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How to make NGR stain

The N.G.R stain (non grain raising stain).

The N.G.R. stain (non grain raising stain) is already widely known and used in wood finishing industry. This stain is easy to be used and handled with satisfactory results in the wood finishing industry. The N.G.R. stain is also relatively easy to be mixed and self-made by the finishing peoples. The N.G.R. stain is made from organic pigment that is very easily to be dissolved and mixed perfectly without any binder as the inorganic pigment stain. The N.G.R. stain is actually quite easy to be bought and obtained from the suppliers of finishing material.  Many finishing material provide the N.G..R stains with quite complete color catalog. If we purchase the N.G.R. stain in a large and continuous quantity, some suppliers are willing to mixing the stain with the special color according the color finish we need.
However, many finishing peoples often choose to mix and make the stain themselves. We, as finishing peoples of course cannot mixing the stain as in the finishing materials manufacturer which has more sophisticated equipment, but as the user we can mix the stain according to our need. We can make the stain in proper amount and do some adjustment according to the application condition.  
Here is the process of making the N.G.R. stain.
  •  The materials required.
The main materials that are needed to make this stain are: organic pigment as the color-forming and alcohol as the thinner. The common organic pigment used in the wood finishing is the dye; it is available in the powder form or in the concentrated liquid form in many colors. To make the N.G.R. stain in a certain color, we need the organic pigment in the primer color: red, yellow, black and blue. They can be mixed to form the desired N.G.R. stain with any color. The N.G.R. stain can also be made from an existing N.G.R. stain added with the organic pigment and alcohol to meet the color required. The N.G.R. stain is also can be obtained by mix some N.G.R. stain with different color.
Meanwhile the main thinner used to make the N.G.R. stain is alcohol. The mostly used is the denatured alcohol since it quite inexpensive and easy to be obtained.  We may add some solvent to adjust the stain properties. For example, ethyl glycol can be added to the mix to make the stain becomes longer dry so can be more wetting the wood stain.
  • The tools required.
We don’t need the advanced equipment to make this stain. The equipment we need are: bucket pail or drum as a place to mixing the materials, measuring cups or scales as a tool to measure the materials, pour down cards, tiles or wood piece for checking color, and the standard stain color we need .

  •  Mixing the stain.
Fill the bucket with the thinner according to the amount we need. Don’t fill to bucket too full; there will be additional volume along with the addition of pigment stain in the mixture.
Pigment in the liquid form is easier to be mixed than the pigment in powder form, since that solve the pigment powder in the thinner to form a concentrated liquid pigment. Mixed all the powder in the thinner in a certain ratio then placed in a measuring glass. 

Then fill the pigment concentrate on the thinner one by one and little by little to obtain the required stain color. Agitate the mixture when we do mixing. We need to check the color every time we add some more pigment or thinner. To check the color stain we need a standard stain color. Pour down the stain we make and the stain standard side by side on tile, card or a piece of wood and viewed. (See our previous article: How to check the stain color). 
Usually we need several time of pigment and thinner addition to find the right stain color. We can use the color triangle diagram or color wheel diagram as a tool to mixing the color. 
Sometime the dye powder leaves some solid particles or even little slurry in the mix. If it is happened then we need to filter the mixture to obtain a clean and mixed well stain. 
Here are the things that need to be considered in making N.G.R. stain.

  •  Make sure the materials are well mixed for each other.
To obtain a good stain we need to ensure that all ingredients are perfectly mixed. Although the organic pigment are mostly compatible each other but the use of materials from the same supplier is more advisable because it will reduce the risk of incompatibility material. Do some mixing trial in small amount to make sure that the material used are compatible.

  •  Always do a test first before doing the mixing in large numbers.
Mixing the stain is sometimes also produce an unexpected result. Since that before making the stain in a large amount, we should do mixing in small amounts and doing the formulation. The formula is a helpful guide to make the stain in large quantities. We also may do some test application on a piece of wood to see the result.

  •  Make recording about what we have done.  
Every time a stain is created and used then there is always a possibility if we need the same stain in the future. For those reasons, we better to always make a record when we finish in making the stain. We also need to keep the sample of the stain as a standard. A recording of the formulation of the mixture and the stain sample are helpful tool to make the same stain in the future.

1 comment for "How to make NGR stain"

  1. This is the perfect blog, I think, This stain is easy to be used and handled with satisfactory results in the wood finishing industry. The main materials that are needed to make this stain are: organic pigment as the color-forming and alcohol as the thinner.
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