Staining questions

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Forum topic by swayze posted 11-03-2010 08:50 PM 1024 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View swayze's profile


97 posts in 3084 days

11-03-2010 08:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut stains on oak walnut

Over the winter I will be starting to build a few pieces of furniture (end tables, entry bench etc.) for the living room. The boss has told me that she would like (wants) a dark finish on these such as the dark walnut that minwax sells. Not sure about the price/availability of walnut close to me so I might have to use oak. Anyone with experience in getting this tone using oak? Are there better stains then minwax? Also if I can find walnut for cheap enough around here would that be the way to get that tone? If so would I stain it with that minwax shade or is walnut that dark with only a poly on it? Thanks for any info.


3 replies so far

View jayman7's profile


218 posts in 3501 days

#1 posted 11-03-2010 09:05 PM

I have never really been happy with the Minwax dark stains. I’ve used General Finishes water-based Walnut stain and their Java gel stain on red oak to achieve those colors, and it turned out pretty good. I sealed it with shellac and put a few coats of poly on top.

If you can find walnut (even if more expensive), I HIGHLY suggest you use it. Although the staining method I mentioned turned out alright, I splurged on some nice pieces of walnut boards and plywood to achieve that dark color without staining and I never looked back. You can’t beat the natural color of walnut over staining red oak IMHO.

View stnich's profile


118 posts in 2920 days

#2 posted 11-04-2010 04:01 PM

I use MinWax dark stains on oak all the time. It will just look like oak with a dark stain. Make sure that you sand it to at least 120 grit and use light coats to build up the color. I usually rub out the stain with a scotch brite type pad before another coat and before a top coat. If you apply to heavy of a coat you will likely get bleed back. Bleed back is when the open pores of oak will trap stain and it eventually will work its way back up to the surface in the form of little pockets of stain. If it does this just make sure you wipe it out before it dries.

View swayze's profile


97 posts in 3084 days

#3 posted 11-06-2010 08:41 AM

Thanks for all the help. I guess it’s time to do some experimenting to see what the boss likes.

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