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How to choose compatible stains & polishes

Have you ever tried varnishing stained wood and found the colour coming off as you work?

  • Or perhaps the varnish you've used starts to flake a few days later?
  • Or maybe you've tried waxing or oiling stained wood but the end result turns out really patchy?

If any of these have happened to you, you need to find out more about choosing compatible wood stains.

Choosing a wood stain which is compatible with the finish you're using is essential to properly polishing wood.

Rule No.1
Select a stain which has a different base to the polish, e.g. Colron Wood Dye (oil based - White Spirits) followed by FINPOL Easy Polish (Methylated spirits based).

Rule No.2
If there's no choice but to use a stain with the same base as the finish then add your own binding agent. To do this just add around 15% to 20% of the finish you're using into the stain before applying (they must have the same base). Stir well before use. e.g. Finney's Durapolish Clear Glaze (oil based) 15% plus Finney's Professional Naphtha Stain (oil based) 85% followed by Finney's Durapolish Clear Glaze (oil based).

Rule No.3
Alternatively you can "sandwich" a layer between the stain and the final finish using a product which has a different base. e.g. Colron Wood Dye (oil based) followed by Finney’s Shellac Sanding Sealer (methylated spirits based) followed by Finney’s Superior Finishing Wax (oil based).

Always test that your combination works first before starting in earnest. If in doubt, contact our Technical Advice Line on 01246 261664.



Expert Advice, Simple Solutions, Beautiful Wood
All of the information offered in this Question and Answer format is given in good faith and no responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage however caused. Always carry out a test before proceeding and if in doubt, contact our free wood finishing Advice Line on 01246 261664 before starting.

Our range of wood finishing products has been developed over many years so that customers can be assured of compatibility and of achieving excellent results. The advice given here refers solely to the specific products mentioned and not to other manufacturers products which although may appear to be similar, invariably are not.