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Finishing schedule for espresso cherry needed

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Forum topic by noone posted 01-09-2013 05:05 AM 1423 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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noone

410 posts in 1016 days


01-09-2013 05:05 AM

Im ready to stain and seal some cherry trim and doors and drawers espresso and would like to get your finishing schedule input.

It’s for a bathroom vanity.

I have conversion HVLP guns, a 1.7 and a 2.2.

Do any of you use Minwax products? Or do I have to go the Target or General Finishes route?


16 replies so far

View Natalie 's profile

Natalie

367 posts in 710 days


#1 posted 01-09-2013 05:22 AM

Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but I once stained some cherry by using a stain I made from soaking rusty metal in vinegar, it produces a very dark brown color. I suggest you experiment with it a lot before using it.
Natalie

-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

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pintodeluxe

3549 posts in 1557 days


#2 posted 01-09-2013 06:08 AM

Well, cherry is a blotch prone wood. It needs either a pre-stain conditioner, or a washcoat of shellac as a pre-stain conditioner. I start with Zinssner Bullseye seal coat (diluted 2 parts seal coat : 3 parts denatured alcohol). That is the minimum concentration I have found to prevent blotching on cherry. If the seal coat is too concentrated, you will not achieve a dark color when the stain is applied.
After the seal coat dries, scuff sand with a fine sanding sponge and stain the project.
General finishes gel stain is available in several dark varieties. The photos above are Varathane brand dark walnut oil based stain over a seal coat.
Wipe the stain down several times as it dries, and let it dry fully for 24-48 hrs. This is the most important step.
Finally, spray two coats of sealer – either dewaxed shellac at full strength, or my preference is lacquer.
Use your 1.7mm tip for all of the spraying.

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

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2966 posts in 1030 days


#3 posted 01-09-2013 07:08 AM

What Willie said. Get some shellac filler coat and you may even be able to tint it espresso a bit, then when it dries, sand it down with some 320, just wipe it really and then mix the espresso with regular dewaxed shellac and it should come out fine. When you’re done, you can thin your shellac with some mineral spirits and wipe it on with long even strokes going with the grain. Make a golfball size wad of cotton and wrap a tee shirt around it for an applicator. Apply in very thin layers until you get the shine you want.
You can also use a gel coat, but you definitely need a pre color conditioner. I’d wax and buff after that.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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noone

410 posts in 1016 days


#4 posted 01-18-2013 04:08 PM

I sprayed some Transtint cordovan dye first mixed with water using a 1.0mm conversion HVLP gravity gun. The dye laid down perfect with no splotching or blotching whatsoever.

I then had a go with a TransTint cordovan dye mixed in with General Finishes Enduro Var and sprayed it on the dyed piece of test wood using a 1.8mm conversion HVLP gravity gun.

Then I sprayed this same mixture on bare cherry.

The finish laid down great in both cases, I just don’t like the color AT ALL. It looks purple.

So now I have wasted over $40 dollars on a bottle of dye and a pint of Enduro Var. Quite disappointed and the wife won’t be pleased.

I think I really like dye, i’d just like to know what combinations to use to achieve a dark brown finish with some reddish brown undertones.

Any ideas or experiences?

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1902 days


#5 posted 01-18-2013 04:45 PM

In your second paragraph, did you mean to say TransTint Cordovan? Have you applied any brown yet?

In general, the purple underneath is okay, but I’d tone it back with a little Dark Walnut and a very small dash of green (which will cut the harshness of the purple a little bit). For a darker espresso look, I’d add a little black into the mix.

BTW, 2 oz. of dye is a LOT of dye. Go easy on it. I’ve used half a bottle of Mission Brown and I’ve sprayed the majority of my kitchen cabinets to this point. If you need it darker, either spray more coats or add some black…you shouldn’t need that much dye.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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noone

410 posts in 1016 days


#6 posted 01-18-2013 04:52 PM

I have only used .5 oz of TransTint Cordovan diluted in 16 oz of water as well as .5 oz of TransTint Cordovan diluted in 16 oz (1 pt) of General Finishes Enduro Var. I really did not think long enough on how to further break down say 4 oz of Enduro Var to some minuscule amount of TransTint dye, because I wanted something that was measureable and repeatable.

The 2 methods I tried were:

1. Mixture of dye + finish sprayed directly on bare wood.
2. Mixture of dye + water sprayed on bare wood first, followed by sprayed mixture of dye + finish.

Both tests looked to be about the same darkness, almost entirely covering the grain.

I should have thought ahead further though because this experimenting is getting expensive.

To be honest, I just think it looks like crap now. It’s too dark and it’s too purple. Frustrated….

Now we are talking about buying another $20 dollar bottle of Dark Walnut and Black and maybe even green. That’s over $60 bucks not including tax, plus I still have to buy more clear finish.

Is there a cheaper way to experiment here? What about Mixol? What’s a cheaper clear finish I can experiment with??

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1902 days


#7 posted 01-18-2013 05:12 PM

I count the dyes by the number of drops I use. That’s your measurement.

Again, a whole spectrum of those 2 oz. bottles of dye should last a long, long time.

I’d do my dye with dewaxed shellac and save the Endurovar for the finishing coats only. You’ll save 50% (or more) of your expense right there. You can also get powered forms in smaller, cheaper batches, like with J.E. Moser and Behlens.

Use sample boards to experiment. I like baby food jars, whereas I will put 1 oz. of dewaxed shellac, 1 oz. of denatured alcohol, and whatever mix of dyes I need (maybe 5 drops of Mission Brown to 1 drop of Green – as I did with my kitchen cabinets to cut the red a little bit). I might do this with three baby jars to strike the right balance. Once that is done, I mix up the amount needed for the project.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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noone

410 posts in 1016 days


#8 posted 01-18-2013 06:31 PM

Isn’t using dye in water and spraying or wiping it on the same thing as dying in a mix of alcohol and shellac?

Is there a cheaper place I can buy these dyes from than my local Woodcraft? That place is expensive. I hate paying full stinking retail.

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noone

410 posts in 1016 days


#9 posted 01-18-2013 06:53 PM

I just thought of something that I am going to try.

RIT Dye. It’s ridiculously cheap!!

I think I am going to try to use some RIT dye colors to modify my existing purple concoctions.

I just saw a post of someone using it and it looks good to me!

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f8/using-rit-dye-maple-15251/#post122653

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1902 days


#10 posted 01-18-2013 08:03 PM

Yes, or you can just mix with alcohol.

But three things: One, using it with shellac lets you build up a film finish, partly in place of the water-borne poly so that you have better protection (requiring less of it). Two, applying the dye directly to the work instead of with the finish does not permit you to overlay colors, as in toning the work to see colors through other colors. Three, you will “raise the grain” this way, more so with water than the alcohol.

Additionally, I like it in the finish because you can also tone areas differently, and even glaze atop of it should you like.

But my point is that you don’t need to put it in the Endurovar, spending so much money. Using the dyes by the “drop,” you might put on 8 coats to get the level of darkness you want. I’d rather use thinned shellac to accomplish this rather than the Endurovar which costs 2 or 3 times as much.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1902 days


#11 posted 01-18-2013 08:04 PM

Can’t tell you much about using the RIT, but you can get the TransTint on Amazon for closer to $15/bottle.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1378 posts in 927 days


#12 posted 01-18-2013 08:51 PM

I’ve been holding my tongue for a while here, but I cannot believe that you’re dying cherry a dark espresso color.

But to answer an actual question, yes, there is a big difference between applying dye directly to wood and mixing dye into shellac or lacquer. Applying the dye directly to the wood penetrates the surface of the wood fibers with colorant. Mixing dye into shellac or lacquer applies a toner coat on top of the wood.

And I beg of you, please take some scrap and do a test piece before you go any further with this project. If you had done so from the beginning, you could have figured out your final color and finishing schedule before you sprayed anything on your vanity. Recreate what you’ve done, and figure out what it will take to get your final look on the scrap, and then replicate it.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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noone

410 posts in 1016 days


#13 posted 01-18-2013 09:14 PM

The color and finish i’m looking to get is shown in this photo. The majority of the furniture in our house has this finish on it. I believe it is cherry, which is why I bought cherry to try to duplicate this look. I’d sure like to know a way to do it cheaper, so please share.

I have been testing on scrap pieces. Not a lick of finish has touched the final pieces yet.

Any insight on how to achieve this miracle finish?

Here are my futile attempts at finishing-

Left board is 1 coat of Enduro Varnish + dye mixture applied directly to wood. Right board is dye + water applied to bare wood via spray evenly, followed by 1 coat of Enduro Varnish + dye mixture. The one on the left looks better (I was having trouble with my spray gun but i’m sure i could lay it on even in the next go around) but they both look like purple crap to me.

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a1Jim

112805 posts in 2321 days


#14 posted 01-18-2013 09:32 PM

charles@charlesneilwoodworking.com

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1378 posts in 927 days


#15 posted 01-18-2013 09:36 PM

Well, that’s not espresso. Espresso is an extremely dark brown that is near black, and would basically hide the grain. It’s a great color for uninteresting wood, which is why cheaper furniture looks decent in espresso.

I would start to replicate that with dyes by combining brown, cherry red, and maybe a tiny touch of blue. Maybe a little black if needed. Play with the ratios, but be precise about it. Keep in mind that adding it to even blonde shellac will alter it slightly.

You also need to keep in mind that cherry wood will darken with age, so getting newly cut cherry toned to match decades old cherry means that 10 years from now, your vanity will be darker than the other pieces.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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