How to Find the Right Type of Colorant for Your Woodworking Project

When it comes to paint, there are so many options you can choose from. Thanks to innovations over the years, there’s been an influx of new products on the market. Before, you probably only had to pick the color that you want. Now, you’ll have to consider the right shade. Do you need eggshell white or ivory white? There are all sorts of stains, dyes, and acids you can buy.

While having a wide variety of options is a great problem to have, it can be overwhelming. To help you decide the right product for your project, check out this guide:


Whether it’s wood stain or concrete acid stain, it’s important to know what separates it from paint. While paint forms a coat on a material’s surface, stain penetrates it. You can also save money by using stain. Depending on what you’re painting, you may need to use a paint primer. On the other hand, you don’t need to apply anything before using a stain.

If you’re working with wood, stains are great if you want to retain its distinctive pattern. For example, if you’re building a piece of furniture, your house probably follows a particular color palette. Let’s say the plywood you have on hand is pale, but your living room is full of dark hues. You can solve it by using a dark wood stain. You get the best of both worlds: the furniture won’t look like a sore thumb while keeping its wooden finish.

Perhaps the biggest reason to use stain is the unique results. If you apply it evenly and thoroughly, paint results in a uniform color all throughout. When it comes to stains, you’ll get varying shades in one application. The chemical reaction differs depending on the product and the material. This means that each application will look different. If you want a one-of-a-kind finish to your project, stains are for you.


Like wood stains, dyes also penetrate the wood itself to change the color of the exterior. The difference is that dyes immerses itself even deeper into the wood. Both colorants can also highlight the grain of the wood instead of covering it, which is what paint does. When it comes to dyes, the downside is its applications are less opaque compared to stains and paints. They are also much more susceptible to fading when exposed to the sun. So, if you’re looking for a much more significant change, dyes may not be the best for your project.

With that said, there are plenty of reasons to use wood dyes. You can mix them up with pigments and solvents. This will result in a rich, layered look. They also dry pretty quickly so you don’t have to wait for long to use your project. You can also use dyes to whitewash wood. Dyes are also great alternatives for other colorants. If you only used stains and pigments, dyes are worth trying as well. According to Wood Magazine, dyes are great for pine, birch, oak and other woods that are likely to blotch.



One of the best characteristics of wood is its distinctive grain. Its unique patterns give the projects their character and is also used to identify the type of wood. But sometimes, it’s better to cover their grain rather than highlight it. Maybe you’re using cheap, blemished wood. Or perhaps you’re using leftovers from different projects. For such instances, using a translucent dye or stain will just underscore its flaws. You may be better off coating the entire thing in paint.

On the bright side, paint presents a variety of options. You can pick any color you want. For example, you’re building a shelf, you can paint it the same color as the wall. This is perfect if you’re looking for a minimalist look for your home. The shelf will look clean and sleek since it blends in with the background. Paint can also make old, damaged wood sound like it’s brand new again. But with every project, it’s crucial to prep the wood before finishing it.

For paint, you’ll want to use the right primer to make sure the paint sticks. It can also make sanding easier for you. The type of paint you’ll use is also important. Otherwise, it can stick to other objects even after it has dried. Try to look for acrylic latex trim enamel to paint your project.

Having several colorant options to pick from is the best type of problem. Because of the different formulas and shades, you’re bound to find the right kind for your project.

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