If this is your first time here, please take a few minutes to read this page.
After you have read it, you can log in as username:guest with password:demo to see it work.
If you're a registered user, go ahead and log in, but remember you can always return to this page for help.
What is StainItTM and what does it do?
StainItTM IS A PATENTED INVENTION to enable a designer to create and specify custom
semi-transparent color for wood and convey that information to those responsible for creating the finished product.
With StainIt you can specify the wood by selecting it from the suppliers list of offered woods. StainIt then allows
you to mix a virtual stain color and apply the created stain to the selected wood, seeing the results immediately.
You may file this wood and color combination away and recall it at anytime to edit and fine tune your selections
until you have achieved your ultimate color design. Once you are happy with your selections, you may convey this
information to the supplier, so that they can contact you and arrange submission of physical samples for your final
approval. They may also refer other trades and suppliers to this virtual wood color so that they may easily match
and sample your selected color.
StainIt costs the design professional nothing to use. A material supplier sponsors a portal that you use to select
from his product selection.
When you register with StainIt, you must provide a valid email address. StainIt will only
release your name and email address and only to the supplier you select when you authorize the information to be
StainIt will never release your private information to anyone else for any other purpose.
How to get Started.
The first thing you need is an HTML-5 compliant browser. You can use Firefox, Safari, Opera, Maxthon or
Chrome. You can download them here.
Next you need to register an account with StainIt. When you click on the Log In/Out menu choice, you will be taken
to the page that you will normally use to log in. If you are already a registered user, simply enter your user name
and password you provided when you created the account and click the Login button. If you are creating a new account,
click the third hyperlink below the Login button that says “Create an account” and you will be taken to the
Enter the your name that you want the supplier to see when you contact them. Username:
This is the name that you will use when you sign on to StainIt. E-mail:
This must be a valid email address. During registration, you will be sent an email from StainIt
to validate your registration. Password:
This must be at least 4 characters long and contain any of the following - (a-z, A-Z, 0-9) Verify password:
Retype in your password.
Even though StainIt will allow very simple passwords such as “1234” or “abcd”, good practice is to use at least 8
character passwords with a combination of alpha and numeric characters. eg. “k9U88xz3” (don't use this one)
It's up to you to decide how secure your password needs to be.
After you click the register button, you will be taken back to this page with an information note at the top saying:
Your account has been created and an activation link has been sent to the e-mail address you entered. Note that you must
activate the account by clicking on the activation link when you get the e-mail before you can login.
Give it a few minutes and then check your email.
While you're waiting, if you installed Firefox, Safari, or Chrome but did not make it your default browser, when
you click the activation link in the email you'll be getting, it will open with your default browser. This is ok,
but after you activate your account, close that browser and return Firefox, Safari or Chrome to login.
Open your email reader or navigate to the website you get your email from and check your mail. You should have an email
there with the subject Account Details for (your name) at StainIt. Click on the link in the body of the email
(or cut and paste it into a browser) to activate your account. You should save this email for reference since it
displays your user name and password. If you forget your password or username and haven’t saved the email,
don't worry, you can still get back in. As long as you know the email address you registered with, you will
be able to reset your password or retrieve your username from the login page. Just click on the appropriate link and
follow the instructions. If you ever change your email address and can't login, contact us at Stainit, and we
will help you resolve that issue too.
Now you can login. Click the menu choice Login, type in your username and password and click the Login button.
You will be taken to the Projects page.
Creating a New Project
The Projects page is where you maintain your list of color projects. When you have some projects created and saved,
you will be presented with a list, showing a blank check box, the status, the date it was created, and the project
name. Above the list you have seven buttons. Other than the New and the Show Archived buttons, you must check the
check box next to the project you want to take the action from the other buttons.
Creates a new StainIt project. Clone:
Creates a new StainIt project exactly like the checked one. Edit:
Opens the checked project for editing. Propose:
Transmits the project information to the associated supplier via email. Delete:
Deletes the checked project. Hide:
Hides the checked project. Show Archived:
Refreshes the list with any hidden projects shown.
To create a new project click the button labeled New. This creates a blank project which you will fill in the
information. The first thing to do is to name the project. It is named “new stain” when it is created. Change the
name of the project to something more appropriate like “Marina Hotel”. Next select the wood you want to use. Locate
the button that is labeled Select Wood and click it. Later it will display the selected wood name in the button, but
you can still click it to select another wood if you choose.
When you click the Select Wood button, you will be taken to a page that shows the offered woods from the supplier,
and allows you to select one for use with the project. At the bottom of the page, you have a display of thumbnails
that you can scroll left and right. Clicking on one of the thumbnails selects that wood and a larger image and some
information will be displayed. If you don't want to scroll through a long group of woods, there are drop downs
on the left side of the page with which you can narrow down your search. You can select 1 or all of the property
values to narrow your selectable woods.After selecting values for the drop downs, you can click the View button
to only display woods matching those criteria in the thumbnail filmstrip. Once you have selected the wood you wish
to use here, locate the button labeled Select and click it. You will be returned to the project edit page where you
can add your colors.
Changing the Colors
Before we start adding colors, you need to know that you will be working in the RYB color space. RYB stands for red,
yellow, and blue. If you have ever mixed paints or stains this is the color space you used, where red plus yellow
makes orange, yellow plus blue makes green, and blue plus red makes purple. The colors are added by moving the buttons
on the sliders to the right. The top color slider is brown. Its easier to start with some brown color and then add a
little red than to use all the colors to make the reddish brown you are trying to achieve. They can both create the
exact same result but the first requires moving only two sliders while the latter requires moving at least four.
Transparent, semi-Transparent, and semi-Opaque
Stains are typically made from dyes or pigments or a combination of both. The more pigments, the more opaque the stain
will appear. The less pigment, the clearer the stain will appear. StainIt allows you to blend the opacity as well as
the colors. The bottom slider with the checker board button is the opacity slider. The further to the right it is
moved, the more opaque the stain will appear. Dye stains tend to appear more vibrant with a greater color depth as
opposed to pigmented stains which mute the substrate and can give the final finish a softer look.
The white color slider always adds opacity to the stain because white is only available for stains as a pigment.
Applying a Color
Lets start by moving the brown slider about midway to the right. The color mixing pallet to the left of the slider
reflects the concentration and color we just added. Now lets add some red to it. Move the red slider to the right.
Notice the color pallet changing as you increase or decrease the red. Below the color pallet is a checker board used
as the opacity pallet. Slide the opacity slider to the right and note how much of the checker board is blocked. Once
you have the desired mix of colors and opacity, below the opacity pallet is a button that says StainIt. Click this
button to apply the selected color at the selected opacity level. Your wood will now be stained to reflect your
How come when I add black to a yellow stain it turns green?
Most of the black pigments made are what are called blue blacks. This is the expected behavior when adding black to a
yellow base when you are mixing stains. We have tried to make StainIt match the real world as much as possible.
If you are trying to start with yellow and want achieve a tan or brown stain, add some red with the black as well.
Saving the Project
After you have selected the desired wood, named your stain project, and played with the colors and opacity to where
you are satisfied with the results, next to the StainIt button is the Saveit button labeled Save Changes. Click this
button to save the project. You will be returned to the Projects page. If you try to navigate away from the StainIt
page without saving your changes, whether by clicking on a menu button, hitting the back button, or even shutting
down your browser, you will be alerted that you haven't save changes yet. You don't have to save your
changes and you can abort the page, or you can save your changes and thank me later for reminding you.
Editing a Project
From the projects page, check the box next to the project you want to edit, and click the Edit button at the top
of the page. This will take you to the StainIt page where the project will be loaded. From there you can change
the color, wood selection, and name of the project as desired. Don't forget to save your changes!
Proposing a Project
From the projects page, check the box next to the project you want to propose, and click the Propose button at the
top of the page. After a project has be proposed it will display a small gear icon on the line in the list associated
to that project.
What does Proposing a Project mean?
When you propose a stain project, you are signaling your intent to consider using this finish. You have not committed
to anything. This is to allow you to open a dialog with the prospective supplier and discuss further the possibility
of using this finish on their woods. Beyond this is out of the scope and use of StainIt. Think of us as only a match
maker, where you go from here is between you and the supplier. Certain things do happen on the website when you propose
a stain. An email is generated by StainIt and sent to the supplier informing them of your interest in considering this
project for use. An email is also generated and sent to you for your copy. In the body of the email, a link to where
the recipient can view this project is sent. This allows the final color finish to be emailed around to others who may
need to view your selection. The project becomes locked from further editing.
Withdrawing a Project
From the projects page, check the box next to the project you want to withdraw, and click the Withdraw button at the
top of the page. After a project has be withdrawn it will display a small “x” icon on the line in the list associated
to that project.
What does Withdrawing a Project mean?
When you withdraw a project, you are notifying the supplier that you are no longer considering using this finish.
Emails will be sent to both you and the supplier documenting this action. A withdrawn project may be proposed again
Deleting a Project
From the projects page, check the box next to the project you want to delete, and click the Delete button at the
top of the page. After a project has be deleted it will be removed from the project list. If a project has ever been
proposed, it can never be deleted, even if it has been withdrawn.
IMPORTANT once a project has been deleted, it can not be recovered. This is permanent!
Hiding a Project
From the projects page, check the box next to the project you want to hide, and click the Hide button at the top of
the page. After a project has be hidden it will be removed from view in the project list.
Clicking on the Show Archived button refreshes the list so that previously hidden projects may be viewed. When in this
viewing mode projects may be taken out of archives by selecting the project and clicking the Show button at the top of
Why Would I Want to Bother with Hiding and Archiving?
As you create projects and propose them they are added permanently to your list. As the list becomes full, it may be
hard to go through your list to find the active project you want to work on. Hiding completed projects helps to keep
your list trimmed down.
This archive also becomes your history or color library, remember you can clone new projects from old ones. If you
have a color wood combination that you like, you can use it over and over again.
Cloning a Project
From the projects page, check the box next to the project you want to clone, and click the Clone button at the top
of the page. You will be returned to the projects list with a new project with the same name (CLONED) plus the
original name. You can then edit the cloned project and change the color, wood selection, and name of the project