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tinting wipe-on poly

jpohja's picture

tinting wipe-on poly (post #111473)

Would like to tint some Minwax  wipe-on poly with transtint dye. Instructions say this dye can be mixed with: oil-based varnish,linseed oil or pure tung oil.  Can not be mixed with most "Danish" oils or finishes thinned with a high ratio of mineral spirits. Any ideas as to which category wipe-on poly falls into?  Thanks, John

Rob A.'s picture

(post #111473, reply #1 of 6)

It falls into the category of an oil-based varnish thinned with a high ratio of mineral spirits. Even if you successfully tinted wipe on varnish I doubt that you could successfully apply it. At least not by wiping it on.


Tinted finishes are generally sprayed on because any other method (i.e. wipe-on, brush, etc.) will usually result in streaking. I have heard people say that they have brushed it on successfully, but IMO they are either veeeery skilled with a brush or they have a high tolerance for streaks of color. Or both.


              Rob

RDNZL's picture

(post #111473, reply #2 of 6)

I have successfully tinted Watco wipe on poly w/ powdered dyes, and then successfully wiped them on.


I used the oil soluble dyes from Woodworker's Supply.

mikegagne's picture

(post #111473, reply #3 of 6)

can you tint first then wipe on the poly?

SteveSchoene's picture

(post #111473, reply #5 of 6)

Assuming you are starting with bare wood best procedure for getting a nicely stained wood is to start with the dye to establish the basic color.  Dye can be made much darker than pigmented stains and has less tendency to blotch on woods prone to that.  Then it can have top coats applied over it, or it can be sealed and have pore filler or pigmented stain applied to modify the look a little.  Top coats can then go over these.  It's almost always best to keep the coloring separate from the top coating, though with spray equipment there are some situations where a tinted top coat (toner) has some value. Toner is heavily used in mass produced factory furniture where it is used to help obscure woods that don't match all that well.   


Of course, you don't need poly.  A nicer finish on furniture can be obtained using a traditional resin varnish, either wipe on or brush on, than using a polyurethane varnish. 

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.

Rob A.'s picture

(post #111473, reply #6 of 6)

"It's almost always best to keep the coloring separate from the top coating, though with spray equipment there are some situations where a tinted top coat (toner) has some value.


Of course, you don't need poly.  A nicer finish on furniture can be obtained using a traditional resin varnish, either wipe on or brush on, than using a polyurethane varnish. "


+1 and a thumbs up to that.


          Rob

JMadson's picture

(post #111473, reply #4 of 6)

I've never had good luck getting the transtints to mix with poly.


You could mix an oil based stain in with the poly fairly easy though.