Refinishing Trestle Table made with Different Woods

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Forum topic by jefflz posted 04-15-2011 08:44 PM 1782 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2653 days

04-15-2011 08:44 PM

First,Thanks for all the suggestions on refinishing bath and kitchen redwood cabinetry. We finally went with Minwax Wipe-on Poly Satin which gave excellent results and is as easy to use as furniture polish. Additional coats can be readily applied as needed even after the job is done to the point of being useable.

I am now working on refinishing a large trestle table made 60 years ago by my father-in-law. After stripping off the very thick shiny lacquer/shellac coating and removing remaining stain by sanding, it is clear that the support structure for the 4×8 foot slab top (2×6 tongue and groove pine boards) is made of a darker fir (4×4). I am trying to find a way to give a natural looking wood stain to this substantial table that will unify the component pine and fir parts. any suggestions will be most appreciated.

-- Jefflz, Sausalito

2 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4245 days

#1 posted 04-15-2011 08:56 PM

It might be as simple as using the same stain on the whole table, but just putting an extra application of it on the lighter-colored wood.

Getting two different woods to end up the same color is often do-able. The problem is that the best way to do it is by trial and error on scraps. Since you don’t have that luxury, maybe you can use some inconspicuous areas to experiment with, like the underside of the table top.

Also, I’d stain the darker wood first. Then you know where you are trying to get to with the lighter wood.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3769 days

#2 posted 04-15-2011 09:10 PM

I would spray it with dye. Something like a solarlux (Behlen) in alcohol. This will get around the uneven blotch with pine/fir softwoods and you can lay down an even coat to get to a tone – and then more like airbrushing – you can deepen the color as needed. e.g. 1 coat on the darker top but 2 coats or just a heavier coat on the lighter base.
Check out the video of this from the woodwhisperer posted on both his site and here on LJ called “You and Dye” especially the last minute of it – where after showing you the possibilties with dye – he shows spraying the final product.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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