How do you finish pine?

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Forum topic by JADobson posted 07-29-2013 08:59 PM 981 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JADobson's profile


1033 posts in 2104 days

07-29-2013 08:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pine finishing wise and venerable

My wife came home with some cheap pine shelves that she got on sale. They are unfinished and she wants me to stain them a dark espresso colour. I’ve finished a few pine things before and I’ve never really been happy with the results. So, how do you wise and venerable lumberjocks finish your pine projects? Any tricks you might like to share? Thanks.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

5 replies so far

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3735 days

#1 posted 07-29-2013 09:05 PM

Does she care about the grain/knots etc?
Just asking since she wants the espresso color.
If she isn’t too concerned about it looking wooden/rustic..then I would “almost” just paint it.

The standard procedure for staining “real deal” would be to apply a wash coat of shellac to it (to seal the knots and sap) , then use a gel stain (controls color/blotching) , followed by poly.

Anything is doable though.
Pine is one of the hardest woods to finish, particularly when trying to get it really dark.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View JADobson's profile


1033 posts in 2104 days

#2 posted 07-29-2013 09:07 PM

Your standard procedure was what I was looking for but your idea to paint it might actually be closer to what she is looking for. I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2439 days

#3 posted 07-29-2013 09:40 PM

Explain to her that in the eyes of a woodworker, painting wood of any kind is blasphemy.
Dr dirt has it right,mix some shellac with 99% alcohol (50-50) ,then stain/varnish.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

931 posts in 2227 days

#4 posted 07-30-2013 01:09 AM

Make a sizing from hide glue. Google it and they should have the water/glue ratio. Paint it on, let it dry over night, lightly sand it and stain/dye it.
This has worked for me for all blotching type woods.

-- Jerry

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3159 posts in 3102 days

#5 posted 07-30-2013 01:27 AM

Dye it. I used Trans-tint Mahogany on a small pine side table, it really looks nice. Dye is best for color when you have a wood like pine with big differences in the hard/soft rings.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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