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stain reducer- make12/8/19
We sometimes reduce stains for a lighter color, rather than buy clear stain reducer is there something we make in the shop to reduce the color? If we use watco the goal is achieved but dry time is slow, I want to spray poly in 2 hours (same day). The store bought stuff allows that, is it a dilute varnish? but varnish would stick up too fast while wiping.
Stop buying your supplies in a big box store if you want to match commercially available furniture. Find your local industrial finish supplier and have some reps come in a show you a product line. Poly on top of uncured Watco is a disaster, I wouldn't even put poly on top of cured Watco.
Same as Rich. Find a supplier of professional fast dry stains and use them. I use MLC WoodSong II stains and I'm applying my conversion varnish in about 1/2 hour with zero worries about something odd happening.
Watco is a stain that needs weeks to dry.
Most Sherwin Williams residential branches sell a very good oil stain that dries FAR quicker than the garbage sold at Lowes/Home Depot or Watco.
Watco is a fantastic finish for certain projects (rustic look) but I'd never try to clearcoat over it.
Now, to answer your question.
Nearly every wiping stain I've ever used can be reduced using mineral spirits. You don't need to use clear stain or "natural" stain to dilute it.
I've done this with MLC's Woodsong II stuff, Conestoga's wiping stains, Sherwin Williams Classic oil stain, Richelieu's "OCS" line of stains. Works fine, and also gives you better open/working time without adding to the cure time.
Good to know about SW stain. I use Zar stains but they do not reduce with mineral spirits, it does make it easier to use but the longer it stays on the darker the color when reduced that way. We don't stain much, I would like to know for my own curiosity what stain reducer base is made from so if we need a little I don't have to order up some special reducer. Thats where the mention of watco came in. We have a relationship with Innovative Coatings in Vancouver but I am thinking of the little jobs requiring a custom color that we need to get done and out the door. Typically we spray clear Milesi 2k poly.
I've thinned waterbased stain with mineral spirits (some junk I bought from Lowes along time ago). It actually worked lol.
Had to shake the hell out of it to turn it into an emulsion of some sort, but it slowed the drying time down significantly, which was my goal.