Stupid question about wood stain (wood tint)

I bought some stain today and was trying it out on a piece of pine. I didn't thoroughly mix the can because I was in a hurry and just wanted to see what the color looked like, so I opened the can and wiped some on.
I let it sit for less than a minute and wiped it off. Needless to say it was MUCH lighter version than what was pictured on the can. But the thing is I really liked the effect of this vs. a rich stained color. It was more like tinting the wood instead of staining it (which serves to color the wood).
I tried a google search on wood tints, but only came up with wood stain. (How to tint wood didn't lend itself to anything either)
Is there a product out there that tints a wood instead of actually staining it?
And if not can I thin the water based stains with water in order to get the same effect (after they have been thoroughly mixed)?
It's rare that NOT doing things right let's you stumble on to something good. This is one of those occasions.
Thanks,
matt
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Some "stains" are actually dyes and stains. If you don't mix them the stain goes to the bottom and you only get the dye. Apparently you like it that way.
Dyes are available at woodworking shops.
If you hadn't referred to "water" later on I would have suggested that perhaps you liked the effect of the oil base. Oil will significantly change the appearance of some woods.
<Matt in Fenton> wrote in message

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A thought about thinning:
I'll try this tomorrow, but it might be possible to achieve the same effect that I'm looking for by simply wiping on and then immediately wiping off. Doing this after the can has been thoroughly mixed.
This may come down to a "timing" thing instead of buying a different product in order to achieve this different result.
Oh, I should add after rereading my initial message that it sounds as if I thought you can use stain immediately from the can, that isn't true, I usually stir with a paint stick.

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You can get a lighter color by not having much on the cloth and then removing it immediately, but it is darn hard to get a consistant color that way. Much better to buy the right color.
If it were an oil stain you could just dilute it with oil. I don't know about water based stains, as I have never used them.
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www.homesteadfinishing.com designed TransTint dyes that mix with a number of liquids, including water and water/X mix that let grain show. Widely popular!

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On Sun, 25 Mar 2007 22:28:23 -0500, Matt in Fenton wrote:

You can get a lighter stain using a gel stain and/or wood conditioner (on softwoods). Wiping off the stain quickly will also work.
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Slow down a little:
1) Mix the stain - a lot of the pigment sits on the bottom of the can.
2) Read the label and let the stain sit as long as it says. Less than a minute is barely a good start.
With that said, pine in known for blotching and some parts may not be taking the stain. Wipe you wood with mineral spirits or a pre-stain conditioner. Also, is you final project made from pine? If so, ok. If not, test with a piece of project wood.
Also, with some woods, wiping the product on with a well-soaked cloth is the best way to apply.
RonB
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Dyes are often used in finishing....
http://www.woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 3-924
Matt in Fenton wrote:

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Matt in Fenton wrote:

Use a dye. Woodcraft carries them if there's one nearby and they're available from many places online. I haven't used a stain since I discovered dyes.
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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<Matt in Fenton> wrote:

Sure, there are many different ways to tint, color, or stain wood. 2 main categories are pigment stains or dye stains. The pigment statins have finely ground solids that lodge in the pores or surface imperfections of the wood. Dye stains are actually absorbed into the wood fibers, usually giving a less pronounced contrast to the light and dark grain areas. Some stains use both pigments and dyes. Another difference is the type of vehicle or solvent used; Oil based, water, or alcohol. Pigment stains always need some type of binder, to keep the pigment in place. Minwax stains, for instance, use a drying oil in their common yellow can stains.
If you like the effect of the stain without shaking and mixing the pigment into it, it is very likely you can find a product that duplicates that effect, perhaps even exceeds it in appearance. If it is one of the bigger manufacturers, or even a small one, you could try calling, writing, or emailing them, they may be able to recommend another product that is designed for the effect you want. One that I like to use in the Minwax "Golden Pecan" shade of their regular oil-based "yellow can" product line. Unlike most of this line, it contains only dye, no pigment and just gives a slightly darker tint to most light woods with some enhancement of the grain pattern. Sometimes just an application of BLO or tung oil will do the same.
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