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I have yet to find a waterborne wood stain that is actually any good. While I love the smell of oil based stains, most customers hate it and there is one customer that I need to remove whatever he wants stained since he tells me he has allergic reactions to the smell, even some waterbased paints.
Dose anyone know of a waterborne wood stain that is even almost as good as oil based stains?
 

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I have yet to find a waterborne wood stain that is actually any good. While I love the smell of oil based stains, most customers hate it and there is one customer that I need to remove whatever he wants stained since he tells me he has allergic reactions to the smell, even some waterbased paints.
Dose anyone know of a waterborne wood stain that is even almost as good as oil based stains?
Honestly depends on the type of results you want. Most water based products like the mentioned SAMAN or General Finishes have really nice even color even across wood species and without using wood conditioner but they have drawbacks.
SAMAN for example is very easy to use and won't leave lap marks but I found brushing water based finish over even 48 hours later can reactivate the stain and lift into you brush. I would use it if you can spray a washcoat of shellac to seal the stain.
General Finishes is excellent but dries too fast for my liking, really need to thin with their extender if staining a large piece. MUCH better color than minwax or other off the shelf water based products. GF also have their professional RTM stains which do use transoxide pigments and dyes. RTM is better sprayed and wiped than hand applied.
Both of SAMAN and GF retail stains are pigmented stains and lack the depth and clarity of transoxide pigments and dye stains.

For customers who are especially sensitive I work with water based analine dyes and use a natural finish like 100% tung oil. If particually sensitive I have also made my own walnut shell dye, jeff jewitt has a blurb in his book about it, or use iron acetate or other natural dying.
 

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I have yet to find a waterborne wood stain that is actually any good. While I love the smell of oil based stains, most customers hate it and there is one customer that I need to remove whatever he wants stained since he tells me he has allergic reactions to the smell, even some waterbased paints.
Dose anyone know of a waterborne wood stain that is even almost as good as oil based stains?
What are you staining?
 
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