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Staining Alder

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Forum topic by SweetTea posted 07-11-2017 10:46 AM 572 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SweetTea

249 posts in 500 days


07-11-2017 10:46 AM

Hey fellas, I have a set of cabinets to build coming up soon that the customer wants made out of Alder. She has picked out an oil based stain from Sherwin Williams. I will likely use a water based poly as the top coat. My question is, should I need to use a pre stain conditioner? I made a sample door for the customer and stained it will the oil based stain mentioned above. It looked pretty good, but the end grain on the raised panels soaked in a lot more stain and was significantly darker. As were the door edges, both top, and bottom. I am somewhat new to staining as I used to work for someone else who had a dedicated finish person, and this time I am on my own.

So, suggestions as to whether or not I should use a pre stain conditioner? If so, what brands would you recommend? Also, any suggestions on particular brands of water based poly? Any other tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.


13 replies so far

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MinnesotaMarty

114 posts in 1058 days


#1 posted 07-11-2017 12:27 PM

I just completed a stair railing from alder. I pre-conditioned everything, turned out great. Alder is tough to stain evenly. Lower your customers expectations.

Marty

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

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SweetTea

249 posts in 500 days


#2 posted 07-11-2017 01:53 PM



I just completed a stair railing from alder. I pre-conditioned everything, turned out great. Alder is tough to stain evenly. Lower your customers expectations.

Marty

- MinnesotaMarty

What kind of pre conditioner did you use? I am debating on ordering some Charles Neil pre stain conditioner, but it is going to cost me quite a bit. I have 30 face frames and over 50 raised panel doors to spray, not including the end panels. . For his, he recommends two coats, sprayed. I normally spray with an air less sprayer but I may have to grab a cheapo HVLP gun from Harbor Freight to spray the pre stain conditioner because my airless sprayer would use a crap ton in overspray.,

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CharlesNeil

2145 posts in 3711 days


#3 posted 07-11-2017 02:01 PM

If you spray a pre stain, you still need to wipe it .. spraying delivers an equal amount of product .. it doesnt allow the softer grain to absorb more .
Also if your using our product and an oil stain often only one coat is needed
here is a blog I wrote that will explain more https://intheworkshop.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/applying-dyes-stains-over-my-blotch-control-prestain/

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1570 days


#4 posted 07-11-2017 03:26 PM

If your customer liked what you showed her, why are you trying to change the look? Forty years in business building cabinets and furniture, mostly in Alder/Birch, and not one of my customers requested the wood to look different than it should…............... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Loren

9639 posts in 3488 days


#5 posted 07-11-2017 04:01 PM

The best practice in my experience is to make
up 3 or 4 sample pieces with different approaches
to stain. Get the customer to sign the back
of the one s/he prefers.

I wouldn’t personally bend over backwards
to try to work magic with staining alder or any
other wood. Just present some options.

I did a bunch of staining of alder many years
ago and had good results with Varathane Diamond
Elite stains.

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Desert_Woodworker

1281 posts in 1054 days


#6 posted 07-11-2017 05:12 PM

You are blessed to have the wisdom of Charles Neil’s advice, if I were you I would follow his advice. Years ago before I knew about CN I had my trials with staining Alder. Circa 2000, it was vogue to have Alder kitchen cabinets stained to look like cherry. There is alot of good advice from the above- best to you

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Steven7244

1 post in 164 days


#7 posted 07-11-2017 05:22 PM

The pre-stain conditioner is necessary otherwise your cabinets will be blotchy. Out here we use alder to smoke salmon and fire wood.

-- Steve

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Desert_Woodworker

1281 posts in 1054 days


#8 posted 07-11-2017 05:39 PM



The pre-stain conditioner is necessary otherwise your cabinets will be blotchy. Out here we use alder to smoke salmon and fire wood.

- Steven7244


LOL

-- Desert_Woodworker

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CharlesNeil

2145 posts in 3711 days


#9 posted 07-11-2017 07:42 PM

Ill walk ya thru..

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SweetTea

249 posts in 500 days


#10 posted 07-12-2017 12:55 PM



If you spray a pre stain, you still need to wipe it .. spraying delivers an equal amount of product .. it doesnt allow the softer grain to absorb more .
Also if your using our product and an oil stain often only one coat is needed
here is a blog I wrote that will explain more https://intheworkshop.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/applying-dyes-stains-over-my-blotch-control-prestain/

- CharlesNeil

Thanks for the advice Charles! So I will buy the pre stain (Charles Neil pre stain) and brush it on then wipe as I go. Do you mean that I will only need one coat of pre stain with this being an oil based stain on Alder? I will be careful not to over brush/over wipe the stain when I get to that point. I will spray the oil based stain on with an HVLP gun and wipe in small sections. The stain that I will be using is a Sherwin Williams 3120 which is their professional line, not their cheaper, house line. It is oil based. Any further advice would be much appreciated!

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CharlesNeil

2145 posts in 3711 days


#11 posted 07-12-2017 01:00 PM

Sweet Tea That should work..but lets do some test samples to be sure
just apply a good wet coat , let it soak a min then wipe it back good and let it dry

You will get some grain raising but some 400 or so and a light wipe /scuff sand should handles it

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

249 posts in 500 days


#12 posted 07-12-2017 01:42 PM



Sweet Tea That should work..but lets do some test samples to be sure
just apply a good wet coat , let it soak a min then wipe it back good and let it dry

You will get some grain raising but some 400 or so and a light wipe /scuff sand should handles it

- CharlesNeil

Will do Charles. Thanks. Would it be ok to go over it lightly with a random orbital sander using 320g after the pre stain dries? The reason that I ask is because I will have such a large quantity to do. 30+ face frames and 50+ doors. I will, of course, do some test pieces to make sure the process yields the desired results. I just want to make sure that using an orbital sander and doing like one very light pass with 320g sandpaper won’t be too aggressive?

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CharlesNeil

2145 posts in 3711 days


#13 posted 07-12-2017 01:49 PM

Sweet tea. with only one coat i would be concerned with a cut thru.. its basically a quick wipe .. we use these in a 400 or 600 for this ..32o for midcoat finish scuffing .. the are much faster an hold up well ..we also use them in 180 for easing edges and and other hand sanding

http://www.industrialabrasives.com/blocks-and-pads-rhynosoft-pads-c-80_307.html?zenid=hqc96r2epvncr4450rl78ihqo5

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