Finishing question

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Forum topic by Woodwrecker posted 03-22-2013 01:19 AM 989 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4137 posts in 3544 days

03-22-2013 01:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak finishing

I’m making a chair out of oak and there is light colored and dark colored wood combined.

I want to try and finish it to be a uniform dark reddish stained color with the grain still visible.

Can I get some suggestions?
Thanks a bunch.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

7 replies so far

View hjt's profile


826 posts in 3107 days

#1 posted 03-22-2013 01:59 AM

Eric – not sure but FLOOD makes GREAT products that may help you. I get that from my Glidden paint store, but even HD has some of their produsts. They make great stains used primarily for outdoor projects such as decks, fences and such. I’ve used thier Flood Wood Cleaner and Flood Wood Striper when I was building a perigolia and again when I was restaining a fence. I was amazed at how white the wood became. They then offer many colors of semi-transparent stains. Hope this helps you.

-- Harold

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2659 days

#2 posted 03-22-2013 02:12 AM

Eric, I like MinWax Gunstock stain on red oak better than any other I have tried. It wasn’t available in the little cans last time I checked so a quart is your only option. The Red Chestnut is a close second choice but a little red for my taste.

That darker oak may be some lighter when the surface is sanded/planed.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4187 days

#3 posted 03-22-2013 03:02 AM

There are a number of colors you could use, but I don’t know how you’re going to get a uniform color unless you go pretty dark. And the darker you get, the less prominent your grain is going to be.

I’ll be watching to see what suggestions you get.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View runswithscissors's profile


2725 posts in 1994 days

#4 posted 03-22-2013 03:50 AM

Looks like reclaimed wood, for which I applaud you. I used reclaimed oak for my kitchen remodel, and it was all different colors. Some was white oak, much was red oak, and I decided to not worry about it. It’s a hand crafted product, and maybe shouldn’t look like particle board covered with same color/pattern contact paper. Let it display it’s unique heritage with pride!

Some craftsman made furniture of yore used different species, even, in the same piece. For example, we once had a pie safe that had oak stiles and walnut rails on the doors. People used what they had.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3127 days

#5 posted 03-22-2013 04:05 AM

Dye or stain to taste. It will not be uniform. Use the same dye or stain in a compatible finish (I like aniline dyes with dewaxed shellac). Tone the work. It will be uniform and very pretty. Be careful not to tone too much as the more you do it, the more grain you conceal. There’s a balance that you will find acceptable. When color is right, clear finish with whatever you want.

This is how kitchen cabinets can look so uniform despite the fact that they come from diverse sources and variations of wood.

-- jay,

View Sodabowski's profile


2373 posts in 2802 days

#6 posted 03-22-2013 10:23 AM

My two cents worth: why not fume the light parts with ammonia prior to assembly to get the same dark color everywhere? you can always check the color against the already dark parts until it fits…

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20317 posts in 3074 days

#7 posted 03-28-2013 05:03 PM

It looks like it might tough to get them to all match with such a difference. I would try a couple of pieces of light and dark scrap cut offs first – sand and stain them to see if they come close enough to please you. If so, start cutting the parts for the chair. If not, look for more pieces of a more uniform color to start with….....................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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