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Painting Basics - Stains
By Prudy Vannier

Stains are transparent by nature, but vary in degree of transparency. They come in a variety of colors and are produced as oil based or acrylic based. Both have good and bad qualities.

Oil base stains usually have a sealer in them that seals the wood grain. They have an odor and require paint thinner or turpentine for clean up. They can be thinned with these as well.

Acrylic stains have no odor, clean up is with water which is convenient, but sometimes they raise the grain of the wood because of their water content. They can be thinned with water to make a very light stain.

When applying stains, use a large paint brush, a sponge brush or small rag. Stroke with the grain of the wood. Heavy or repeated applications make a stain darker. Sometimes this can be utilized by adding dark or different colors of stain to create patterns on a wood piece.

It’s easy to make a stain in any color. Simply add water to bottled acrylic paint.

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