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Forum topic by papadan posted 01-02-2017 03:05 AM 827 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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papadan

3584 posts in 3209 days


01-02-2017 03:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question bubinga purpleheart cherry walnut pine zebrawood finishing traditional modern

Why does everyone use so much stain on their projects? I have never and will never use any kind of stain on any kind of fine woodworking project. The only time I use anything is when building toys for children, then I use food coloring to die the pieces different colors. Everything I build is the actual color of the wood, from light like Maple to dark from Walnut. I use purple heart, red and yellow heart, padouk for orange. Why build something a different color than what you want it to be?


26 replies so far

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diverlloyd

2339 posts in 1698 days


#1 posted 01-02-2017 03:20 AM

I’m with you on that. Only thing I have used stain on is plywood. Although Charles Neil did a video on using dye to make figured wood stand out more. It was interesting and worth a watch. I had a friend who I made some picture frames for out of oak and he wanted them stained so he brought over some deck stain for them. I told him that is not what he is looking for and the oak would be almost the same color he picked after it was sealed.

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papadan

3584 posts in 3209 days


#2 posted 01-02-2017 03:24 AM

I don’t use plywood except for jigs when needed. I use polyurethane for a finish. Water based when I want water clear to show the natural color and grain and oil based when I want to just darken the piece a little.

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jbay

1862 posts in 739 days


#3 posted 01-02-2017 03:42 AM

Natural is fine and dandy but it doesn’t usually work with a clients decore.
I find myself staining to match, or to go better with the surroundings.
If you ask me stain can enrich the wood, and can really make it stand out more than if it’s just natural.
With me it depends, when I make boxes and such I never stain the wood.
I personally like the natural woods to show.
But, everybody has different opinions for what they like and sometimes business drives the decision.
I made a wall unit (you can see in my projects) out of Walnut, one of my favorite woods, but I just love the rich color of it stained. Each their own i guess.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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papadan

3584 posts in 3209 days


#4 posted 01-02-2017 04:00 AM

I just looked at your wall unit. THAT’S WALNUT? I can’t even figure out what that looks like.

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OSU55

1428 posts in 1830 days


#5 posted 01-02-2017 04:05 AM

Whether to color wood or not varies by the person. I never build any fine furniture without some color. To my eye, light woods, especially maple, look lifeless without a bit of color, and curly maple can really take off with various color treatments. All of the exotic woods eventually end up some shade of brown, so I don’t use them much. Cherry is gorgeous after a few years of aging, but I have a recipe to make it look aged from the beginning. Not quite as good as the real thing, but it blends right in as the wood ages. Walnut can take on a grayish hue which washes out the deep rich tones of the wood, and a little of the right color brings out the purple, red, brown and yellow tones in the wood. I love oak with darker negative grain. I use dyes, not pigment stains – there is a huge difference. The right coloring techniques really enhances the beauty of the wood.

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papadan

3584 posts in 3209 days


#6 posted 01-02-2017 04:12 AM

If your exotics turn brown, move them out of the direct light. Heat is what makes them turn brown.

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jbay

1862 posts in 739 days


#7 posted 01-02-2017 04:19 AM


I just looked at your wall unit. THAT S WALNUT? I can t even figure out what that looks like.

- papadan

It’s Veneer ;)

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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papadan

3584 posts in 3209 days


#8 posted 01-02-2017 04:24 AM

Yep, that’s what I saw. Looks like a whole lot of veneer to me, can’t get that much bookmatched lumber.

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lew

11847 posts in 3596 days


#9 posted 01-02-2017 04:58 AM

I, too, like the natural color but sometimes the customer wants the piece to match an existing decor.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Madmark2

373 posts in 428 days


#10 posted 01-02-2017 05:29 AM

Clear poly or linseed oil & paste wax.

M

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papadan

3584 posts in 3209 days


#11 posted 01-02-2017 06:12 AM

I don’t build anything for customers, they tend to be too damn picky. I build what I want and sell to people that like my work.

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

514 posts in 589 days


#12 posted 01-02-2017 04:03 PM

OSU55 speaks for me. And I use dyes rather than stains. But I don’t always use dyes on every project. Depends on the look I want.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4483 posts in 2191 days


#13 posted 01-02-2017 04:20 PM

If you are doing large projects like kitchen cabinets in red oak, you need to even out the tone so the whole project looks unified. I find that red oak is so variable in color that staining is the only solution for that, otherwise I’d be wasting an enormous amount of wood to color match every piece. Clients just won’t pay for that. If you are making a one off table then it doesn’t matter and you can color match the wood and avoid the stain, unless the client wants it to match something else in the room. I never stain cherry, but the oaks call for it more in my opinion. Steamed walnut is another one that needs some additional color or it doesn’t really look like walnut.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Madmark2

373 posts in 428 days


#14 posted 01-02-2017 04:47 PM

Who makes kitchens out of oak? The grain is so loud you can’t sleep!

Try jatoba (AKA Brazilian Cherry).

M

View gargey's profile

gargey

862 posts in 616 days


#15 posted 01-02-2017 04:54 PM

Everyone else is such an idiot, and you’re so much more right and better than them, right?


Why does everyone use so much stain on their projects? I have never and will never use any kind of stain on any kind of fine woodworking project. The only time I use anything is when building toys for children, then I use food coloring to die the pieces different colors. Everything I build is the actual color of the wood, from light like Maple to dark from Walnut. I use purple heart, red and yellow heart, padouk for orange. Why build something a different color than what you want it to be?

- papadan


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