PDA

View Full Version : Tinting varnish



Fitz
07-03-2012, 09:17 AM
Anyone got any tips on how and what to tint varnish with? I broke an old mahogany thwart while delivering a canoe project. I have a new honduran mahogany thwart, which I stained with minwax red mahogany (which matched very well on the new outwales) and I am applying varnish now, but the match is not very good with the original quarter thwarts. I would like a darker red color.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Fitz

David G
07-03-2012, 09:32 AM
Fitz,

The process of adding tinted clear topcoat to a piece is called 'toning'. If you're not TOO far off from a color match... toning can get you the rest of the way. But toning tends to add color, by necessity, in a subtle manner. If you add too much tint to your varnish - it can get muddy. As to which tint - I can't tell you. There are two main types... and I always get them mixed up. Ask at your paint store, if someone here doesn't chime in.

Canoez
07-03-2012, 09:35 AM
Anyone got any tips on how and what to tint varnish with? I broke an old mahogany thwart while delivering a canoe project. I have a new honduran mahogany thwart, which I stained with minwax red mahogany (which matched very well on the new outwales) and I am applying varnish now, but the match is not very good with the original quarter thwarts. I would like a darker red color.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Fitz

Check out Trans Tint dyes. You can use them to color finishes. It's best to work with small measured amounts of finish and add dye drop by drop until small amounts applied to a sample of stock are the color you desire.

Uncle Duke
07-03-2012, 09:36 AM
It sometimes seems like most topics have already been discussed here - not to imply that this is a trivial topic, just that someone before you has had the same problem/question.
There may be some good info in this thread from 2004:
http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?8814-Tinting-varnish

Peter Malcolm Jardine
07-03-2012, 09:51 AM
I tint varnish all the time, using a small amount of stain, or some artists paint. What David G said is true.

Jay Greer
07-03-2012, 04:40 PM
Tinting varnish is best done with dye rather than stain as stain usualy contains particulate which tends to muddy the finish. Mohawk Finishes is one company I deal with for my finish work. Contacting them will give you direct professional information for your project. http://magicwoodrepair.com/
Jay

Todd Bradshaw
07-03-2012, 05:26 PM
+1 on the TransTint dyes.
http://www.woodcraft.com/family/2001718/2001718.aspx

Not cheap, but a couple drops goes a long way. I've used them on boat stuff, guitars, gunstocks, and even to tint epoxy resin. The amber ones are particularly good for tinting new varnish to match old varnish and you avoid the look that stain has when it soaks down into wood's grain and looks obviously stained.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
07-03-2012, 05:53 PM
Thanks for that tip on the transtint. I have been using umber and sienna artists paint, but I have had to be careful with the amounts, based on the muddying issue.

Fitz
07-03-2012, 08:17 PM
It sometimes seems like most topics have already been discussed here - not to imply that this is a trivial topic, just that someone before you has had the same problem/question.
There may be some good info in this thread from 2004

BAAHAAHAAAHAAA, or whatever to quote JCSOH, but that was me asking a similar question in 2004!|:) I now have a good rib formula that works much of the time. There are seven or so new ribs in this canoe and it is very tough to pick the new ones out. It is basically a minwax stain - old colonial if I recall correctly, but I have mixed a bit of their other choices to come close. I also have a habit of sealing the hull afterwards with a couple of coats of amber shellac and that helps too.

There is a Woodcraft branch next to my work office, so I got some trans tint dyes today to tint varnish with. I will experiment some and post the results.

Many thanks.

Fitz
07-10-2012, 07:24 AM
Well, I didn't have a whole heck of a lot of luck with the dyes. I bought some red and some brown and added a few drops of each to a small amount of varnish in a cup. The varnish turned muddy in the cup, and I feared I went too far, but the varnish went on fine. The only trouble was that it didn't impart much color. I tried a few more drops, in the next coat, probably more red than brown, but I still didn't get much color out of the deal. I had time for three of these color coats before I needed to deliver and install the new thwart. As mentioned above, I was probably too far from a color match to begin with and may have been better off starting with more coats of stain before varnish to achieve a closer match.

As it is, the match is not all that bad and I suspect the wood will darken with age anyway. I will continue to experiment.

Thanks!

Fitz.

Jim Ledger
07-10-2012, 07:50 AM
Sometimes I do tinted lacquer finishes using universal colorants. They will work with varnish as well. Tinting in the finish has an advantage over stain as cross-sanding scuffs are not so apparent...not that that's ever a problem...I'm just sayin'. Because the wood is sealed before the tinted finish is applied the color can't wick into the torn grain.

Here's a source, remember, you only need a little bit to give it some color, you don't want to make paint.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/tints-all-universal-tinting-colorant-1-1-2-oz-tube.aspx