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 LLayton's "Color Stain Samples"
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Posted - 08/03/2004 :  11:53:28 AM  Show Profile
Moderator's Note: The following information was originally posted by Larry Layton in the Craftsman's Corner. I have moved a copy of it here for safekeeping. The original topic is still open for additional comments/discussion.


Figured I would share these "Color Chips" with everybody, as they might be helpful .... plus I've added some notes about the different stains too.

I like to make one of these "Color-Chips" for each stain that I use, as it helps me visualize which stain I want to use while building a structure.



1) All stains were completely mixed.
2) Brush well cleaned after each sample was made.
3) Each sample was brushed across wood 3 times.
4) After brushing, was wiped with clean cotton towel.

Top Row
Roundbell WS-1 Driftwood
Roundbell WS-2 Natural Pine
Roundbell WS-3 Oak
Roundbell WS-4 Maple
Roundbell WS-5 Cherry
Roundbell WS-6 Walnut
Roundbell WS-7 Mahogany
Roundbell WS-8 Teak
Roundbell WS-9 Rosewood
Roundbell WS-14 Hickory

Bottom Row
MixWax Water-Based: White Oak
MixWax Water-Based: Colonial Pine
MixWax Water-Based: Vermont Maple
MixWax Water-Based: Rosewood
Floquil Flo-Stain: Cherry
Floquil Flo-Stain: Mahogany
Floquil Flo-Stain: Rosewood
Builders-In-Scale: Silver Wood
Age-It (MicroMark): Brown
Age-It (MicroMark): Rail Tie Brown
Age-It (MicroMark): Gray

NOTE: The top row of color-chips initally appear to be faded. To verify, I held up the actual color-chips to my computer monitor, and in reality the colors shown above ARE ACCURATE. I believe they appear faded because I used a lighter-weight masking tape when creating the top-row name tags.

NOTE: The dark streak across the bottom of the "bottom row" is alcohol/ink mix (A/I). I brushed it on, so I could see how the colors would look with a A/I mix ontop.


Type: I think it's oil-based. I called Roundbell, they said to only use Mineral Spirits as a thinner.

Finish: Slight shinny finish and slight oil reside left on wood after stain has dried. I didn't experience any problems with wood-siding wrapage.

Coverage: Driftwood, Oak, Maple, Mahogany, Rosewood and Hickory had a nice amount of pigment, and covered wood very well. All other colors (Nat Pine, Cherry, Walnut, Teak) had very little pigment and coverage was very weak/light. NOTE: I think my bottle of Walnut is defective, I made sure it was completely mixed, but still the color is very weak, almost like a natural pine.

Notes: I really like the Driftwood, Oak, Maple, Mahogany, Rosewood and Hickory. Each had a nice unique color and was easy to use. I didn't like the other colors (Nat Pine, Cherry, Walnut and Teak) because they were very weak and thinned down to much.


Type: Water Based.

Finish: Nice flat finish and no residue after stain has dried. Because of the water base, they probably aren't good for staining wood siding. But they worked and looked beautifully with stipe-wood.

Coverage: Excellent, stain covered the wood very evenly.

Notes: I only tried 4 colors (Home Depot has about 12 colors total). They looked GREAT! Note that these are the WATER BASED MinWax's, and do not contain any sealer. They're super easy to use also, and clean-up with water.

Floquil Flo-Stains

Type: Solvent Based.

Notes: I love these, enought said. Just wish they still were available!

Builders-In-Scale "Silver Wood"

Type: Alcohol and Dyes (Ortho-Dichiorobenzene).

Finish: Nice flat finish and no residue after stain has dried. I didn't experience any problems with it warping siding.

Coverage: Excellent, stain covered the wood very evenly.

Notes: I love this stuff too. Looks incredible when used on stripe-wood, gives it multiple shades of silver and browns.


Type: Not sure (possible Dye and Solvent).

Finish: Very slight shinny finish (more then Flo-Stain, less then Roundbell). No reside left on wood after drying.

Coverage: Excellent, stain covered the wood very evenly.

Notes: I use the "Brown" color a lot, and its a nice warm coloration. I don't use the "Gray" (it should be renamed "Black"), because it is very similar to a Alcohol/Ink mix (which is cheaper, and easier to fine-tune the color). The "Rail Tie Brown" has a strong green tint to it, which is probably very useful for staining Ties, but I don't like the color for use with buildings.

MinWax Oil Based Stains (Not Shown)

I read about Dave Revelia's models, and he said he used this stuff (or was it the water based?). I'm totally baffled, as I didn't have a good experience with the MinWax Oil based stains (the sealer and oily finish caused me major anguish). Maybe it's because Dave was using stripe-wood, and I was using wood siding? Or maybe because ....... He's a master, and I still have a huge amount still to learn. I'm guessing its the latter.
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