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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Pigmented Oil Dyes

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There are advantages and disadvantages to using pigmented oil dyes. While you may enjoy the advantages of this stain over the other two types, you should be aware of the disadvantages before deciding to use this stain for your wood finishing project.


o Pigment oil stains are easily prepared.

o They are very versatile and ideal for all types of carpentry, from plinth blocks to custom carpentry.

o They are very easy to apply, even by children.

o They do not lift the grain. Consequently, there is no need to use a sponge or re-sand. This saves you a lot of work when using this type of stain in the wood finish.

o They can be used on thin sheets without the danger of glue loosening.

o They are cheaper to apply than water stains. As a result, they are used in cheap furniture and often in home finishing.

o They are good for use inside boxes where it is difficult to lift the grain and re-sand. Large wooden furniture like wooden bar rails or a wooden cabinet, for example.

o They generally contain a certain amount of drying oil, such as linseed oil, and when drying they leave a thin varnish-like film that protects the wood to a certain extent.

o A drying oil, such as linseed oil, unless bleached, darkens the wood even without mixing with any color.

o Oil colors can be mixed with wood putty, allowing the combination of stains and fillers in one operation.

o Oil stains can be used successfully on certain highly absorbent woods, such as cypress, which become very rough and porous when attempting to stain with water.

o Stains that contain a drying oil, such as linseed oil, do not penetrate as deeply into the wood as they do when turpentine is used. Vehicle blotting oil stains give an even, flat tone, however, because they do not penetrate unevenly at spots due to uneven ripples or end streaks around or near knots.

o Attractive effects can be produced with various of the pigment oil stains on some of the fine-grained woods, such as poplar, cherry, maple, white pine, and even walnut, which is somewhat porous.


o Oil stains do not penetrate deeply and as a result are easily cut with sandpaper or wear quickly with use.

o Re-dyeing is difficult with oil stains. Therefore, the proper color must be ensured with a layer. (If the stain is lifted with benzene, a darker color can be applied

with some success.)

o Oil stain pigments are opaque and remain on the surface to some extent; they darken the grain and cause a loss of transparency.

o Oil stains are more expensive than water stains and do not cover as much gallon per gallon of surface area.

o If applied too slowly, or not rubbed in soon enough, an oil stain can penetrate the pores too deeply to dry quickly. Later, it can ooze and cause


o Oil stains take several days to dry properly. For this reason, if you choose to stain mantel shelves or entire mantels for an electric or gas fireplace, you must wait until it is completely and absolutely dry until you start a fire.

o Oil stains are likely to “lift” or peel off to some degree with filler.

o The color shades available in pigment oil stains are more limited in number than in water stains.

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