Dark Brown Stain?

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Forum topic by MT_Stringer posted 01-25-2013 12:32 AM 1472 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3172 posts in 3257 days

01-25-2013 12:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine tablesaw jointer router spray gun planer

A lady asked for a quote to build a rustic coffee table…the kind made from 2×4’s and pine slats. Skip on to the finish. She asked for a dark brown stain. HUH?

The end result will be a coffee table that will go to their shack in the country. It will resemble a fishing pier with slats for the top and reclaimed pallet boards for the lower shelf. 2×4 frame members (actually milled smaller than that)
So, what would you suggest I use for stain?
Dark brown or maybe blackish also.

The closest I could find is Cabot Deck stain ($18/qt.) – Jarrah Brown or something like that. I don’t even know if I can spray a clear finish over it.

Your thoughts appreciated.

Note: Looking forward to this. We talked today about using the 2×4’s which I will rip and plane to make the various pieces. The way I will rip them, I plan to use the leftovers to make her a crate or two like posted in my projects. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

10 replies so far

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2217 days

#1 posted 01-25-2013 12:52 AM

i used rustoleum brand stain a good while back named kona i got at lowe’s for around $10 is a real dark brown but it had a good look to it.i put a couple coats of poly on it.
hope this helps…

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3257 days

#2 posted 01-25-2013 01:31 AM

Thanks. I will check it out.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View bondogaposis's profile


4767 posts in 2378 days

#3 posted 01-25-2013 01:43 AM

Beware the blotch whatever you use.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 3204 days

#4 posted 01-25-2013 02:17 AM

I used Minwax Red Mahogany 225 recently on a pub table I made using 2X material. Turned out more brown then I would have thought and not very red at all. The first thing most remark upon is that it looks old/rustic. Topped it off with 2 coats of clear shellac and followed that up with several coats of wipe on poly.

All the “blotching”, in my opinion, just adds to the rustic feel.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3257 days

#5 posted 01-25-2013 02:18 AM

@Mark – I have some of that stain. I will do a test batch on a scrap 2×4.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2717 days

#6 posted 01-25-2013 02:58 AM

Min Wax Jacobean is REALLY dark brown. I posted a leaning shelf unit with this on it I think.

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

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3185 days

#7 posted 01-25-2013 03:17 AM

I’d put a mix of brown Transtint dye in your finish and spray it. You can control the darkness with multiple, iterative coats.

This is a good way to get very uniform, dark color, but I’m almost thinking that a blotchy stain might indeed give the rustic feel you want. In that event, I’d use an oil-based stain directly on the wood, then use the same stain in some oil-based poly to start your finish, in the event you need to even it out a bit and darken it. Then, top with the same poly, sans the stain.

-- jay,

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3172 posts in 3257 days

#8 posted 01-25-2013 04:06 AM

Thanks for all of your input. Got the graph paper and pencil in hand…and so it begins. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1981 days

#9 posted 01-25-2013 05:36 AM

I sure would try to find some weathered wood so it would take color. Based on the design looking like a pier, I’d brew up some strong coffee and paint it with that. After it dried I’d rub some grounds in for contrast.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2381 days

#10 posted 01-25-2013 05:41 AM

Ok, whatever stain you use you are going to have to tell them you have to finish it as well, stains are not finishes, and when exposed to water they are going to discolor. Which will come back to you to be fixed most likely at your expense.

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

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