Wood Coating Systems

Professionals Wood Stain

What’s Wood Stain?

A wood stain consists of a colorant suspended or dissolved in an agent or solvent. The suspension agent can be water, alcohol, petroleum distillate, or the actual finishing agent (shellac, lacquer, varnish, polyurethane, etc.). Colored or ‘stained’ finishes, like polyurethane, do not penetrate the pores of the wood to any significant degree and will disappear when the finish itself deteriorates or is removed intentionally.
Pigments and dyes are largely used as colorants. The difference between the two is in the size of the particles. Dyes are microscopic crystals that dissolve in the vehicle and pigments are suspended in the vehicle and are much larger. Dyes will color very fine grained wood, like cherry or maple, which pigments will not. Those fine-grained woods have pores too small for pigments to attach themselves to. Pigments contain a binder to help attach themselves to the wood.
The type of stain will either accentuate or obscure the wood grain. Most commercial stains contain both dye and pigment and the degree to which they stain the appropriate wood is mostly dependent on the length of time they are left on the wood. Pigments, regardless of the suspension agent, will not give much color to very dense woods but will deeply color woods with large pores (e.g. pine). Dyes are translucent and pigments are opaque.
Gel stains are more akin to paint and have little penetrating ability.
Stain is composed of the same three primary ingredients as paint (pigment, solvent, and binder) but is predominantly pigment (or dye) and solvent with little binder. Much like the dyeing or staining of fabric, wood stain is designed to add color to the substrate of wood and other materials while leaving the substrate mostly visible. Transparent varnishes or surface films are applied afterwards. In principle, stains do not provide a surface coating or film. However, because the binders are from the same class of film-forming binders that are used in paints and varnishes, some build-up of film occurs.
Comparison with paint and varnish
The initial application of any paint or varnish is similarly absorbed into the substrate, but because stains contain lower amounts of binder, the binder from a stain resides mainly below the surface while the pigment remains near the top or at the surface. Stains that employ metallic pigments such as iron oxides usually are more opaque; first because metallic pigments are opaque by nature, but also because the particles of which they consist are much larger than organic pigments and therefore do not penetrate as well. Most wood stains for interior uses (e.g. floors and furniture) require further application of varnish or finish for protection and gloss. Stains are differentiated from varnishes in that the latter has no added colour or pigment and is designed to form a surface film. Some products are marketed as a combination of stain and varnish.
Siding Stain
Siding stain is one variety of wood stain with very high viscosity (others can be quite thin). Effectively, siding stains are paints that do not cover as well and do not form a hard film. They are designed to penetrate better and contain binders that are softer and more flexible, allowing them to last longer than harder, more brittle paints. Siding stain protects against solar radiation especially UV radiation, water, fungus including mildew, and insects. Different siding stains are distinguished by the appearance they impart to wood. Certain solvent-based or oil-based siding stains contain small amounts of paraffin wax, which cannot be painted over, although re-staining is still possible.
Applying stains can be very easy or very difficult depending on the type of substrate, type of stain, and the ambient conditions. Fresh, “green” lumber accepts stain poorly, while aged wood absorbs stains relatively well. Porosity of wood can vary greatly, even within the same piece of wood. End grain and bias-cut grain are far more absorbent, thus will accept more pigment and will darken considerably in those areas. The hard ring may absorb differently from the soft ring. The characteristic medullary rays in oak will absorb much less and remain mostly blonde. Woods that have been heavily subjected to paint strippers or washed down with detergents or solvents will have an increased open grain and accept substantially more stain than normal. Woods from different species of trees can have huge variations in how well they take stain. Different wood species stain differently—the overall color and shade is a result of a combination of the stain and properties of the wood. For example, although medium-to-dark stains tend to look blotchy on maple, they get deeper and more glowing on cherry, with a more consistent coloration.[2] Stains that are fast drying will be difficult to apply in hot weather or in direct sunlight. Stains that are slow-drying will be difficult to work with in damp and cold conditions due to a greatly lengthened evaporation and curing period. New lumber, such as pine, can have waxlike sealants put on at the mill that will prevent proper staining; stripping or sanding the surface may be required. White stains composed of metal oxides, namely titanium dioxide and zinc oxide do not penetrate well and remain on the surface. In such cases, wear easily reveals unstained wood. They are also fairly opaque.
Typically, a thorough final sanding of the wood with one suitable grit will “even out” the absorption of the stain. White stain on a bare softwood or oak floor might require a final ‘prep’ sanding by hand with an orbital/vibrating sander with 80 or 100 grit, whereas certain hardwoods might be orbitally or hand sanded with 220 grit and higher for a darkish organic stain on furniture. Though it is not as durable, “garnet” is by far the preferred sandpaper for hand-sanding bare wood; first because it is a sharper and faster cutting grit, and second because it does not impart color from the grit, as aluminum oxide or silicon carbide can do. Other methods include “rubbing” with rottenstone etc.
In certain cases you need to clean the wood or remove existing stains prior to staining the wood with a commercial stain in order to avoid damaging the wood. This can be the case for both unfinished and finished wood.
Cleaning stained wood
There are special consideration when cleaning stained wood. One of the most common stains is water stains on stained wood. Techniques to remove the water stains have been documented that use a hot iron to remove the water stain.
Special caution should be used when trying to remove stains from a stained wood to avoid damaging the original stain. This is especially important with antiques.


SAICOS COLOUR GmbH was founded in 2002 in the heart of Westphalia, at Sassenberg in Germany. This young company was established by professionals with many years experience and highly regarded in the timber and professional wood treatment business.
Tradition values, innovation and flexibility are the cornerstone of our successful and rapidly expanding company.
Our customer base include companies from the industrial, timber and wood finishing sectors as well as the wood processing and tradesmen. Amongst our customers we have Internationally well-known companies – in over 40 countries around the world. – All our customers desire the highest quality products and have found them with SAICOS.
SAICOS was founded by chemists and engineers with rich experience in the development and application of industrial coating systems from previous employment. They have devoted themselves to enhancing the beauty, protecting and preserving wood and wood materials. While always being careful to consider manufacture and product’s usage on the environment.
For that reason, all our products are eco-friendly, safe for humans and pets while offereing a simple and economic solution.
It is those seemingly small things that SAICOS cares about because we know how important they can be in achieving the customer’s objectives.

  • We are constantly reviewing our products and services and continue to inspect the quality of our raw materials so that our customers can rely on good, long-lasting and durable products. We strive to make our products easy to use and provide suitable maintenance products that will ensure the final results are top quality
  • SAICOS also offers specialist cleaning and care products for indoor and outdoor use which can make maintenance effortless with excellent results. Supplying our high class products helps you provide an excellent service for your customers whether they are commercial, tradesmen or private customers.
  • Our efforts are focussed on ensuring Ecological and environmental compatibility products that deliver an excellent price-performance ratio.
  • Our products for sheds, log cabins and garden furniture as well as wood both interior and exterior will keep them looking good longer and with the protection and durability will help to increase the use and add value to respective owners.

Our vision lives for today and tomorrow. The key is to offer our customers quality products of great value along with competent service. The partnership should help save your money and effort and increase your success.
Quality is in demand everywhere!
Wood is an excellent material with many advantages: It is natural, beautiful and can be used in many different ways.
We at SAICOS develop, research and produce using all our technical and practical know-how in order to protect, beautify and improve wood to be as durable and ecologically sound as possible.
Our innovative product line includes finishes, coating systems and processing equipment for all types of wood, wood materials and types of applications and is based on natural vegetable oils and waxes.
SAICOS products are used by demanding tradespeople and end consumers as well as well-known industrial companies in Germany and abroad. Our products are available only through our retail partners.
We are never satisfied with our achievements, but always strive to improve our products to achive the highest quality and ensure proper environmental compatibility and efficient processing.
The latest scientific findings and procedural innovations are used into our finishes and coatings for indoor and outdoor use.
In our in-house laboratories, experienced chemists and application engineers research and develop products with exceptional productivity and excellent application properties using the finest raw materials based on natural oils and waxes such as safflower oil and carnauba wax.
Unbeatable services.
SAICOS is a modern, owner-run, company that embraces innnovation, flexibility and retains the values that make us so dynamic.
Our produts are made to exacting German Standards and all our products adher to strict compliance to these standards
Compliance and certification to DIN standards confirm the safety of our products for humans, animals and plants (after the finish has dried), and underlines the suitability of our products for use indoors and children’s toys.
Our dedication to offer our customers premium products of premium quality is backed up with a special emphasis on developing long-term, and trusting relationships with our partners and this ehtos is what drives our Service Centre.
We have excellent teaching facilities available to pass on valuable product and processing knowledge for practical use and detailed informational relating to our products.
Deliveries of our “standard products” are just as important to us as the implementation of complex development tasks. In all cases, you can count on us to always deliver the best. That is the SAICOS promise.

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