Dye vs Pigment Stains. What’s the Difference?

Jul 6, 2023 | News

Mirotone’s range of dye and pigment stains are ideal for many internal uses including domestic furniture, internal doors, children’s toys and commercial furniture. The purpose of a stain is to enhance or change the colour of timber substrates. Pigment stains and dye stains will look and behave differently when applied to timber. So what are the key differences you will need to know before you choose a stain.

Dye Stains

Dye stains consist of microscopic particles that penetrate into the cell structure of the timber. Dye stains will magnify the grain of the timber. So what can you expect when using a dye stain?

  • Best used to create group colour strength and better suited to shading and toning.
  • Transparent finish. Allows the timber grain to show through – even at high concentrations.
  • Low to moderate fade resistance when exposed to light for long periods of time.

Pigment stains

Pigment stains are much larger in structure and hold the pigment onto the timber. Coloured pigments stick into the grain and pores of the wood surface. So what can you expect to see when you using a pigment stain?

  • Best used to create colour depth (denser and more dynamic colour).
  • Better suited for adjusting / hiding wood grain effects / imperfections.
  • Pigment stains are much more resistant to UV exposure.

Now that you know what the differences between dye and pigments stains are. Lets dig a little bit deeper and talk about water based and solvent based options.

Solvent based stains will provide deeper and richer colours, while water based stains are soft and subtle and will offer little brightness in colour. It is important to mention that solvent based stains are combustible. Water based stains are much more environmentally friendly. Solvent based stains will conceal imperfections better than water based stains. Learn more about our solvent based range.

MIROSTAIN 2010 Dye Stain – Medium to Fast Dry (Solvent Based)

MIROSTAIN 2013 Dye Stain – Slow Dry (Solvent Based)

MIROSTAIN 2616 Pigment Stain – Medium to Slow Dry (Solvent Based)

When using a pigment or dye stain in a solvent option, applicators will need to take adequate precautionary steps to limit chances of the flammability of rags and excess stain. This stain combination will require the applicator to have previous knowledge and experience due to the combustible nature of solvents and rags.

Water based stains are much more environmentally friendly and are better suited for D.I.Y applicators due to ease of use and water wash / clean up. Learn more about our water based range.

MIROSTAIN 2101 Dye Stain – Fast Drying (Water Based)

Mirotone’s range of wood stains are easy to use and available in a large range of Colours. From slow drying options through to fast drying stains, Mirotone has the right system to meet your requirements. Take a look at our complete MIROSTAIN Wood Stain range. Need to know more? Contact Us for further information.