I have experimented on how an endgrain can retain its original color and grain pattern. Here are some observations:
1. Oil based stain, tung, linseed, and others … will absorb more and will be very dark than as expected base color even how thin it will be applied (actually it is difficult to control on how thin, number of coats will not make any difference because one coat will be completely penetrate in the wood.
2. Lacquer based.. sanding sealers, gloss or flat lacquers – at first it seems that color will not change. The lacquer stays on the top but later it vanishes and penetrates deep inside the wood. The sanding sealer works best however it must dry immediately and therefore must be sprayed during hot weather. If the sealer stays longer on the endgrain then change of color will happen. The problem with sanding sealer is the compatability of it to other finishes. It easily melt down or bubbles up when you apply polyurethane, lacquers or even varnish. This makes the trouble… if the sealer melts, the later coats like poly will then penetrate as well and discolor the pieces.
3. VALSPAR varnish.. After applying directly valspar varnish, the color of the wood was so dark. You need time to dry for a varnish making more amount to be absorbed and discolor the endgrain. For normal finishes this is very good because of the luster that it creates. It is also a very good sealant for water.
4. GLUE…. THIS IS THE SOLUTION I FOUND…. Accidentally, I was surprised that some portion of the joint pieces is preserved with the same color. I noticed smudges of glue. That was not intentional. I knew from experience that glue is a problem in staining a piece. Once you have smudges of glue, stain will not penetrate. LAST NIGHT, I intensionally apply a thin (hard to say it is thin because I just poured out the glue and spread them as quick as I can). Let it dry. Sand a bit. Apply poly, lacquer and valspar. IT WORKED. The endgrain is perfectly sealed with GLUE and no matter what finish you apply, there is no problem of melting.
It maybe expensive…. but no… you save a lot using glue… probably a HIDE GLUE is more cheaper however I don’t have it and hard to get in Manila… I use ELMER’s Carpenters glue because it is quickly flowing and drying. AT LAST END GRAIN DISCOLORIZATION IS NO LONGER A PROBLEM… YOU CAN TRY IT and if you are convince then here is the next move to do HOW TO APPLY? ... Use a rubber spreader, Use a roller, use a rug, use hand… up to you… I will post photos next series…