Water-based dye stains have a lot going for them. Not only do they come in a range of colors, but they are transparent enough that they allow eye-catching figure to show through. But newcomers to these products may find them frustrating. If you apply these dyes the same way as pigment stains (wipe on, then wipe off) it's easy to end up with a streaky surface or uneven color. Here, finishing expert Jeff Jewitt explains the proper way to apply dye stains, from preparing the surface to applying a topcoat. Follow his methods and you will have success with dyes—the first time and every time.

From Fine Woodworking #201