Semi-Transparent Pigmented Stain - What is it?

odiegirl13April 13, 2009

The kitchen forum guys directed me here with this question and I hope you can help me. First a disclaimer about not knowing really anything about this other than a manufacturer's description. Medallion cabinetry has a line of finishes that they describe as a "semi-transparent pigmented stain". I am looking at this for a DIY kitchen cabinet job. I am including their press announcement at the bottom of this post. Does anyone know what this kind of stain this is and if would be something DIY? I don't really know if I want this or more of a "aniline water stains.. from aniline dyes" which was one suggestion on the kitchen forum.

Medallion Cabinetry introduced the Coastal Finish Collection

including four new stains at KBIS 2008. Designed to complement

Medallion's existing finishes, these four new semi-transparent

pigmented stains are available in White Sand, Sundance, Seagrass and


The coastal inspired collection is created by using a

semi-transparent pigmented stain which is lightly dry-brushed leaving

a color-washed finish that allows grain and natural characteristics of

the wood to show.

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Sounds like a kind of non traditional color stain. Rather than oak/cherry/fruitwood/walnut/etc., those sound like actual colors---green/white/tan/etc. Kind of like a milk paint stain.

As to the DIY part---stains of all kinds are not difficult to apply. Sometimes getting the desired effect is troublesome---especially when using a different type of wood. For instance, the same dye on birch looks totally different on hard maple. And some woods take stain well, others blotch.

It also depends on the finish you want to use over the stain. If the stains are water based, using a water based finish can lift the stain, even after the stain has totally dried.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:37PM
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handymac - "Milk Paint Stain" sounds like the perfect description. I was thinking about playing around with it on an unfinished door or two. Is this kind of stain something I could actually purchase? (My only painting experience is one bathroom in our house and watercolors with my daugheter!)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 1:11PM
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I looked up the info about that line---the colors are probably only used by the company and not sold anywhere else. This kind of proprietary use is quite common for furniture companies.

There are similar finishes made for sale to the general public. The company listed below is quite respected in the industry. It and other products are sold at WoodCraft(a woodworking store chain) and some hobby stores.

You will need to experiment to get the tone you want---mixing the milk paint colors with a compatible thinner/finish.

Here is a link that might be useful: general finishes

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 6:25PM
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Thanks handymac. Should a rookie attempt this? I won't be in a big hurry to finish the cabinets but I don't know if I would be satisfied with the result. I guess I won't know until I try.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 12:33PM
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Practice on scrap until you get the method down pat.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 4:49PM
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What jon said. The mixing/practicing process is one that needs to be well organized.

First, keep track of how much stain is mixed with what volume of thinner. Use small amounts for testing---teaspoon/tablespoon/etc.

Then---using scraps(I cut several pieces about 6" long and 2" wide---that gives you four surfaces for testing) record how much product is applied and how long---wiped off immsdiately/left 5 minutes/etc.

Once you find a color you like, apply at least two coats of the finish you will use. Some finishes(oil based and some shellacs) change the color.

Then it is just a matter of figuring out the asmount of stain and the amount of thinner to get enough product to use on the cabinets.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Thanks for the info jon and handymac! I am going to take my time and see if I can figure out how to do it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:16AM
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