ColorTone Liquid Stains, Set of all 10 colors

  • 142 Reviews
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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, Set of all 10 colors

Item # 5029
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$206.90 $196.55

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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


Product Instructions

ColorTone Liquid Stain Instructions

Directions for using ColorTone Liquid Stains.

Ratings & Reviews

ColorTone Liquid Stains, Set of all 10 colors

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  • Based on 142 Reviews
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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!!!

Work like a charm

By Larry Nair, Tahoe Guitar Co. from Gardnerville  NV
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, November 06, 2013


These mix well with nitro, water base, shellac, and even epoxy lacquers that I've tried. You can mix the different stains to obtain shades in between the the basic colors.

THIS PRODUCT IS GOOD!

By JIM FREELAND from PEMBROKE PINES FL
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, August 25, 2013


Recently purchased from StewMac cherry red Color-Tone dye to be used on my first guitar kit and must say I was truly amazed at this product as it was so easy to use and produced great results. I now have a gorgeous LP style guitar which I would put up against the real thing as far as appearance is concerned. I'm currently constructing an ES335 kit using the Color-Tone vintage amber dye and it is coming out beautiful as well. This a great product and keep in mind, as others have pointed out, the dye is highly contrated and must be measured in drops! A little bit goes a long way and don't forget to wear gloves. As always, Stew-Mac customer service was professional and friendly.

Vintage Amber Stain

By Dave Ward from Oklahoma City, OK
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, August 06, 2013


I built a project distressed Tele that turned out great. The unfinished maple neck I purchased just looked too "new" on the guitar. I tinted the neck with the Vintage Amber stain and it looks fantastic! This stain is great to work with and easy to clean up. Highly recomended!

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