80 sq.ft./pint, 120-160 sq.ft./quart, 480-640 sq.ft./gallon
                                  Technical Data
                                  Viscosity Very Thin
                                  Weight Solids 11%
                                  VOC US VOC
                                  Amber: 240.586 g/L
                                  Blue: 241.508 g/L
                                  Cinnamon: 180.280 g/L
                                  Dark Brown: 237.570 g/L
                                  Ebony: 13.049 g/L
                                  Empire Red: 211.959 g/L
                                  Light Brown: 190.333 g/L
                                  Medium Brown: 239.163 g/L
                                  Merlot: 241.058 g/L
                                  Orange: 177.655 g/L
                                  Pewter: 108.540 g/L
                                  Green: 242.044 g/L
                                  Vintage Cherry: 207.285 g/L
                                  Yellow: 102.018 g/L

                                  Design Center


                                  *How Do I Correct Color Lift when Applying High Performance Over GF Water Based Dye Stain?

                                  It is normal to see a bit of stain on the brush when applying the first coat of topcoat. Topcoats often pull a bit of color on the first pass, but good preparation will minimize this.

                                  To prepare open grains woods such as raw Oak for a water-based stain, we recommend sanding with 180-grit followed by no more than 220-grit sandpaper.

                                  300-grit or 400-grit sandpaper is too fine for preparing raw wood. Too fine of a grit changes the wood from a porous surface to one that is too smooth to absorb the stain, which causes the first top coat application to pull excessive color (it is like trying to apply stain to glass).

                                  There is always a small amount of color pull when using water-based stains, but the smooth surface escalates this condition. This was evident in the areas that you used the brush to remove excess topcoat.

                                  See recommended sanding schedules here.

                                  Instructional Video: How to Prep Sand New or Raw Wood

                                  Here are some options to try. Always test a small area before proceeding with your entire project.

                                  1. TONING: Lightly sand the light areas with a 220-grit sanding foam pad to open up the pores of the wood.

                                    Create a toning mix of 10-20% Dye Stain to 80-90% topcoat. Using a small brush, apply this mix over the light areas to blend with the darker areas.

                                    Let this dry 3-4 hours. Then apply another coat of the mix over the entire surface. If this is successful, then apply 2-3 coats of the topcoat.
                                  2. GLAZING: Glaze the light areas. This will change the look of your doors but is an easier remedy.
                                  3. START OVER: Optimally, you should sand down to bare wood and start over with this prep sanding schedule indicated able.

                                    You can apply the Dye Stain directly to the wood, or mix in 10% topcoat to help lock in the color.

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                                  *Why or When Should I Use a Dye Stain?*

                                  There are several reasons to choose Dye Stain. Here are a few.

                                  1. Use dye stain when you have beautiful wood grain, pattern or burl and you want to show it off! GF Dye Stains are like ink?and penetrate deep into the wood grain, revealing the figure of the wood with beautiful transparency.
                                  2. They are a great way to layer and intensify color. We often use a yellow or amber dye stain under another type of darker stain, such as Yellow Dye Stain under Java Gel Stain. The combined colors create a lovely depth and glow.
                                  3. Dye stains?create a brilliantly colored project while maintaining the look of the wood. They come in a range of colors from traditional wood tones to brilliant primaries and can be applied to raw wood or?combined with clear coats to make a toner.

                                  Look at this piece that Jilian Moncada of ReFind Design by Coco Clare?shared. When Jilian discovered this elegant burled wood under the old finish, she wrote and asked what to use - we recommended dye stain and just look at her result!?

                                  We do not recommend the use of a wood pre-conditioner with dye stains. It is a matter of personal preference, but conditioners diminish color saturation, defeating the purpose of dye stains.

                                  GRAIN RAISE: Water-based dye stains pop the wood grain more than solvent-based versions, but like all water-based stain products, it will raise the grain of the wood a bit. You can reduce this effect?by raising the grain before applying dye stain. First, dampen the sanded surface with a cloth moistened with distilled water (tap water can contain minerals that may affect the finish). Let the surface dry and then sand lightly?with the grain?using 220-grit sandpaper. Never over-sand before applying any stain, as you may seal the surface so much that stain will not be able to properly penetrate. Alternatively, grain raise can easily be knocked down when finish sanding the first layer of topcoat.

                                  CAUTION: Test the color in a hidden area before you begin your project. Once you use a Dye Stain, that is the color you are going to get. Apply liberally and evenly?with a foam applicator and wipe off any excess immediately. There won't be much to wipe away; it penetrates fast.

                                  Please share your completed Dye Stain projects on our Facebook page?and in our Design Center.

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                                  Can I adjust the color of my Dye Stain?

                                  Yes, there are a couple of ways. Dye Stain Reducer is the clear base that we use when manufacturing?General Finishes Dye Stains. The Reducer is made first, then the dye color is added.

                                  It is easy to make your own custom color Dye Stain by adding in 10% increments of Dye Stain color to Reducer until you achieve the color you want. It is not possible to mix too much of our Dye Stain and Reducer together.

                                  Additionally, General Finishes Water Based Wood Stains can be mixed into the Reducer, which will lighten the color and thin the viscosity so it will penetrate deeper into the wood.

                                  You can also mix other manufacturers dyes such as TransTint dye concentrate, sold in many wood working stores.

                                  We do NOT RECOMMEND using water to lighten dye stain. Reducer has ingredients to help keep color molecules dispersed evenly in the can.

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                                  Does adding Dye Stain Reducer to Dye Stain lighten the color?

                                  Yes, one of its uses is to dilute dye stain colors. Dye Stain reducer is the clear base the we use when manufacturing our dye stains.?We make the reducer first, then add the dye color.

                                  It is easy to make your own custom color Dye Stain by adding in 10% increments until you achieve the color you want. It is not possible to mix too much of our dye stain or reducer together.

                                  Additionally, General Finishes Water Based Stains can be mixed into the reducer, which will lighten the color and thin the viscosity so it will penetrate deeper into the wood.

                                  You can also mix other manufacturers dyes such as TransTint dye concentrate, sold in many wood working stores.

                                  We do not recommend using water to lighten dye stain. Reducer has ingredients to help keep color molecules dispersed evenly in the can.


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