Mixing and Boxing Stains & Topcoats

"Stir well before use" This term, or its equivalent, appears on every container of stain and finish we sell. It is there for a good reason - most of our finishes are formulated with low viscosities making them easy to apply with an airless sprayer and go on in thin layers. Any pigments they contain are heavier than the liquids, so over time they may settle to the bottom of the pail.

If the container is not stirred thoroughly and the pigments are not uniformly distributed throughout the product, the color may change as the stain is applied. This situation is easy to avoid with proper mixing both before use and occasionally during use.

What is "Boxing"?

We recommend customers to “box” containers as they get close to empty. When a container of stain gets down to about 1/4 full, you should thoroughly mix up the next container you plan to use and pour about 1/4 of it into the previous container, mixing them together, and then use the mixed stain to continue. Although we take great strides to maintain consistency within and between manufactured lots, boxing containers ensures that there will be no noticeable color difference as you go from one container to the next.

mixing stains

What should you use to mix our products?

Just about any type of paint mixer that fits into a cordless drill will work. We prefer one called a Jiffy Mixer since it has a ring around the stirring blades that prevents chipping plastic buckets, and its design prevents air being forced into the product.

How Do I Know If The Stain Wasn't Mixed Properly?

Inadequate mixing is easy to tell: the color on a wall goes from light to dark as the stain gets closer to the bottom of the pail. Unfortunately, there is no fix other than stripping the finish off and starting over again. Proper mixing and boxing of finishes will avoid this issue.05 fredrickMD copy

Do I Need to Mix Clear Topcoats?

Since our Lifeline Advance™ Gloss and Satin and Acrylic Gloss and Satin topcoats are clear and colorless, some individuals think that they do not have to be mixed before application.These clear coats consist of several components that may stratify in the container over time. Even though you may not be able to see the different layers, they need to be mixed together for use.


In addition to manufacturing the best log home finishes you can buy, one of our commitments is to give you the information you need to do a truly professional job. Please, if you have any questions give us a call or chat with us online.


Last modified on Monday, 24 May 2021 22:48