ColorTone Liquid Stains

  • 145 Reviews
  • Write a review

Spectacular sunbursts, vintage tints and head-turning modern colors: ColorTone concentrated stains mix with virtually any finish, and are formulated specifically for luthiers.

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ColorTone Liquid Stains Red mahogany

Red mahogany

Item # 5032
In stock, ready to ship!


ColorTone Liquid Stains Medium brown

Medium brown

Item # 5033
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ColorTone Liquid Stains Tobacco brown

Tobacco brown

Item # 5034
In stock, ready to ship!


ColorTone Liquid Stains Lemon yellow

Lemon yellow

Item # 5037
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ColorTone Liquid Stains Cherry red

Cherry red

Item # 5038
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ColorTone Liquid Stains Blue


Item # 5039
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ColorTone Liquid Stains Black


Item # 5040
In stock, ready to ship!


ColorTone Liquid Stains Bright green

Bright green

Item # 5041
In stock, ready to ship!


ColorTone Liquid Stains Orange


Item # 5042
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ColorTone Liquid Stains Vintage amber

Vintage amber

Item # 5030
In stock, ready to ship!


ColorTone Liquid Stains, Set of all 10 colors

ColorTone Liquid Stains, Set of all 10 colors

Item # 5029
In stock, ready to ship!

$206.90 $196.55

Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


Spectacular sunbursts, vintage tints and head-turning modern colors: ColorTone concentrated stains mix with virtually any finish, and are formulated specifically for luthiers.

They're accurate and authentic stringed instrument colors, as researched and specified by our own guitar finishing experts—not the generic furniture colors you'll find at other suppliers.

These concentrated grain-enhancing stains are economical; a little goes a long way. Reduce them with alcohol or water to give bare wood beautiful fade-resistant color, without hiding the grain. They're versatile, too. For applying transparent color-tinted coats, ColorTone stains can be mixed directly into virtually any finish: nitrocellulose lacquer, shellac, waterbase finishes, and catalyzed varnishes or lacquers.

Available in 2-ounce bottles, in the most popular stringed instrument colors. SAVE when you order the set of all ten!

Make wood grain come alive!
ColorTone liquid stains are lightfast metal-complex dyes that can be mixed for practically any desired intensity. Unlike off-the-shelf hardware store stains, they're formulated for guitar finishing. One 2-ounce bottle makes two quarts of stain at normal concentration. Because they're liquids, they can be measured precisely for critical color matching—a plus for refinishing and touchup work. (See our handy stain mixing cups and pipettes.)

Questions about finishing? Look here first:
Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step

Trade Secrets! Newsletter

Coloring new binding to match the old stuff

We've watched Dan Erlewine repair this 1930s Kay over the previous 3 Trade Secrets. It's time to finish it up. Elliot John-Conry of EJC Guitars ages Dan's patch of new plastic binding so it blends in with the old binding around it. About the guitar in this video: This 1930s Kay Deluxe is a fixer-upper that Dan Erlewine repaired in order to sell. Now that it's in great shape again, maybe Dan'll keep it!

Trade Secrets! Newsletter

How to match color on vintage binding repairs

Working on an aged Les Paul, Erick Coleman has to sand part of the yellowed binding. The sanded spots are a glaring white mismatch. Erick makes turns the repair invisible with a little ColorTone spray and stain.

Product Instructions

ColorTone Liquid Stain Instructions

Directions for using ColorTone Liquid Stains.

Ratings & Reviews

ColorTone Liquid Stains

  • Based on 145 Reviews
Displaying 2 of 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
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By Veljko from Novi Sad SRB
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, March 13, 2014

Nice stuff, easy mixing...

Liquid stain

By Gerald from Neuville, canada
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, February 17, 2014

Excellent product, works good with water and alcohol. I used yellow, red, dark brown and black to do a rubber hand burst.


By musicmont from USA
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, February 15, 2014

Absolutely amazing!

color tone stains

By Enzo from Rochester Mn.
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, January 30, 2014

Great product, worked perfectly on my very first guitar build. Tons of compliments, plan on doing many more. Very easy to mix into the exact color I wanted, a little bit goes a long way

Great, True Color

By Ian H from Toronto, OH
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, January 19, 2014

I built my first guitar recently with a good hunk of flame maple. I had read tips on how to make the flame really pop, so I stained my guitar with an oil based minwax ebony, then sanded roughly half of the stain off once it dried. I had bought a water based stain from a big-box store and it did terrible with the half sanded oil stain. So I decided to try the red ColorTone stain. I figured out the stain to water ratio; which is 0.25oz for every one cup of water. I measured the dye in an old medicine cup you would find on a bottle of cold medicine. I put some of the mixture on a test piece of maple and decided I wanted my mix a bit darker, so I added a couple more drops of stain. I ended up doing 4 coats of stain total; working it in each time until the wood wouldn't take any more and making sure it was nice and even. You don't have to drench the wood or anything, but don't do one quick pass and call it a day. After each session of stain dried, I would knock down the grain with increasingly higher grits of sandpaper from 800 to 2000. I maybe used about 1/2 of the one cup of stain I mixed total and stored the rest in a sealed glass jar. I'm extremely happy with the final result. The Colortone blended perfectly with the oil stain I had laid down first and the flame on my guitar has that 3D effect you hear about.

Great colors, dark and intense

By Jim Dandy in Oregon from Beaverton, Oregon, USA
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, January 18, 2014

I've used ColorTone liquid stain in cherry red, bright green, red mahogany, blue, lemon yellow, and black. In concentration they are amazingly dark, intense colors. They can be mixed together or thinned with water or alcohol to achieve a full range of hue and tone. I'm playing with a technique whereby I employ them over wood as I might watercolors on paper, to achieve the same wash and drybrush effects. When mixed with alcohol, they can be used to color shellac for a tinted French rub. I love this product!

Vintage Amber = Fender Butterscotch

By RichEss from Denver, Colorado USA
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, January 17, 2014

I used the Vintage Amber - 1/4 oz. per 8 oz. cup of water and it is an exact match for Fender Telecaster "butterscotch" after 3 coats. Seal it with some shiny stuff and it's dead on, with the same high grain reveal. (Of course it does good bursts too, but so do a lot of stains. So I thought that was worthy of mention.)

Squid Ink

By RichEss from Denver, Colorado USA
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Man, this stuff is concentrated. I was mixing 1/4 oz. of Tobacco Brown with 8 oz. of water. Poured it slowly into the cup of water, and watched it just explode. So you get your money's worth, 3 ounces will last me a long time. The only problem I have is getting the cap off without making a mess. I did break the little red cap on one of my bottles, I used some aluminum foil shielding tape to repair it, works like a champ now. But do be careful about that. The colors are luxurious, you recognize them the moment you see them on the wood to be the same as you've seen on guitars all your life. These stains mix well with tru oil, to tint your finish before you apply it, just a drop or few will do it. Beautiful effect.

Really brings that "3D" effect to wood grain!

By Samuel Kaivola from Vreta, Finland
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, January 08, 2014

I recently used cherry red in my first build and I couldn't be happier with the results! The color is perfect match comparing to vintage LP specials and it was very easy to mix and apply. In the picture the lacquer is just sprayed and dried. Highly recommendable to anyone looking for the correct gibson cherry. Thank you Stewmac for offering such a great product!

Awesome color!

By Tom H from Lonoke AR
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, December 23, 2013

Used the Yellow, Brown, and Black to restore a 63 Strat. Perfect color match to the original! Thanks Colortone and Stewmac!!!

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