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spray finishing with stain

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Forum topic by brian88 posted 07-31-2011 02:22 AM 1860 views 2 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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brian88

108 posts in 2234 days


07-31-2011 02:22 AM

Hello, I am considering aking on a maple project where the customer wants almost a cherry color stain on the cabinets. They are showing me samples of a door from a box store. I am under the understanding that most of the finishes of these are done with mixing the stain with the poly or spraying the stain on…any words of wisdom?Maple is not stain friendly and I would like to pursue this opportunity…What stain or stain poly mix should I use? can I use a hplv sprayer or would you suggest an airless???

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."


13 replies so far

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Steven H

1117 posts in 2526 days


#1 posted 07-31-2011 02:28 AM

None of use here can help you. Color matching takes many years of experiments. There are hundreds of way to do it.

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DLCW

530 posts in 2120 days


#2 posted 07-31-2011 04:19 AM

I’ve found, over many years, the best way to color maple is to use dyes instead of stain. It colors very nicely (no blotching) and by mixing you can create almost any color you can imagine. Dyes dry really funky looking colors. You need to apply the clear coat before you get a really good idea of what the final coloring is going to look like.

My best luck color matching has been dyes. Make sure the customer knows that it is going to cost them for you to come up with the exact color they want while you experiment getting that color. Keep accurate records of the mixture amounts you use so you can duplicate it for the final project.

Spraying VERY light coats, slowly building the color will give you the best results. Brushing can result in lap marks and color variations.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2624 days


#3 posted 07-31-2011 05:28 AM

Brian:

Exactly as Don said. I would use TransTint dye of the appropriate colors and experiment on test strips.

Use the dye to tint your finish…I like dewaxed shellac for this but a good water-borne poly/urathane would be a good choice as well. I’d do a wash coat of dewaxed shellac first, padded on just to pop the grain a little bit. And yes, an HVLP sprayer works fine for this.

The point is that to get the color you want, you’ll want to keep the color at the surface as much as you can. A cherry stain on maple produces pinkish maple. Sprayed atop the piece, you get closer to the color you need. You might obscure the grain a bit, so there’s a balance to achieve, but that’s why I recommended that you pop the figure first.

By the way, Minwax stains (and the like) are usually both a stain and a dye. I’ve used Minwax Ebony mixed with satin poly to give a wonderful ebonized finish to some pretty crappy (and soft) construction lumber to get a really nice result. So, if you see a premixed can of cherry, you might try it in this way.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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brian88

108 posts in 2234 days


#4 posted 07-31-2011 05:50 PM

thanks for sharing your wisdom. where can I purchase these dyes (sherwin willliams?)? I typically spray either a varnish or a poly, I have never sprayed a shelack. I guess since were on topic. What would you recommend for a finish for cabinetry. I have started to feel that the varnish may not be scratch resistant enough. Should I consider a pre-cat which I also have never used or a laquer wihich has a bit more odor.

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2624 days


#5 posted 07-31-2011 08:32 PM

Brian: You can get dyes from Rockler and Woodcraft, but you’ll get them cheaper online. They aren’t cheap, but they’ll last a while and you can add colors as you need them for certain blends. TransTint isn’t the only one. Just look for “aniline dye”.

Polyurethane is a varnish…probably the toughest stuff there is, though the criticism is that it can produce a plastic look if you aren’t careful. And when it does scratch, you’d have to strip it off to repair it. However, in my opinion, you don’t need scratch resistance in a cabinet. Perhaps if you have dogs or kids that can scratch up the lower cabinets, but otherwise…

People use lacquers because they spray well and they dry very quickly…important for cabinet shops where time is money. The newer lacquers are tough, but I wouldn’t say they are as durable as poly. The advantage though is if you do get a scratch, you can just reapply finish over it…the solvents blend the top coat with the under coats. The same is true of shellac. Shellac just isn’t as durable as most other film finishes, but since it dries quickly it’s still a wonderful finish, especially for things that won’t endure a lot of wear. Some say shellac doesn’t do too well in contact with water, but I haven’t found that to be true myself.

For my own cabinets, I used dewaxed shellac blended with the dyes to give the color (over a base stain to give me a head start). Then, I finished with a water-borne urethane (varnish) from General Finishes. This is because it’s safer to spray (I have to spray the cabinets in place), provides the protection I think it will need, yet it reminds me of a good oil finish when applied by brush. But you could honestly use anything. General Finishes also makes Arm-R-Seal and a pre-cat urethane. They make good products.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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DLCW

530 posts in 2120 days


#6 posted 08-01-2011 12:34 AM

I have switched to conversion varnish as it has the strength and durability of poly and the burn in characteristics of lacquer. When damaged, put on another coat and it will burn in to the previous coat.

I use ML Campbell Duravar satin on just about everything that I spray finish.

For high end furniture with highly figured woods (read big $$$), I use Arm-R-Seal from General Finishes. You can apply this and let it sit for a couple of minutes and then rub it dry. The resulting finish is as smooth as glass and the oil really makes the figure pop out. I can’t achieve this type of finish with spray on finishes without a tremendous amount of hand rubbing and then only with lacquer as poly or varnish is to hard to rub out when dry.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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brian88

108 posts in 2234 days


#7 posted 08-04-2011 07:32 PM

Dclw…by rubbing dry do you mean to actually wipe it down with a cloth or to micro sand it in between finshes? and conversion varnishes I am assuming is a pre cat??? sorry for the silly questions…

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."

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DLCW

530 posts in 2120 days


#8 posted 08-04-2011 09:38 PM

Brian,

I use a lint free cotton cloth and wipe it dry. I let it sit for about 1 hour then apply another coat. I do this 8 to 10 times to get a glass smooth finish. No sanding between coats.

I sand the wood to 320 grit before starting this method otherwise the result will not be the glass smooth finish you would expect to get.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2156 days


#9 posted 08-04-2011 09:53 PM

If you are earning a living doing this then in the long run it’s a good idea to have a relationship with a finish provider. Someone that you can talk to about exactly this kind of situation. It’s also good to stick with a product line. That way you can get info and materials that all jive!
In this case I would seal with dewaxed shellac 2lb cut/1 coat. Then I would add colorant to the shellac and spray an additional coat. Then I would spray a coat of stain only of the color you want. Then top coat, several coats.
Airless is not appropriate for fine furniture finishes.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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brian88

108 posts in 2234 days


#10 posted 08-14-2011 06:15 PM

Thanks to you all…Im getting a better picture and more courage to step out of the box a little…so to summerze all of your input..

-Sand down to #320 (I typically only sand down to #120, any further input would be great) A) -mix a dye with shellac (spray this on??)
or B) – mix a dye with laquer and spray thin coat then back brush or wipe after setting

- finish with more layers of laquers or water based poly???

I am about to start this project soon and am getting nerveous…there is not so much a color match issue as so much a color consistancy issue. This is for a builder that may result in continuing business.

I am looking to make this as simple and time effective as possible. I understand that practice and experimentation is as important as anything and will deffinately do this prior,

The color mostly used almost like a mahogany or brick red colored “red” so I guess this is where I am headed. Another color would be an almost black (ebony). This color almost completely hides the woodgrain pattern so that is something to consider as welll.

Thanks again…

“its only wood”

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."

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jerkylips

273 posts in 2036 days


#11 posted 08-15-2011 03:54 AM

When we built our house, we did something very similar. In talking with our cabinet guy, he convinced us to use birch instead of maple because it takes darker stains better. He does a spray-on, wipe off stain, then clearcoats. They turned out beautiful. I can snap a couple pics but won’t be able to post them til tomorrow (don’t know how to post pics from my phone…)

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jerkylips

273 posts in 2036 days


#12 posted 08-15-2011 04:05 PM

follow up from last night – pics attached..

I also forgot to mention – the way we started with getting our stain color is exactly what you’re describing. We checked out a cabinet door from home depot & took it to sherwin williams to match the color. At that point, they put some on scrap birch & we had them adjust it a few times from there til it was right. it took 3 or 4 adjustments, but we got it…

don’t mind the mess on the counter (or the bottle of gin – hey, it was the weekend!)

The color didn’t come out quite right in the picture – CFL’s always seem to make the pics come out kind of yellow..

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brian88

108 posts in 2234 days


#13 posted 08-17-2011 06:44 PM

wow they do look great…thanks much…I think I am going the pray stain, wipe off, laquer finish first..if I dont like the results then I will try mixing a die or stain in with the laquer or poly…let the fun begin…

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."

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