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When/How to stain and apply Wood Appliques

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 12-24-2011 04:14 AM 2314 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HorizontalMike

6967 posts in 1658 days


12-24-2011 04:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: stain staining appliqu├ęs bookcase barristers

Just got a couple good jigs finished this month and am now beginning to size all my pieces for some Barrister Bookshelves. I want to use an applique on the top/headboard of the bookcase and am wondering about what are the best ways to apply and stain these appliques/gingerbread carvings. I am using White Ash for the bookcases, the appliques are oak (actually will match grain really well) and want to use a Minwax “Golden Oak” stain on the entire project, finished with Minwax Tung Oil Finish.

Should I stain both pieces BEFORE applying the applique or AFTER?
Stain the applique darker? Edge treatment?
Any tips?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."


11 replies so far

View DaleM's profile

DaleM

923 posts in 2128 days


#1 posted 12-24-2011 04:58 AM

I would definitely stain both pieces separately unless you really like getting in all the little crevices around the applique. Since I’m sure you don’t, just like me, after you stain them, I would finish them separately also, then join them. I would just stain them the same color, because the shadows will make it stand out anyway. As far as joining them, someone else may have a better suggestion, but I would use clear drying silicone caulk, the kind you would use one glass, making sure you don’t put on so much that you get squeeze-out. It holds well on smooth finishes.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

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HorizontalMike

6967 posts in 1658 days


#2 posted 12-24-2011 05:28 AM

Yeah, I have been going back and forth on this, wondering if it might actually look “authentic” (older) if some of the stain actually did settle around the edges of the already applied applique, giving it the appearance of having been refinished at some point in the past?... Ever done that?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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DaleM

923 posts in 2128 days


#3 posted 12-24-2011 05:40 AM

I thought of that as I was posting, that you might be going for a different look, but no I haven’t done that. I’ve only used them on new pieces that were meant to look new. I’ve refinished some old stuff, but nothing with appliques. It would give it that older, refinished look if it was a little darker around the edges. If I was distressing the piece, I would attach the piece and then stain it like you suggested I guess.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1099 days


#4 posted 12-24-2011 09:12 AM

Do NOT stain behind the aplique, generally speaking stain will block almost all glues from bonding the woods together, unless you use something like the spray adhesives, which actually work. But I also used headless pins from my 21 guage headless pin gun to hold them in place.

I’ve actually used this same applique, but on a 9 foot tall linnen cabinet in a bathroom, But I sprayed the cabinet itself white, and the applique clear. (lacquer of course, my favorite finish). I’d post a picture, but there’s no way to get the whole thing in one shot.

As for staining. Hmmm I’d recomend you play with some cabot stains and see how you like them. I have all but stopped using minwax, because it can be more problematic, especially in situations where you need to not have darker lines. If you do get a darker line with the cabot, apply a little more stain, and wipe away.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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HorizontalMike

6967 posts in 1658 days


#5 posted 12-24-2011 02:33 PM

Thinking aloud here… I am wondering if I can:

1. Pin (got an 18g finisher only) and glue the applique in place
2. Stain everything once glue is dry. I have a “history” with this Minwax Golden Oak Stain and have other pieces in my home of same color/finish.
3. Use compressed air hose to blow excess stain away from cracks & crevices in/around the applique when applying the stain.

My thoughts are that this might minimize “some” of the over-darkening. The edges of the applique will probably darken quite a bit because the applique itself is a ply-structure (though I did NOT know this when ordering). I am not necessarily opposed to having the applique a bit darker than the piece (as mentioned above) but would like to be semi-in-control when/if this happens.

RE: Spray adhesives—I actually have used these in the past, but only related to the mounting of photographs. I can see how that might be an easy way around some of the problems of using these appliques. All I know is that spray adhesives are unforgiving of even the slightest misplacement. I guess you could first use a couple/three sewing pins pushed into the wood (not through the applique) to create a support/shelf/guide to aid in correct placement and then pull them once the applique is in place.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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richgreer

4525 posts in 1819 days


#6 posted 12-24-2011 04:31 PM

I recommend pinning the appliques, but not with an 18g (which is actually a brad nailer). You need a 23g. If you don’t have one, maybe you could borrow one. Those pins are very small and very hard to see, especially if you “hide” them in the creases of the applique.

I find gluing these things to be problematic. If you get any squeeze out it will be hard to clean up and the glue could cause a problem with the stain. It’s also a little difficult to clamp things like this.

Another option is to both glue and pin, but only use a little glue and stay away from the edges (i.e. avoid squeeze out). With this method you would get a slightly stronger connection and/or you would be able to get by with fewer pins.

With just pins, you can stain and finished before attaching. With the second approach you should attach first.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6967 posts in 1658 days


#7 posted 12-24-2011 05:36 PM

I think I might be able to find a 23g to borrow to do the pinning. It would be easy enough to take the piece over to my friend’s shop for this quick task.

Still wondering if anyone has ever used compressed air to remove excess stain in cracks? And/or does that work?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1099 days


#8 posted 12-24-2011 06:49 PM

HF carries them for like 25-35 dolllars, and while I’d rarely recomend their tools, the one I got has held up for about 2 years now, with probably considerably more use than a hobyist would put on it. Just a thought.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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DaleM

923 posts in 2128 days


#9 posted 12-25-2011 03:00 AM

Mike, with a stain that is a little thinner you might get by with the compressed air, but you mentioned that you have used the Minwax Golden Oak before so you know that stuff is like molasses. The older version was a little thinner, but the VOC compliant version goes on thicker and is harder to wipe off. I use it a lot on oak and it can be a real chore to rub in and wipe off. I have never tried to move it around on the surface with compressed air, but I don’t think it can be done easily.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View WrathOfSocrus's profile

WrathOfSocrus

22 posts in 1196 days


#10 posted 12-25-2011 03:22 AM

I have had much better luck thinning out Minwax stain with mineral spirits and doing multiple coats as needed. This gives me much better control over the final color and has worked well when refinishing pieces that have routed edges or crevices. I would imagine using a thinner stain for the applique would help reduce any contrast from the low spots to the high spots. Using compressed air would be messy yet effective at removing excess stain from crevices. Perhaps a few extra foam brushes either dry or wet with mineral spirits would work without making a huge mess.

I used to completely dread finish work until I learned to thin out stain and make wipe on poly. Spray on acrylic has also made me less dreadful of finishing a piece where I wanted the grain to show through. That and my cheap HF spray guns are all their is to my finishing repertoire since I’m not terribly experienced at ‘fine’ woodworking. Hopefully that gives you some ideas. Good luck!

-- "To do is to learn. A brilliant man once said that... I think he had a beard, too." - Joe Burns, HTML Goodies

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6967 posts in 1658 days


#11 posted 12-25-2011 04:15 AM

I don’t want to show my age but the older pieces I mentioned, I refinished ~30+yr ago so thinning may be a real possibility to control things. I did not realize that much change had taken place. Good to know info. Sounds more my style/desire in finishing. Thanks.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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