How To Color Match Water-Based Stains with General Finishes RTM System

Stain matching made easy! General Finishes Enduro RTM (Ready to Match) Stain System is the most cost-effective and efficient, water-based color-matching stain system on the market. Professionals or retail stores can match any color on-site in minutes using 10 standard stain bases plus a clear base and save money by reducing inventory.

There are 3 parts to this system:

1. Ten water-based, ready-to-use stains, plus a clear base.

2. A chip box with more than 78 custom color chips labeled with formulas, plus the base colors. Chips are available in sets of oak and maple...or alder and maple.

3. A formula book available in print and digital format to calculate any quantity of stain you need to mix using ounces by weight or volume.

OPTIONAL There are optional mixing lids with easy-pour spouts and, for high volume users, there are mixing stations available.


1. To match a stain, choose a color from the box that most closely matches the color you want to achieve. We have chosen chip number 13 as the best match.

2. Each chip is labeled with a formula. Make a sample by using a small measurement scoop. I'm using a one-ounce coffee scoop. This formula for number 13 is: one part tint black, one part burnt umber, and one part red.

3. Mix the parts in a container and test the color on a piece of wood that will be used for the project, since the same stain can look different on various wood species.

4. Wipe off the excess with a clean cloth.

5. While still wet, make sure the color matches. When the stain dries, the color will lighten. The color will develop again once the topcoat is applied

6. If you're happy with your color match, then go to the formula book to calculate the amount you need to mix for your project. An average kitchen requires about two gallons of stain.

You can modify the formulas to fine-tune the color match. Pick out the closest color as a starting point and adjust the parts until you get a match. Once you finalize the formula, save it for future reference to the RTM stain calculator in the excel spreadsheet included on the USB drive. It's that simple. This is the fastest, easiest low-cost color-match system on the market.

RTM Stains can be applied by brush or spray. Once dry, they can be sealed with any GF finish.

TONING: The stock base colors of RTM can be used as a toner.