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Color Tinting your Heritage Natural Oil Finishes

*We no longer pre-mix colors into our finishes! We'd like to empower you to mix your own or visit your local paint shop. However, we now carry and sell the Mixol Oxide pigments that we recommend, so you can get your oil and your pigments in the same place and you can add them at your own desired rate.

But yes, you can add stain and pigments to Heritage Natural Finishes as long as they are oil compatible. There are a couple of ways of doing this. You can get an oil-based stain you like and stain the wood first, let it dry and apply Heritage Oil over the top. Or you can go to the paint store and have them mix the desired oil-based stain you'd prefer (do test it out first to make sure you like it!) We've had some people mix other commercially available oil-based stains right into our finish, which does work well but you need to be aware that there will be driers added and so your work flow may need to speed up to avoid quick drying and a sticky mess.


The two color brands we're most familiar with are the ones we used to carry. We have in the past been offering two types of color options, aniline dyes by TransTint for interior use, and pigmented stains by Mixol (oxide pigments only) for exterior use. The ratio we use for both brands is 12 oz. per 1 gallon for the maximum color concentration. You would mix it down for a lighter color.

Here's how you can buy the same stuff and mix your own in detail:


TRANS TINT- aniline dyes:

Where to buy: Homestead Finishing Products. They are the manufacturers, so they offer all dyes in all sizes available, plus lots of other color options

What to do: If you want to add the color to oil finish you need to first mix the color into their "additive for oil mixing," which you can buy
here. The ratio we use is 1/3 color to 2/3 additive or 4 oz. color to 8 oz. additive per gallon. Shake extremely well then add to the Heritage Oil and continue to shake for several minutes. Now you're ready! We recommend two coats at least. This ratio is the maximum color intensity you can get per gallon. You can always use less color to suit. The Homestead website has lots of great 'how-to' information as well.

Options: You can skip the oil additive business and separate the dyeing with the finishing by simply applying the TransTint dye (without additive) directly to your wood, letting it dry and then adding the Heritage Oil Finish over the top.

More Hints:


DO NOT apply top coats of clear Original or Exterior Finish over tinted surfaces until the under coats with the color are dry. The solvent in those finishes can cut the color and create streaking if your not careful.

Also, aniline dyes DO NOT hold up in the rain, so be sure you have a roof on your house before staining your wood with aniline dyes.


MIXOL brand universal pigments: (We recommend the "Oxide" colors for Exterior Use!)

Where to buy: From us!

What to do: This is easy to mix. Simply add 12 oz. of pigment to 1 gallon of Heritage Finish and shake very well. This ratio is maximum intensity (unless you want paint!), so you can always use less to achieve your desired tone.

What's the difference between TransTint and Mixol?

TransTint is a dye, which differ from pigmented stains primarily in how they color the wood. Dye based stains are solutions with extremely small coloring particles. They penetrate deep into the wood and color the wood fibers from within, unlike pigmented stains which leave pigment particles on the surface of the wood. For that reason, dyes are transparent, meaning they let light into the wood and do not obscure natural wood figure and overall character. The Mixol colors are pigmented stains, which is why they offer more protection from the weather.

Coverage: Approx. 350 square feet per gallon or 500 board feet per gallon; rough-sawn materials tend to absorb more. You get less coverage on the first
coat and more on the second.