Question:

How do I apply Stains?

Woodgrain finish with stains

A special effect of woodgrain can be accomplished easily. Simply cover the entire piece with your choice of colour and wipe piece down with a wrinkled piece of newspaper. Be sure to do your wiping in one direction. The newspaper will absorb some colour leaviing woodgrain streaks where the colour remains.

storing ware for staining

If you cannot stain your bisque piece immediately after firing, store it in a plastic bag so that household dust and greases do not contaminate the surface.

Stains outdoors

Stains may be used on pieces that are going to be used outdoors. When finished, they should be sprayed with several coats of fixative to prevent moisture from penetrating. It is a good idea to have the inside glazed.

Lace and stains

You may not know it but you can accomplish a variety of techniques in the lace draping field by using opaque stains mixed with white glue. Simply mix the two together, soak lace in the mixture and add to an already stained piece, such as a doll for decoration the lace will dry hard and you will have the colour you want

When to use stains

Stains are used only on bisque ware.

Water or oil base stains

Most translucent stains used are oil base colours but some manufacturers do produce waterbase translucents so be sure to check the labels to find out which you have

Translucent stains

Translucent stains, as the name implies, will allow the colour underneath to be seen.

Keeping Stains

When you open a jar of stain be sure to clean the inside of the lid as soon as possible. If necessary let the lid soak to remove excess colour. Once a dirty lid is replaced on a jar and the colour dries, it is a real chore to remove again.

Stain safety

Remember that pieces decorated with stains are not safe for food, nor are they dishwasher safe.

Dried stain will not liqify again.

Dried stain will not liqify again.

translucent stains

Since translucent stains are used to accent your already applied opaques, you will usually apply colour over a surface that has some protective coating to make the wiping back process easier

Opaque stains are waterbase

Opaque stains are waterbase colours and should be thinned with water. All materials used in the application, etc., should be cleaned with water.

Mixing colours

Since the concentrated colour pigment in translucent stains has a habit of settling to the bottom of the jar it is important to always mix colours thoroughly. This may necessitate shaking as well as stirring.

Stains on clothes.

Stains are murder on clothes so if you get some on you when painting, be sure to remove as soon as possible so that they will not set in the fabric.

Removing stains from brushes

If you are having trouble removing translucent stains from your brushes, try using ordinary lemon oil furniture polish. Slightly dip brush and wipe out well. Oil will help condition the brush. Since transulcents are oil based, you only use this brush for oil base colours.

Spatter on colours

For an unusual decorating technique, you can spatter on colours by loading a brush with colour, bending back the bristles and letting the paint fly. Also called flecking, the size of the drops you get is determined by how heavily you load your brush.

Removing stains

If you have a finish done in stains that you do not like you can remove it from your piece of bisque by refiring the piece. The stain will normally burn away although the piece may not be completely white. Just apply new stain coverage.

Drying time

The drying time for translucent stains is longer than that for opaque stains.

Translucent stains

Translucent stains are primarily used to accent the detail of a piece and may be either water or oil base.
Translucent stains can be used for a rouging technique when only a small bit of colour is added to certain areas with a soft rag wrapped around your finger.
Stains can be used directly on bisque rather than over sealed opaque stains, but they do soak in rapidly and are very hard to control. Translucent colours are very difficult if not impossible to remove from clothing.

Sealing stain work

Sealing stain work allows you to use a damp rag for dusting and cleaning without damaging your piece.
Sealers for stains are available in matte, semi-gloss or gloss finish and come in either spray-can or in brush-on form.

Mixing stains

One of the basics to remember is that opaque stains may be mixed together and that translucent stains may be mixed together. You cannot however mix translucent and opaque stains.

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