Oil Based Pigmented Stains - Minwax vs. Olympic

Those who use the ubiquitous Minwax oil-based pigmented stains might find this an interesting observation. Like most beginning woodworkers, I used Minwax stains because they were easily available. But I was never very happy with the end results - the horrible end grain absorbtion characteristics, the heavy deposits of pigment in open wood pores, and the inconsistent coloration. And that smell...
I had to throw a quick finish on a poplar piece yesterday, and after testing numerous variations of color and mixtures of Minwax on test scraps, decided it was time for something new. I tried a new (to me) product manufactured by Olympic. I used Early American Olympic oil-based stain on a poplar piece, and am quite pleased with the results. The formula is low odor, easy to apply, has plenty of forgiveness in application timing, doesn't muddy end-grain severely, and cleans up easily. It is probably the best looking non-natural finish I have seen on pine and poplar that wasn't dye based. I don't know the particulars of the stain's chemistry, nor it's long term resistance to UV fading, but being a pigmented stain, it has to be better than dye.
This is my experience, your's could vary. I am not connected with Olympic in any way, just passing along my hands-on experience for your consideration.
Greg G.
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On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 12:58:31 -0500, Greg G. wrote:

As far as stains typically available at BORGS and paint stores, I'm with 100%. I've also had good results with Olympic products.
Barry
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