LumberJocks

Help with staining different shades of oak

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by americanwoodworker posted 939 days ago 1633 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View americanwoodworker's profile

americanwoodworker

181 posts in 1008 days


939 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: oak stain

I am in the process of building a chair out of oak from an old pallet. The problem I am having is that the oak has to many different shades. So trying to match them up is impossible so I can some wider boards. But trying to alternate them is not working as to make a sort of pattern.

So my question is… What can I do to make the oak look more uniform in color? I have tried several darker stains to try and match them up but to no avail.

What options do I have or should I settle with “I know, I did that on purpose.” ;)

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.


5 replies so far

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

776 posts in 951 days


#1 posted 939 days ago

Use several layers of color to get the look you are after.

Start by applying a very, very light dye to all of the pieces. I use Transtints mixed with water for this. The actual color isn’t too important. Some people just use a faint shade of yellow. I usually prefer something about the same hue as the final color.

This creates an underlying shade of color that will make the the boards look more uniform in color after the rest of the finish is applied.

Follow up with an oil stain. Water or alcohol based stains might disturb the dyes too much.

Apply a coat of sealer over the stains. If it’s necessary, you can use glazes or toners to add some color to any light areas that remain. Don’t go overboard here. It’s better to err on the side of too little. Toners and glazes can be used evenly over the whole surface or just selectively where needed.

If you really, really wish to get an even color, use all of the above options: light dye, oilstain, sealer, glaze, sealer, toner then topcoat.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View americanwoodworker's profile

americanwoodworker

181 posts in 1008 days


#2 posted 939 days ago

would the real dark pieces of the oak also dye fairly well? I mean will I need to reach a color that matches the darker part of the wood or will the darker part dye to a lighter hue?

I am a somewhat newbie to woodworking and have never really done much with finishing.

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2869 posts in 1121 days


#3 posted 939 days ago

here’s a question: Are these boards from the same pallet? If so, are they replacement slats and stringers or are they all original?

Next question: have you surfaced these boards, ie: with a planer and jointer or are you building with rough lumber and sanding it to dimension?

The reason I ask is that if these boards are from one pallet, and the slats and stringers are not replacements, they should be close to the same color. If some are a lot darker than others, there may have been chemicals spilled on them.

I asked about surfacing to find out if possibly you went far enough into the wood to get back to new wood. Pallets don’t have an easy life, LOL. I have one I just tossed into the burning pile that has been sitting outside for the last 3 years. It was all pretty and new looking when we put it outside, but now it is well weathered and has had stuff from trees falling on it. It’s stained beyond any possible use for furniture although it’s still as solid as a rock.

Oh, and you can’t really make dark wood much lighter. >sigh<

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

776 posts in 951 days


#4 posted 939 days ago

I can’t describe it very well so you’ll have to try a few scraps to actually see how it looks. I can tell you how it works though.

One rule that is almost (not quite) set in stone is that you can’t make any of the wood lighter. The easiest thing to do is aim for a color that is a little darker than the darkest board.

Another useful bit of information is that dark stains will only make dark woods a little darker but will make light woods a lot darker. A medium stain willl darken the light stuff a fair amount and but do very little to the darker woods.

What I’m describing are some advanced finishing techniques and while simple in concept, they do require some practice and a little trial and error until you get a sense for the way stains and colors work.

I found an article that might be useful. It’s not anywhere near a complete primer on color-matching though. It’s also not dealing with quite the same issue.

Color matching wood

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View americanwoodworker's profile

americanwoodworker

181 posts in 1008 days


#5 posted 939 days ago

Dallas it is all from the same pallet. I have planed it down to the dimension I plan to use.

Jaaune, Thanks for the link the two pieces on top are what I have plus a much lighter color. As you can see the darker one is what I am having a problem with. And the overall color of the darker one is what I would like to achieve. So I will do some reading and appreciate your help.

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase