Bringing out the grain

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Forum topic by arlodaniel posted 07-21-2015 08:15 PM 1473 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View arlodaniel's profile


7 posts in 1647 days

07-21-2015 08:15 PM

Hi all,

A couple years back I stained this fir table with a technique that I happened onto by mistake—but was extremely happy with the results:

Essentially, I applied a very dark stain, and then sanded most of it off, leaving just the grain lines stained. (Of course then I did more to finish it: BLO, wax-free shellac, poly.)

I’d like to replicate this look of extreme grain lines with a new piece of furniture I’m working on, but it’s incredibly labor intensive—and goes through a massive amount of sandpaper, as the stain builds up on it immediately.

Any suggestions for achieving a similar effect without massive amounts of post-stain sanding? I have a feeling that there’s a much easier way.

Thanks for any and all thoughts!!


8 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2006 days

#1 posted 07-21-2015 11:36 PM

At first glance I thought you had burned it with a torch. Try that on a piece of pine. Just keep the torch moving and then sand lightly. You’ll see similar effects.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#2 posted 07-21-2015 11:46 PM

I had the same thought as Joe. Looked like it had been torched to m

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View arlodaniel's profile


7 posts in 1647 days

#3 posted 07-21-2015 11:50 PM

Interesting idea! I just tried it on a sample of wood (albeit with a small lighter), and it looks very promising; I may indeed try this out. Thanks!

View Daruc's profile


460 posts in 1131 days

#4 posted 07-21-2015 11:53 PM

What type of wood are you using for the new pc of furniture?
Pine or fir works OK with the torch, other woods, maybe not so much.
Obviously do a sample pc first.

Edit: I was typing while you posted, I see you tried a sample already.
Moot point!

-- -

View arlodaniel's profile


7 posts in 1647 days

#5 posted 07-22-2015 12:19 AM

It’s a couch I’m making from pallets, so the type of wood varies.

(This sort of idea)

But I’m fine with some variation; guess I’ll just do some testing.

View Luthierman's profile


221 posts in 1086 days

#6 posted 07-22-2015 12:52 AM

What about using a scraper instead of sand paper? That never clogs.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

View arlodaniel's profile


7 posts in 1647 days

#7 posted 07-22-2015 12:58 AM

I got a card scraper exactly for that reason—but somehow I can only ever get it to produce a few pathetic scrapings (and two very sore thumbs). I’ve tried to follow instructions for sharpening, with a burnisher and mill file, but feel like I must be missing something… Or maybe it only works well on certain types of wood?

View TheFridge's profile


9468 posts in 1485 days

#8 posted 07-22-2015 01:17 AM

Don’t forget to hone the edges of the scraper.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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