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Finishing Assistance

by HRees
posted 02-23-2011 09:20 AM


23 replies so far

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1159 posts in 2504 days


#1 posted 02-23-2011 03:59 PM

Hoyt,
I’m sure you don’t want to start all over and strip this project. So don’t use polyshades, yet, the urethane will seal the wood and you will have a harder time getting it darker. It appears that right now you only have stain on the wood. That’s good. The brown/black color you refer to in furniture stores is actually and solid color stain and what you used was a penetrating stain. You need something that will stay on the surface. You will still be able to see some of the grain but you have to go for black. At this point the brown background may help in creating the look you want.
Also, try to get away from the big box for your finishing supplies. It’s better to get this from a dedicated store where you can get some assistance. A woodworkers tool store, a paint store and cabinet materials suppliers are better places to get help when you need it.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3295 posts in 2590 days


#2 posted 02-23-2011 04:03 PM

On a piece of scrap try the Minwax ebony with poly – oil based. I used this and it is a finish in itself, not a stain. It is almost a paint – and will chip but it makes the finish consistent.

When I used it – it took 2-3 coats to cover uniformly – and looks basically black when done.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View HRees's profile

HRees

11 posts in 2473 days


#3 posted 02-23-2011 05:03 PM

Thank you for the suggestions. I think I’m going to go look for a gel stain. I was reading about the General Finishes gel stain. It seems they can be applied over a oil based stain, and they are going to stay on the surface instead of penetrate. I will stop by the Rockler/Toolstore near me tonight to see what they carry.

dbray45, Do you mean mix the ebony stain with polyurethane? Sounds like a homemade polyshade, haha. I will try it on a scrap.

Thanks.

-- Hoyt

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dbray45

3295 posts in 2590 days


#4 posted 02-23-2011 05:30 PM

No, this is available from Minwax

-- David in Damascus, MD

View FaTToaD's profile

FaTToaD

394 posts in 2955 days


#5 posted 02-23-2011 05:43 PM

I think the gel stain may be worth a try, hopefully on a scrap piece first. You could basically use it like a glaze. You may want to also try sealing the current stain with some dewaxed shellac then put the gel stain. Also, try this on a test board first. Good luck!

-- David

View Vicki's profile

Vicki

1088 posts in 3158 days


#6 posted 02-23-2011 08:43 PM

I had some problems with blotching on a small pine cabinet. I used minwax stain and minwax poly. Is there anything that can be put ON TOP to level the color so I don’t have to strip it all?

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16272 posts in 4032 days


#7 posted 02-23-2011 09:12 PM

Vicki: Once you apply poly, you have pretty much sealed the pores from accepting stain. You could use Minwax Polyshades, which is basically tinted poly, on top of your existing finish. I’m not a big fan of it normally, but it might be the next best alternative to sanding your cabinet down to bare wood.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3295 posts in 2590 days


#8 posted 02-23-2011 09:25 PM

The oil based Polyshade was the product that I used. I am not a big fan of the product but it covers the problems.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View HRees's profile

HRees

11 posts in 2473 days


#9 posted 02-24-2011 04:35 AM

So, I decided to go ahead and use a gel stain (General Finishes Gel Stain – Java). It help slighlty with the unevenness, but it definitely made it darker. I’d say I’m pleased after the first coat. Although it’s not dark nor even enough, I hope that subsequent coats will help with both. Here’s some pictures in case anyone else ever has this problem…

With 2 Coats of Minwax Ebony Oil Stain:

With 1 coat of the gel stain added:

Thanks for all of your help so far.

-- Hoyt

View Vicki's profile

Vicki

1088 posts in 3158 days


#10 posted 02-24-2011 04:55 AM

The Java is making it more even and appealing.

Thanks Charlie. I thought I saw Charles Neil put a gel stain over poly once. Guess I got confused. I might pic up some poly shades and give it a test.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Don's profile

Don

517 posts in 2887 days


#11 posted 02-24-2011 05:58 AM

You might want to try a dye rather than a stain. I’ve oly used dye once but it worked quite well at evening up colors and worked well on top of an oil based rub on poly finish.
I know it’s too late for this but a coat of dewaxed shellac as a sealer before staining would have prevented the blotchiness.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View HRees's profile

HRees

11 posts in 2473 days


#12 posted 02-24-2011 06:01 AM

I considered dyes. I figured there was even more to screw up there, so I decided to wait on that, ha.

Good information for the future. Although hopefully I won’t be working with Pine too much more.

-- Hoyt

View Vicki's profile

Vicki

1088 posts in 3158 days


#13 posted 02-24-2011 06:58 AM

Thanks Don. I used Helmsman. Do you think dye would still work? Can you get it at the box stores?

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Don's profile

Don

517 posts in 2887 days


#14 posted 02-24-2011 09:13 AM

Hoyt, I think that dyes are easier to work with than stain. Also, Pine is probobly the worst wood when it comes to blotchyness but Cherry and Alder and I’m sure others that I’m not familiar with can be nearly as bad.

Vivki, I haven’t seen wood dyes at the box stores. I get it from Woodcraft.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3295 posts in 2590 days


#15 posted 02-24-2011 02:43 PM

And my wife wonders why I have piles of scrap – just for things like this

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Don's profile

Don

517 posts in 2887 days


#16 posted 02-24-2011 08:58 PM

BTW Hoyt, any woodworker with a lot of experience is probobly very “proficient at fixing total screw ups”. Total screw ups are exactly how we learn to “do it right”. At least me anyways…

Viki, Helmsman is the brand I was using.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3295 posts in 2590 days


#17 posted 02-24-2011 10:09 PM

It is always “on purpose” – even for the painted projects. Who would think that you need 4 different kinds of primers and fillers that look like stain, dyes, laquers, and shellac? But, sometimes you just gotta have em. Before paint, they had veneer!

Why do you think all those inlays came about – to cover up a hole.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13420 posts in 2507 days


#18 posted 02-24-2011 10:22 PM

I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said above. I had a similar project that was “almost” to the desired shade. I used a couple of layers of Briwax black & it evened it out a shade. May not work in this application but it’s my stream of consciousness offering.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4787 posts in 3774 days


#19 posted 02-24-2011 11:18 PM

I would have put a coat of “Seal Coat” shellac on the pine before a gel stain. I used Polyshades 1 time. Never again. I don’t use poly either, nor am I a fan of MinWax. Much prefer wiping varnish. Go find a real dealer of finishes (not a borg) for good advice and products.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View HRees's profile

HRees

11 posts in 2473 days


#20 posted 02-24-2011 11:23 PM

Well, I’m definitely getting a lot of “experience” on this project.

It’s getting much better. I’ve put on 2 coats of the gel stain, and I think I’ll put on 2 more coats. I’m not sure if its going to be dark enough or not. Hopefully it will.

I was looking into your suggestion of dyes, and was wondering if any of you have had any expeirence with adding them to a polyurethane? I talked to a guy at a woodworking store and he mentioned dyes, but it mostly seemed like they were for use in water based products.

-- Hoyt

View Kwash's profile

Kwash

8 posts in 2721 days


#21 posted 02-24-2011 11:24 PM

Just a thought… I once wanted to do something similar with white oak. I used a Fiddees NGR water-based dye. The color is Dark Oak. It produced a color close to what you might find on an Ethan Allen piece – very dark brown/black. I just wiped on 2 or three applications and achieved the desired color. I finished with shellac. Looks terrific. Very best of luck.
- Kris

-- Kris, MA, http://www.usguitarkits.com

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9559 posts in 3462 days


#22 posted 02-25-2011 01:36 AM

I prefer dyes to stains as well. Of course, the effect of a dye is different
from a stain, so it really depends on the look you are after.

Dyes come in water soluble and alcohol-soluble versions. The water dyes
raise the grain. As long as the solvent you use to dissolve an alcohol dye
thins your finish too, the dye can color your finish. You could definitely mix
shellac with an alcohol dye and you’d be in business. Lay the shellac on
until you’ve got the effect you want, dry brush with acryrlic paint over problem
areas, and top-coat with poly.

You can make your own ebonizing dye, explained by Allison below:

http://lumberjocks.com/Allison/blog/5831

View HRees's profile

HRees

11 posts in 2473 days


#23 posted 02-25-2011 01:59 AM

Very cool. If I had only asked these questions before I started I would have saved myself some frustration. Thanks for all the input, you all have been more than helpful.

-- Hoyt

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