B A C K

Wood Stains Can Satisfy a Broad Range of Color Choices

The natural beauty of wood, in addition to its abundance and workability, has made it a popular choice of material for construction when appearance is important. Unfortunately, if left unprotected from the elements, most species of wood will readily discolor or degrade, not only from moisture and fungi, but also from UV radiation.

Quality wood stains help fulfill both the aesthetic and protective function. Pigments play a key role in both, with a variety of pigment types including various primary pigments to create color as well as to enhance opacity. The most commonly used primary pigments include transparent iron oxides, opaque iron oxides, organic pigments, and dyes.

Transparent iron oxides are multi-functional, nontoxic pigments that combine a range of color shades with excellent UV absorption, transparency and weathering stability. Blending transparent iron oxide pigments with other pigments can produce a range of standard wood shades. Organic pigments can produce brilliant reds, yellows and oranges. Phthalocayanines can provide bright blues and greens that will hold tint strength better than other organic pigments.

Stains may also contain secondary pigments commonly referred to as “extenders.” These secondary pigments may not contribute color and opacity but can be vital for reductions in cost, sheen control, and rheology stability. The more common secondary pigments include silicates, Calcium carbonates, and Barium sulphates.

Organic pigments are often very expensive as they are commonly synthetically made from petroleum distillates. Transparent iron oxides will require a narrow particle size distribution that involves a more difficult manufacturing process. Inorganic oxides are cheaper because they can be found naturally in the ground or by simple oxidation reactions.

The color flexibility and affordability of stains creates a great business opportunity for wood products manufacturers. First, offering pre-stained wood products creates added value for their products and the potential for higher profit margins. Also, each of their clients can be given their own color for the products they sell, making their color choice a “brand” distinguisher.

Eco stain typically works with clients to determine a stain formula, color and the optimum application process. Contact us at 800- 677-7930 or info@ecochemical.com for more information on this opportunity.