Enduro Ready to Match (RTM) Water Based Stain

General Finishes Ready To Match (RTM) Stain System is a water-based stain color-matching system designed to make your color-matching ability a breeze. This system consists of 10 standard stain bases and a clear that are intermixed to make 150 rich, deep wood stain colors.

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General Finishes Bordeaux Enduro Ready to Match (RTM) Water Based Stain, Gallon

Instructions

Step 1: Preparation of Raw Wood for Water Based Stain

Before applying stain, all raw wood projects require preparation sanding, and all existing finishes require prep cleaning and sanding. If you skip this critical step, your finish may fail.

Prep Sanding for Raw Wood Projects
See our video: How to Prep Sand Raw Wood

  1. Sand open-grain wood (e.g., oak, ash, mahogany, parawood) with 180-grit sandpaper followed by 220-grit sandpaper.
  2. Sand closed-grain wood (e.g., cherry, pine, maple, birch, alder) with 150-grit sandpaper followed by 180-grit sandpaper.
  3. Remove dust with a water-dampened rag or oil-free tack cloth.
  4. Do not over-sand with fine-grit sandpapers; this will close and seal the wood grain, preventing ideal color absorption.
  5. Do NOT use steel wool with water-based finishes; the particles will get trapped in the finish and rust.

Prep Sanding for Existing Finish

  1. Remove any existing finish by sanding with 120-grit-sandpaper & scuffing with a wire brush if needed. 
  2. Remove dust.

Reducing Grain Raise on Raw Wood
To reduce grain raise, dampen the wood with water after prep sanding. Let dry completely, then lightly sand with fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper.

Step 2: How To Apply General Finishes RTM Water Based Stain

General Finishes Ready to Match (RTM) Stain Application Steps 

  1. Stir stain to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can before and throughout the application process.
  2. If desired, thin stain with 10-15% distilled water or General Finishes Extender. Extender will improve flow and leveling and increase open time, which is helpful in dry climates.
  3. An initial coat of General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural can improve color uniformity over difficult-to-stain wood species such as pine. However, it will limit color absorption, so a darker stain may be required to get the depth of color you want.
  4. Test your complete finishing process before starting. The stain color is affected by variances in wood and deepened with the application of topcoat.
  5. Divide your project into manageable sections: top, side, drawer, door, table seam.
  6. Hand-Application over Raw Wood:
    • Apply a LIBERAL amount of stain to ensure easy workability using an acrylic bristle brush, foam brush, pad applicator or roller. If not enough stain is used, the surface may dry too quickly, causing an uneven appearance. On large projects, leave a wet edge between sections to prevent lap lines.
    • Stain a complete section and wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using quality paper towel or shop towel. Check for missed spots and lap marks before moving to the next section. Do NOT use cotton t-shirts to wipe away stain because they will "push" the stain around and not absorb it.
    • Immediately correct lap marks by rewetting the entire working area with stain and wiping off the excess.
    • Pull excess stain out of corners and details with a bristle brush.
    • Let the stain dry 2-4 hours in ideal conditions: 50-70% humidity, 70*F/20*C. Be sure to allow adequate dry time. If in doubt, wait longer. Increase dry time if: 
      • Humidity is over 80%
      • 3+ coats are applied (not recommended)
      • Thick coats are applied
      • Working over a previously existing finish
        • To accelerate dry time in humid conditions, add General Finishes Accelerator before applying and work in a space with good ventilation and air movement. If you decide to re-coat before the recommended time, test dryness. 
    • Optional: apply a second coat to deepen the color. Apply no more than 2 coats.
    • Finish with 3 coats of General Finishes topcoat.
  7. Spray Application over Raw Wood: 
    • Before spraying, strain topcoat through a fine-mesh filter. HVLP: 0.09mm-1.1mm spray tip, medium air cap. Verify tip sizes with your equipment supplier. See our general guide for spray tip sizes. Wear a full filter respirator (NIOSH/MSHA-approved) and work in a ventilated space. Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large, flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6-8" wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" wide to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass 25-50% for even coverage. Read here for more information on spraying techniques.
    • Spray a complete section and wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using quality paper towel or shop towel. Check for missed spots and lap marks before moving to the next section. Do NOT use cotton t-shirts to wipe away stain because they will "push" the stain around and not absorb it.
    • Immediately correct lap marks by rewetting the entire working area with stain and wiping off the excess.
    • Pull excess stain out of corners and details with a bristle brush.
    • Let the stain dry 2-4 hours in ideal conditions: 50-70% humidity, 70*F/20*C. Be sure to allow adequate dry time. If in doubt, wait longer. Increase dry time if: 
      • Humidity is over 80%
      • 3+ coats are applied (not recommended)
      • Thick coats are applied
      • Working over a previously existing finish
        • To accelerate dry time in humid conditions, add General Finishes Accelerator before applying and work in a space with good ventilation and air movement. If you decide to re-coat before the recommended time, test dryness. 
  8. Optional: apply a second coat to deepen the color. Apply no more than 2 coats.
  9. Finish with 3 coats of General Finishes topcoat.

Step 3: Topcoat Over Water Based Stain

Always seal General Finishes Water Based Wood StainGeneral Finishes Dye Stain and General Finishes Enduro Ready-To-Match (RTM) Water Based Wood Stain with 3 coats of topcoat. More coats will not improve durability.

Recommended Water-Based Topcoats
General Finishes High Performance can be applied by hand or sprayed; General Finishes Enduro Clear Poly is spray-only. Both topcoats dry clear and are great for high-use surfaces, such as kitchen cabinets and tabletops. General Finishes Flat Out Flat is our flattest topcoat, suitable for projects that do not receive major wear.

Recommended Oil-Based Topcoats
When sealing with General Finishes oil-based topcoats, General Finishes Arm-R-Seal and General Finishes Gel Topcoat, let water-based stain dry a minimum of 24 hours first. Oil-based topcoats amber increasingly over time.

Cleanup of Water Based Products

Application tools and materials containing water-based products can be cleaned with soap and water immediately after use.

Product Spills
Spills may be able to be removed from fabric and carpet if cleaned immediately with soap and water.

Storage of Water Based Products

Life of Product
Water-based products do not last forever, even when unopened. General Finishes products are best used within 1 year of the manufacture date listed on the bottom of the can. The life of the product may be extended with proper care and storage.

Settling
Gravity can cause some solids to settle on the bottom of the can and slight separation on the top. This is normal. If working with older paint, use paint mixing attachment on a drill. If the solids dissolve and clumps smooth out after mixing from the bottom, the product is in good condition for use.

Storage Tips
See video tutorial: Tips on Storing Leftover Finishes
Water-based finishes crystalize and form a skin due to evaporation when the air-tight seal on a can is broken at first use. The following best practices will increase the life of your product:

  1. Pry open sealed lids with a paint can opener by hooking under the lid's rolled edge. The use of a screwdriver can disfigure the rim and lid, impairing a complete seal. 
  2. Keep lid closed while working. Pour what you will use into a bowl, paper cup, or plate, and close can lid as you work.
  3. Clean the chime of the can thoroughly with a paper towel before closing to create a complete seal. Paint in the chime can be minimized by using a pouring lid, such as Fitsall. Avoid wiping used brushes on the lid.
  4. Pound the lid in place using a rubber mallet to avoid distorting the chime or lid. Dents in the lid from direct contact with a hammer can impair a complete seal. Alternatively, place a flat piece of wood over can lid and firmly pound shut.
  5. Store in moderate temperatures. Avoid temperatures below 50*F/10*C or above 80*F/26*C. Frozen and heat-damaged product cannot be revitalized. Temperature-controlled spaces, such as a basement, are ideal for storage. Do not store product in an attic, garage, in direct sunlight, or next to something warm like a water heater or furnace.
  6. Store can upside down to create a liquid seal, minimize evaporation and reduce the chance of crystallization. Decant remaining product from the can before stirring. 
  7. Decant leftovers to a smaller container when the finish is almost used up. Alternative storage containers for water-based products are plastic FIFO bottles or glass bottles. Do not fill metal-lidded containers completely to prevent them from rusting.

The following water-based product mixtures can be stored:

  1. Product thinned with up to 15% General Finishes Extender or General Finishes Accelerator can be stored, with the exception of thinned General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain.
  2. Mixtures involving colors & sheens within the same product line, such as:
    • High Performance Satin + High Performance Gloss
    • Snow White Milk Paint + Coastal Blue Milk Paint
    • Amber Dye Stain + Merlot Dye Stain

The following product mixtures should NOT be stored:

  • Any water based product with thinned tap water; water often contains bacteria that will adversely affect stored paint.
  • Topcoat + Stain or Paint
  • Milk Paint + Chalk Style Paint
  • Water Based Wood Stain + Dye Stain

Warnings and Warranties

Limited Warranty
General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using, including compatibility with other manufacturers products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products and will not be responsible for any costs such as labor, damage, or replacement costs.

Contamination and Compatibility
Our finishes are engineered as a system and are compatible with each other. General Finishes cannot guarantee an ideal refinish when applying our products on top of or combined with another company's products or over surfaces that have been in contact with waxes, polishes or sprays containing contaminants such as silicone. Test for adherence and aesthetics before beginning. 

Danger: Contents are COMBUSTIBLE. Keep away from heat and open flame. Application materials or other waste soaked with this product may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately after use, place rags, steel wool or waste in a sealed, water-filled, metal container. Dispose of in accordance with local fire regulations.

CAUTION: Contains ALIPHATIC HYDROCARBONS. VAPOR HARMFUL. Use only with adequate ventilation. DELAYED EFFECTS FROM LONG-TERM OVEREXPOSURE. Contains solvents which can cause permanent brain and nervous system damage. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating & inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal.

Warning
If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log onto www.epa.gov/lead.

Do not swallow; first aid: drink water to dilute product. May cause eye and skin irritation; first aid: flush eyes thoroughly with water.

FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water for 15 minutes and get medical attention. For skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water. In case of respiratory difficulty, provide fresh air and call physician. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Get medical attention immediately. 

Warning
This product contains a chemical known to the State Of California to cause cancer and birth defects. Do not swallow; first aid: drink water to dilute product. May cause eye or skin irritation; first aid: flush eyes thoroughly with water.

Specifications

Basic Features
Product Colors 10 Stain Concentrates, unlimited color matching capabilities - Stain concentrates: Tint White, Raw Sienna, Golden Brown, Red, Trans Red Oxide, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Tavern Brown, Bordeaux, Tint Black
Base Type Water
Ambering No
Interior or Exterior Interior only
Type Enduro Stain Concentrate
Application
Coats 1+ coats
Application Method Brush, Spray
Brushable Yes
Usable over existing finishes No
Sprayable Yes
Spray Tip Sizes HVLP 0.09mm-0.11mm
Dry Time
Dry Time - Touch 30+ min.
Dry Time - Recoat 2+ hr
Contents
Can Sizes Quarts, Gallons, 5 Gallon pails, 55 Gallon drums
Coverage 150 sq. ft/quart, 600 sq. ft/gal
Technical Data
Viscosity Thin
Weight Solids 15%
VOC <250 g/L

Colors

Enduro RTM Colors | Water Based | Tint Base & Stains Shown On Oak

  • General Finishes Ready to Match Stain Color Chip

FAQs

RTM Water Based Stain FAQs

Can General Finishes Water Based Top Coats Be Tinted?

All of General Finishes water based topcoats can be tinted to create lightly colored finishes for toning. Toning is the process of adding colorant, either dye or pigment into a top coat and then applying over an entire piece in order to subtly deepen the color.

Some tinting recommendations are:

  • Do not exceed 13 ounces per gallon. Excess amounts of colorant can create surface defects and decrease the viscosity (causing drips, sag, etc.).
  • Tinting a product black only requires about 6 to 8 ounces (based on strength of colorant).
  • Check for colorant compatibly (best to use a zero VOC colorant).
  • Tint off whites with white bases.
  • Enduro-Var top coat cannot be tinted white.
  • GF top coats can also be tinted with General Finishes Dye Stains or Trans Tint Dyes available at many woodworking and paint stores. This produces a transparent tinted finish. Normal addition is usually 2-5% by volume.

GF does not manufacturer colorants. Here are a few sources:

  • Mixol available at Woodcraft
  • Gennex by Benjamin Moore
  • Colortrend 896 or 888, 878

Relevant Videos

Can General Finishes Water Based Top Coats Be Tinted?

All of General Finishes water based topcoats can be tinted to create lightly colored finishes for toning. Toning is the process of adding colorant, either dye or pigment into a top coat and then applying over an entire piece in order to subtly deepen the color.

Some tinting recommendations are:

  • Do not exceed 13 ounces per gallon. Excess amounts of colorant can create surface defects and decrease the viscosity (causing drips, sag, etc.).
  • Tinting a product black only requires about 6 to 8 ounces (based on strength of colorant).
  • Check for colorant compatibly (best to use a zero VOC colorant).
  • Tint off whites with white bases.
  • Enduro-Var top coat cannot be tinted white.
  • GF top coats can also be tinted with General Finishes Dye Stains or Trans Tint Dyes available at many woodworking and paint stores. This produces a transparent tinted finish. Normal addition is usually 2-5% by volume.

GF does not manufacturer colorants. Here are a few sources:

  • Mixol available at Woodcraft
  • Gennex by Benjamin Moore
  • Colortrend 896 or 888, 878

Relevant Videos

Why isn't RTM stain adhering to the wood grain of my oak project?

This problem could be caused by the surface tension of oak. Surface tension, sometimes created by sanding, can cause stain to not adhere in the grain of the wood. 

You have a few options: 

1. Lightly hand apply a first coat then spray (without wiping) a second coat. 

2. Hand apply stain to the wood on the first coat. Then tone the piece by applying a mix of 10-15% stain with topcoat.

 

Relevant Videos