Reply by pintodeluxe

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Posted on Wood & Stain combination for a Coffee look

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5653 posts in 2806 days

#1 posted 04-29-2013 06:01 PM

General Finishes Java gel stain is that color, and it darkens light woods such as poplar pretty well.
Gel stains tend to obscure the grain though. Many cabinets and mass produced furniture pieces use gel stain, or tinted lacquer to obscure the grain. It almost looks painted.

I prefer to use nicely figured hardwood and a medium brown oil stain. I prefer wiping stains over gel stains because you have to go over the stain with a rag multiple times, with the grain direction to remove the excess gel. Some use gel stains to prevent blotching on cherry, or some of the softer hardwoods. They claim to like it because you can manipulate the finish to darken sapwood, and control the color a bit. I see it the other way around – you have to continually mess with the color to get it right. Then you notice one section with excess gel, and you have to start over.

With oil stains on hardwoods like oak, you don’t have to use gels or pre-stain conditioners which makes them more desirable and easier to work with.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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