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Water Based Dye Stain Reducer

Dye Stain Reducer is the clear base we use when manufacturing General Finishes Dye Stain and can be used to make custom Dye Stain colors and for toning.

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General Finishes Dye Stain Reducer, Quart


How To Use General Finishes Dye Stain Reducer

General Finishes Dye Stain Reducer is the clear base we add dye to when manufacturing our Dye Stains.

Creating A Custom Color
Add 10% increments of Dye Stain Reducer to General Finishes Dye Stain Reducer or General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain until you achieve your desired color. Any percentage of stain or reducer can be added.


  • Dye Stain Reducer will lighten the color and thin the viscosity of stain.
  • Dye Stain Reducer will cause Water Based Wood Stain to penetrate deeper into the wood.

Using Dye Stain as a Pre-Stain Conditioner
Control even penetration of Dye Stain by applying a coat of Dye Stain Reducer over raw wood before using Dye Stain.

Mixing Dye Stain Reducer with Another Manufacturers' Dyes
You can successfully mix other manufacturers' dyes, such as TransTint dye concentrate, sold in many woodworking stores.

Always test your entire procedure, preparation through to topcoat, for adhesion and aesthetics on a hidden area of your project before mixing or layering products made by different manufacturers.

Dry Time
Dry 2+ hours between coats & before GF water-based stain or topcoat in ideal conditions: 70°F/20°C; 50-70% humidity. Cooler temperatures & higher humidity may prolong dry time. Dry 24+ hours before applying GF oil-based products.

Do NOT Use Water to Lighten General Finishes Dye Stains. 
Dye Stain Reducer has ingredients that help keep color molecules dispersed evenly in the can. 

Warning: Do not use water-based products with Linseed Oils or Danish Oils.

Cleanup of Water Based Products

Application tools and materials containing water-based products can be cleaned with soap and water or General Finishes Brush & Gun Cleaner 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 Dye Stain Reducer

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.

Storage Tips
See our video: 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 100°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:

  • Dye Stain Reducer + Dye Stain
  • Dye Stain Reducer + Water Based Wood Stain

The following product mixtures should NOT be stored: 

  • Dye Stain + Water Based Wood Stain + Dye Stain Reducer

Test storage effectiveness first:

  • Dye Stain Reducer + Another Manufacturer's Dye

Warnings and Warranties

Dye Stain Reducer Warnings and Warranties

Do not use water-based products with Linseed Oils or Danish Oils.

Limited Warranty
General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using. General Finishes will not be responsible for color satisfaction, misapplication, nor compatibility with other manufacturer's products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products, and not for costs such as labor, damage or project replacement.

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.

FIRST AID: Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms occur due to the following. EYE CONTACT: Remove any contact lenses. Flush eyes with water for 20+ minutes while lifting upper and lower eyelids. SKIN CONTACT: Wash thoroughly after handling. INHALATION: Move to fresh air and loosen clothing. If not breathing, if breathing is irregular or if respiratory arrest occurs, provide artificial respiration or oxygen by trained personnel. INGESTION: Call physician immediately. Wash out mouth with water. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

Prop 65 WARNING: No chemicals were found in this product which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

WARNING: Keep out of reach of children. Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Wash thoroughly after handling.


Basic Features
Product Colors Clear
Base Type Water
Ambering No
Interior or Exterior Interior only
Type Water Based Stain
Coats 1+ coats
Application Method Brush, Spray
Brushable Yes
Usable over existing finishes No
Sprayable Yes
Spray Tip Sizes HVLP 1.1mm-1.3mm
Topcoat Required Yes
Dry Time
Dry Time - Touch 30+ min.
Dry Time - Recoat 2+ hr
Can Sizes Pints, Quarts, Gallons
Coverage 60-80 sq.ft./pint, 120-160 sq.ft./quart, 480-640 sq.ft./gallon
Technical Data
Viscosity Very Thin
Weight Solids 11%
447.562 mg/L