Water Based Wood Stains General Finishes

Water Based Wood Stains have all the advantages of oil based stains: they spread easily, can be repaired, blend effortlessly and have plenty of open time. The thicker formula allows controlled penetration, which will reduce blotching on softer woods such as Aspen, Pine and Maple.

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General Finishes Wood Stain is a rich water base stain for use on any bare wood or stripped surface to produce beautiful, clear wood tones, with great grain definition. 

USE: Interior Use Only

SANDING: Do not sand stains before applying topcoat. On bare wood sand to 150-180 grit. For more open grained woods sand to 220 grit. COATS: 1 coat of stain is recommended - no more than two. If you apply multiple coats, add 10-20% topcoat to the stain to lock the color down. The other option when applying 2-3 coats of stain is to apply one coat of shellac before applying top coat. Allow to dry overnight then apply High Performance.

RECOAT: 1-2 hours

CURE TIME: Cure time for  water based products is about 20days under ideal conditions (70° and 70% humidity). However, this may vary slightly with humidity & temperature. Good ventilation, air movement and higher temperatures will accelerate dry time. 

THINNING: Thin GF water based semi-gel stains with 10-15% extender or water at point of use only. Decant what you need into a separate container and use immediately. If thinned water based semi-gel stains are stored, they will separate and lose the semi-gel consistency. 

APPLICATION: Acrylic brush, foam brush, paint pad applicator, or spray on. Apply on and wipe off.

SPRAY: Tip Sizes Recommended: .043 - .051 tip and nozzle, No. 9 air cap.

SEALER: Can be used alone or use Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner 

CLEANUP: Soap and warm water

COVERAGE: 150 sq.ft/qt


CAN SIZES: Pint, Quart, Gallon

VOC: <100 g/l (.83 lb./gal) LOW VOC, LOW ODOR

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.


White Wash


Country Pine

Golden Oak

Antique Oak


Shaker Maple

Early American

Antique Cherry

Black Cherry



Brown Mahogany


Weathered Gray


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


Water Based Wood Stains Review 01/02/2011

5 years 38 weeks ago

When I saw "new & improved" on the water-based stains I was skeptical (figured you added more water like we did). Now my finish shop looks forward to using the product. Keep the improvements coming!
Rick Howenstine

John Loves GF Water Base Wood Stains

3 years 3 days ago

I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much I like your products, especially your water base stains. I'm a home owner and weekend project builder. I've been using your product for years and do like them very much. Over the years you have thickened your stain and this has made them even more easy to use and more forgiving. Thank-you for making an outstanding product. I love it even more that you are a local company.  John