Stain and Waterlox.

In today’s ever changing world, more and more products are available due to market forces and general reformulation. Therefore, we are not aware of every type of colorization process available.

Generally speaking, Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish can be used over any type of stain (e.g.: water-based, solvent-based, alcohol based dyes, fast-set types, etc.) provided it is completely DRY (follow manufacturer’s recommendations for dry time or wait 72 hours, whichever is longer) and DOES NOT contain any waxes or silicones. We also recommend that you steer away from any type of stain that forms a film over the wood (e.g. stains containing urethane or gel-type stains).

As an added convenience of skipping a time-consuming staining step, as well as tinting the color of the project, a solvent-based, high VOC (550 g/L or higher) stain can be added to the FIRST coat of Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish at NO MORE than a 4:1 ratio (maximum ratio: 1 quart of a high-VOC solvent-based stain to 1 gallon of Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish) on bare wood.

The aforementioned maximum ratio should not be disregarded as the mixture will take on the characteristics of the stain vs. the Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish.

Any time a project is going to be using a colorization process, special care and attention should be used to test the hypothesis in reality prior to using it on the project. In other words, test the stain coat and all the non-stain coats of the process to preview the final color effect with all coats involved prior to beginning the project.


  • If staining a wood project, do not skip any of the recommended coats of Waterlox as described in the Waterlox product application and project guides.
  • An unstained surface finished with Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes produces an old-fashioned, hand-rubbed natural looking finish. Our special formula based in Tung oil brings out the natural patina of wood. With some species of wood this will dramatically change the look and staining may not be necessary, we suggest testing an inconspicuous area of your project or a scrap piece of wood from your project first before assuming you will need a stain coat. Regardless if stain is used or not, you will want to test all coats of the finishing system before making your decision.
  • Keep in mind that not all pieces or boards of a single species of wood will stain the same; some will not match your sample board. Your stain/topcoat system may not transfer from one species of wood to another with the same effect.
  • If stain is desired, be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for cure time or wait 72 hours, whichever is longer, before applying coats of Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes. NEVER apply Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish over a stain coat that is not dry. Applying finish over top of it will only elongate the dry time because oxygen will not be able to get to the stain coat.
  • NEVER sand a surface that has been stained as this process will change the color.

Back to Listing

Looking for Help?

VOC vs Traditional

VOC Compliant vs. Traditional Formulations



Dry time of Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes.



Waterlox woodworking finishing guide.