Water Based Dye Stains

Water Based Dye Stains penetrate deep into the wood to magnify the grain beautifully. They will provide your project with more depth and color vibrancy than any other stain. This product is excellent for highly figured woods like mahogany, walnut, or maple. Dye stains can also be used as a toner when mixed with Water Based Topcoats.

Need some inspiration? Visit the General Finishes Design Center OR Pinterest Board for furniture paint ideas.


Recoat/Dry Time: 2-4 hours

Coats Recommended: 1

Cure Time: 21 days

Cleanup: General clean-up with soap and warm water recommended. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. For best results, clean all equipment with General Finishes Brush and Gun Cleaner.

Coverage: 75 sq ft/pint
Can Sizes: Pint, Quart, Gallon 

Recommended Use: Interior use only.

Topcoat Recommendation: Dye stains can be used alone or with the following products:  All top coats: shellac, lacquer, solvent based Water base: Enduro-Var, High Performance, Oil Base: Arm-R-Seal, Gel Satin, Sealer: Dye Reducer, GF Natural Wood Conditioner

Spray Tip Sizes Recommended: N/A

VOC: < 250g/l (2.09 lbs/gal)

Viscosity: Very thin




Light Brown

Medium Brown

Dark Brown


Empire Red

Vintage Cherry







The digitized colors shown are for reference purposes only. Always test stain on a hidden area to verify desired color.


Stir stains well prior to use. GF DYE STAINS can be applied with foam brush, rag, pad applicator or spay. Apply a liberal amount of stain to ensure easy workability. Wipe off excess stain with clean paper towel or cloth. If applied by spray application you have of the option of spray no wipe. Lightly mist the stain on the wood until you achieve the desired color. Allow the stain to dry completely. A second coat of stain will darken the color.

GF DYE STAINS can be inter-mixed with regular GF water based stains or GF DYE STAIN REDUCER to create your own custom colors.

Light buffing of the stain is not recommended but optional due to the fact that dyes penetrate so deeply. Be careful not to buff through the stain, particularly on the edges. Use a super fine sanding pad or #320 or higher grit sandpaper.

TONING & SHADING Use GF DYE STAINS to add color to your clear finishes. Add 1-2 ounces GF DYE STAIN per quart of water based finish for toner. Spray or brush 1-2 coats of toner to build color. Finish with 1-2 coats of clear finish. Always test on sample piece to ensure color is correct.

Top Coats: All top coats (water based, shellac, lacquer, solvent based) are acceptable over GF DYE STAINS.

Dry Time: 2-4 hours under normal conditions (70 degrees F or 21° degrees C/70% humidity) 

Coverage: 75 sq. ft. per pint or 1.84 sq. m/liter
Size: Pint, Quart, Gallon 


General Finishes products should be tested to your complete satisfaction before using. General Finishes will not be responsible for any failure if our products are used in conjunction with other brands of finishes. We do not test General Finishes products with those of another manufacturer and will not accept liability if there is a compatibility issue.