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Staining Oak

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Forum topic by Brandon posted 08-08-2012 02:20 PM 1833 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


08-08-2012 02:20 PM

I generally hate using stain, but for some reason I still find myself using it from time to time. I agreed to help a friend by converting their existing chair into a rocking chair—they’re expecting their first child soon. The only issue is matching the color of the new rockers to the existing legs. I used some Minwax [edit] oil-based stain (Dark Walnut) on the rockers, but its not dark enough and a subsequent couple of coats isn’t getting it darker. Does anybody have any advice on how I might get these rockers a bit darker? Would applying a dye over the stain be effective or disastrous? Or is there anything I can apply to the wood in between coats to make it absorb better or darken. The wood is red oak. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"


12 replies so far

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6820 posts in 1809 days


#1 posted 08-08-2012 02:42 PM

I’m a big fan of using Transtint dye on oak, it works great. It will get it as dark as you want it. Minwax doesnt penetrate oak well in my experience (we like our furniture pretty dark). If I’m not mistake Minwax is oil based so I don’t know if there will be an issue with dye penetrating over that since the dye is diluted in water or alcohol.

I might have some Transtint Mission Oak left over from my last project (see my Shaker End Table and Bookshelf project). I’ve also used Antique Maple on my Shaker Step Stool. The table and stool are red oak. I can give you some to try out. You going to the guild meeting Monday?

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-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Don W

15045 posts in 1226 days


#2 posted 08-08-2012 02:53 PM

I have some jacobean when I want something really dark.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


#3 posted 08-08-2012 03:22 PM

Thanks Mauricio. Yeah, I meant to say “oil-based” not “water-based.” The Minwax just doesn’t penetrate the oak well, like you said. It looks good, but it just isn’t dark enough to match the existing chair. The color I’m going for looks very similar to your bookcase.

Yes, I’m planning, as of now, to go to the guild meeting. See you there!

Don, actually I have Jacobean too and tested it against the Dark Walnut and couldn’t tell much of a difference at all.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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Mauricio

6820 posts in 1809 days


#4 posted 08-08-2012 03:45 PM

The book case and the table are both Mission Oak it’s just that the book case is a more concentrated solution. Also the book case is birch ply and poplar. With the transtint dye you can just keep adding dye till you get it as dark as you want.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


#5 posted 08-08-2012 03:51 PM

Good to know, Mauricio—- I do know that poplar just drinks up the stain compared to oak.

So, does someone know with certainty whether or not I can apply dye over the stain?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1471 days


#6 posted 08-08-2012 07:27 PM

Sanding one grit coarser, and restaining will often result in a darker look on oak. If you sanded to 220, the color will be lighter than sanding to 150 only.
I like Valspar American Walnut for a dark look. It goes on very well, and is a beautiful color.
Sometimes when I am matching stain I tint the lacquer before spraying it on. Universal tints are available at paint stores, and Japan colors are available at woodworking stores. One tablespoon per quart max.
The benefit of tinting – you don’t have to sand the stain off again.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10900 posts in 1348 days


#7 posted 08-09-2012 02:18 AM

A water based dye over the oil based stain won’t work well at all and I’m uncertain about an alcohol based stain.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


#8 posted 08-09-2012 03:12 AM

I purchased some Transtint dye and sanded the rockers down to bare wood and just dyed it. That said, one other option I learned is that I could mix the dye with shellac and apply that directly over the stain.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6820 posts in 1809 days


#9 posted 08-09-2012 09:10 PM

Cool, how did the color match turn out?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

6980 posts in 1341 days


#10 posted 08-09-2012 09:17 PM

In the shop, i have an old quart can. Into this can goes all the little left over cans of stain. Kind of a “Hairy Buffalo” , or a “Witch’s Brew” sort of thing. Once in a while, I’ll even add a bit of thinner, just to keep things moving around in there. Right now, it is almost as black as my mouse Pad. I’ll use it as needed. Saves seeing all them little “half-pints” sitting around.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1078 days


#11 posted 08-09-2012 09:29 PM

+1 on coarser sanding grit. This will allow the stain to grab a bit more and appear darker.

When trying to match colors to existing always match on a sample board and not the actual project. Document your techniques and when you get a match, replicate your performance.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13003 posts in 2641 days


#12 posted 08-10-2012 02:13 AM

alcohol dye stain mixed real stout will darken the Minwax .

Not as much as if it was done under the stain though.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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