Home / FAQ's

Q. What are the coverage rates for PureColor stains and topcoats?

A. Approximate coverage rates for PureColor stain are 350-450 square feet per gallon on bare sanded pine.*

Approximate coverage rates for PureColor's PureShield Protect clear topcoat are 300-450 square feet per gallon.* At least 2 coats of topcoat are recommended. (*Coverage rates will vary depending on the variety and porosity of the wood and on the humidity of the environment.)

Q. Do PureColor stains need a topcoat?

A. Yes, a clear topcoat or finishing oil should be applied after PureColor stain has dried. PureColor's PureShield Protect clear topcoat is recommended for interior use. The Outdoor Defense Oil available at www.realmilkpaint.com is recommended for protection and durability of PureColor-stained exterior wood projects such as decks, porch furniture, planter boxes, etc. 

Q. Can PureColor stains be mixed or diluted with water to achieve different tints?

A. Yes, PureColor stains are designed to be mixed together to create your own custom colors. They can be diluted with water or our clear stain base if a lighter color is desired.* We recommend keeping a record of your ratios (i.e. 3 parts stain: 2 parts water, etc.)  in case you need to refinish your project in the future or you want to stain something else in the same color. 

(*Diluting with water may cause slightly more grain raise on some wood substrates. Feel free to contact us in order to obtain our clear Spray Stain Base and/or Clear Wiping Stain Base)

Q. Are the pictures on the website accurate representations of the stain colors?

A. The pictures posted on our website show the stain color after one coat of stain has been applied to freshly sanded (to #180 grit) wood--usually on birch and oak.* Some colors may have pictures of the stain on pine, ash, or alder also. Once the stain is dry, we apply one coat of Satin or Matte PureShield Protect clear topcoat. The reason we use Satin or Matte topcoat before taking pictures is to avoid the possible glare (which can be caused by a high-gloss finish) during photoshoots and try to give an accurate color representation of the final stain color, since for most purposes, we recommend that a clear protective topcoat/finish or oil should be applied after the stain is dry.  (Stain colors may vary from the pictures on the website because of differences in appearance caused by various computer, or phone screen settings, lighting, camera settings, etc. as well as the fact that PureColor stains are transparent stains which means that the natural color of various wood substrates will affect the stain's final color. Another thing to keep in mind is that very old dry wood, or rough-sawn wood will absorb more stain than the newer smooth-sanded wood we run our samples on, causing the final stain color to be darker. 

Because of all the above mentioned info and since the final stain color is affected by the topcoat which is applied after the stain has dried, we recommend trying out the stain on a small inconspicuous test area or a scrap of the wood you are planning to stain. Allow PureColor stain to dry and then apply your PureShield Protect topcoat or whatever topcoat / finishing oil you are planning to use to see if you like the color. Another good way to get a close approximation of the final stain color is to wipe the dry, stained surface with Naphtha. Naphtha will not affect the finished stain color, but stained surfaces "wet" with Naphtha are very similar in color to the finished product, i.e. wood stained with PureColor stain and top-coated with PureShield topcoat. However, if this method of testing for color is used, the Naphtha should be allowed to evaporate completely before application of a sealer topcoat. 

 Q. Can PureColor stains and topcoats be used for interior and exterior use?

A. PureColor stains are great for interior and exterior use. PureColor stains can be used for any wood project that requires stain, such as furniture, doors, trim, hardwood flooring, fences, picnic tables, decks, etc. We recommend applying a good interior or exterior grade finish/clear topcoat/or finishing oil after the stain is dry. PureColor stains can also be and have been used for other porous substrates such as terra cotta, concrete, tiles, and un-glazed clay planters. 

Our PureShield Protect is available in three different sheens: Matte, Satin, and Semi-gloss and is recommended for interior use on furniture, doors, trim, accent walls, etc. We do not recommend PureShield Protect for exterior use or as a floor finish. Contact us for more info on good exterior-grade finishes and durable floor finishes. 

Q. Can PureColor stains and topcoats be used with spray equipment?

A. Yes, all of PureColor's PureShield Protect topcoats can be wiped/brushed on or sprayed with an HVLP spray gun. For the best and most even finishes, we highly recommend applying PureShield Protect topcoats via HVLP spray gun. 

All our PureColor stains are available as Wiping/Brush stains--which is the default version on our website, i.e. if you order a gallon of Brunette, we will automatically ship Brunette wiping/brush stain. All of our stains are also available in the Spray-on version which is highly preferred by our industrial users. If you want Spray Stain, be sure to select that option from the drop-down menu for each stain color.

Q. Can PureColor stains and topcoats be used around or near people with allergies and chemical sensitivities?

Our stains and topcoats are extremely low-VOC: approximately 0 to 0.2 lb per gallon. Many of our customers love our stain specifically because it is so low-VOC, is water-based, non-toxic, non-flammable, and has almost no odor at all. Unlike traditional stains, there is no off-gassing or fumes of any kind. A good percentage of our customers have chosen PureColor stain because they are chemically sensitive, and traditional stains are out of the question. These people happily report to us that they have had no issues with our stain at all and they love it! As far as we know, none of the ingredients in our stains cause allergies. 

Q. Have PureColor stains and topcoats been LEED certified?

Yes, a lot of our stains have been LEED certified but as it is very costly to get the testing and certification done, we are in the process of getting more and more of our products certified as we go. For the record, since all of our stains have the same basic formula, with only the pigmentation varying, technically LEED certification applying to one color would apply to the others. For this reason, we are very confident that all of PureColor stains will pass with flying colors since we strive to only utilize ingredients that are approved for health and beauty supplies or food manufacturing in our unique stain formulations. We are working on getting our PureColor Spray Stains certified first since these are the ones that our industrial users/contractors spec for large LEED certified jobs. Here is the list of PureColor Stains that have been LEED certified so far:

Brunette Spray Stain Charcoal Spray Stain 
Charm Spray Stain Citron Spray Stain
Deep Spring Spray Stain Deer Spray Stain
Desert Sand Spray Stain English Red Spray Stain
Espresso Spray Stain Fallow Spray Stain
Fawn Spray Stain French Oak Spray Stain
Golden Oak Spray Stain Ink Blot Spray Stain
Lava Spray Stain Lemon Spray Stain
Magma Spray Stain Red Special Spray Stain
Roasted Cherry Spray Stain Sierra Redwood Spray Stain  
Silver Nickel Spray Stain Sun Tan Spray Stain
Tumbleweed Spray Stain Walnut Spray Stain
Warm Vintage Spray Stain Weathered Brown Spray Stain
Please feel free to contact us if you need more information.