staining live edge cedar shelf

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Forum topic by SupDa posted 03-21-2017 02:53 AM 725 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 400 days

03-21-2017 02:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing cedar

I’m new to this (or any) woodworking forum and I come here because I’m scared to complete my live edge cedar shelf project. I’ve used a red cedar slab as it has a beautiful grain and nice spectrum of colours but I’m putting it in a room that has other live edged pieces (fireplace mantel and window frame -unfortunately fir, not cedar). I’ve bought every close MinWax and Old Masters (gel) and even combined them to no avail. It’s now not a question of colour, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I can’t stain cedar to look like fir, but every time I try a new colour on a test piece (scrap from the same plank I’ve got the shelf from) I notice that the stain actually hides the grain a bit and makes the cedar look muddy. I need to pull the colour down to get into the a hue close to what’s there but I don’t want to lose the beautiful look of the shelf. Any suggestions?

6 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile


916 posts in 1409 days

#1 posted 03-21-2017 04:10 AM

Wood bleach, maybe? Would take out a lot of the color so you could get closer to the fir.

Wood Bleach

How to bleach wood

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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5 posts in 400 days

#2 posted 03-22-2017 07:06 PM

Thanks for the suggestion but I don’t want to lose the beauty of this slab. I’ve found a local finishing store (Mohawk Finishing Products) that will custom mix stains based on any sample I bring them. Hopefully I can work with that. Thanks again for the reply

View bondogaposis's profile


4687 posts in 2319 days

#3 posted 03-22-2017 07:41 PM

Use dye instead of stain.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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5 posts in 400 days

#4 posted 03-25-2017 06:34 PM

Dyes? I looked that up on the net. Looks like a good idea. So little time… much to learn!

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3336 days

#5 posted 03-25-2017 06:53 PM

Make a new shelf out of a piece of Fir, don’t waste such a nice slab of Cedar.

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5 posts in 400 days

#6 posted 03-25-2017 06:57 PM

I’m tempted to do just that except for all the live edge forming I did on this slab. I’ve put this aside for a while so I don’t do something stupid just to complete. Thanks for the input.

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