• Hometalker
  • Lebanon, MO
Asked on May 15, 2017

Can wood stain be thinned down?

Diana DeileyBobbiePatricia


I want to stain a diy tv console stand to a specific light gray color, but the stains I've seen on the shelf at my local hardware store are too dark. Can I thin the stain down with alcohol or solvent to get a thinner, lighter color?
4 answers
  • Shoshana
    on May 16, 2017

    You can use a paint thinner to get a lighter color.
  • Patricia
    on May 16, 2017

    If you have left-over wood from the project, try a couple of different stains on it. After you apply the stain and wipe it back it might appear lighter than the color shown on the can.
  • Bobbie
    on May 16, 2017

    How dark it gets also depends on the type of wood you have and how long you leave it on before wiping it off. sometimes mixing two colors can get you the color you want.

  • Diana Deiley
    on May 18, 2017

    First question: is it oil based or water based stain? Read the can for recommendations regarding best results. I'd precondition the wood first to provide an even application of the stain. I sometimes apply stain with a bristle brush, sometimes a rag. Depending on the product you're using, the excess stain can be wiped off easily. Start with light coats first and build up coats to get the desired color. Remember that the color will change when dry and when you apply your sealant. Best of luck.
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