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
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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
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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 7 of 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
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Color burst

By Dave53 from Grand Rapids, MI
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This started as an unfinished guitar. It has a 3/4" solid maple top. I tried to stain it first but the grain was closed due to fine sanding. Also it is arch topped and the grain varied in porosity. It was a mess. I sanded it and got most of the stain off and decided to go with StewMac water based lacquer and ColorTone stain and hope for the best. It's black fading to cherry fading to amber. Very authentic colors! I sprayed it with a $14.00 mini-sparyer. Around 20 coats with the clear. I used StewMac fine grit sand paper and 3 polishing compounds and hand rubbed to this finish. The product worked fantastic as this is my first guitar "build". It also has the full Jimmy Page dpdt switch package with 11 voicings.

awesome stains

By lefty's rule from duluth mn
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, July 02, 2012

I have used the on the last three guitars i have built and i love how easy they are to use. just make sure you use thick glove when applying goes right through surgical gloves

A little bit goes a long way

By kilphody from NY
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Very good concentration, excellent color. Be careful, start small-one drop at a time to get your ratios and formulae established. The delivery system (squeeze bottle) needs improvement- cut tip with care,use with caution, and be careful not to waste. If you have no experience mixing finishes make test batches and GET DAN'S BOOK(S)!!!!!


By Pestvic from Sparks NV
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, June 19, 2012

These bottles a WAY smaller than You might think they are about half the size of a Glue bottle. BUT They go a LONG LONG way. I'm not even close to quarter through the black and I've done 3-4 tops. I stain with black really really dark before I sand back. and I STILL have extra in a water bottle. Tip, Store these in a jar or water bottle with a seal. They will dry out if not in a air tight container.

Stew-Mac Translucent Stains

By GNM from Sacramento, California
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I recently aseembled a Les Paul Style kit and I wanted a translucent stain so that the wood grain would show up. I chose the #5030 Vintage Amber. I used a teaspoon of it in a pint of nitrocellulose lacquer and got the color I wanted with just a few coats before finishing up with clear lacquer. It's an excellent product. I highly recommend it!

Orange you glad I used ColorTone?

By JJuk from Fullerton, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, June 07, 2012

Working on my first stained guitar project--I used ColorTone sprays on previous projects. I wanted a nice warm orange to make the quilted maple top pop so I tried this ColorTone Orange Liquid Stain and so glad I did. Mixed with water as directed and in a short time I had exactly the orange I was looking for. It took to the wood nice and even. I used a Red Mahogany ColorTone spray to dust the edge for a burnt orange look. Love it! Here's a close up shot of the Orange Stain.

This liquid stains will bring it back to life!

By guitar shelter from Texas
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, June 06, 2012

No worry about battered guitar bodies or goofed original finish. You can put it back to life by cleverly mixing the Color Tone Liquid stains of your choice. A drop of this stain will go long way! See the pictures for the finished project.

Fantastic stains

By Beau Hannam Guitars from Grand Junction, CO 
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, May 24, 2012

I have used the Tobbacco brown, red Mahog and Vintage Amber for about 20 sunbursts and have achieved excellent results each time. From authentic a 1930's hand rubbed Gibson look, to fine spray bursting this is the stuff- (pic is hand rubbed stain on figured Queensland Maple).

Quality tint

By Michael Ironside from Chester County,PA
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Great tints, nice transparency and color.

The next step up

By Leroy Beal from Mountain View, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, April 08, 2012

Once you get a handle on putting a gloss clear coat finish on your instruments, the next step is to experiment with shading and bursts. A totally clear coated instrument shows off the wood nicely, but gets a little boring after awhile. These ColorTone stains work very well and seem to be stable over time. I have a couple of guitars that live on the wall and after a few years they do not appear to have faded at all. As with anything, it takes a little practice to get a feel for how to mix and handle these liquid stains. A little goes a long way. Here's a picture of a mandola which I gave that old Gibson burst look using the black tint applied with a SM airbrush.

Displaying 7 of 15
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Shown on page 39 of our latest catalog.