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Forum topic by Jerry posted 327 days ago 829 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

2146 posts in 2134 days


327 days ago

We have a job coming up very soon. The customer wants alder and wants it stained. We actually have never built out of alder that I can recall. His brother has an alder kitchen and is beautiful. I know if it is stained correctly it will look very nice. He sent me pics of the kitchen color he wants. I will include those pics for color representation.

Most of the staining we do is with a toner type of coat where we mix color into our sand and seal and or lacquer top coats. This always gives us a very even color throughout.

I have practiced applying just regular wipe on stain onto alder with very poor results.

Off of the top of my head I am thinking of using a transtint dye and using the color ‘brown mahogany’ and mixing in a hint of red dye. Refer to link for transtint dye color chart: http://www.homesteadfinishingproducts.com/htdocs/TransTint.htm

Here are the pics he sent that he wants the color to look like.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net


14 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1618 posts in 1080 days


#1 posted 327 days ago

I’m not sure if there is a question in there, but the dyes should do what you want, and they solve what many folks call blotching. Dyes are pretty tough to get down evenly over large areas, consider spraying them, and I’d use water based dyes. They raise the grain, but are more light fast than the NGR (alcohol based) dyes. he grain raising might be worse on alder, test a few pieces. I would deal with by top coating the raised with whatever he top coat will be, or maybe a coat of de waxed shellac (also sprayed) then smooth that out. The raised fibers will be locked in place, so you can move on with more coats. One other solution might be to finish the bare alder with de waxed shellac, then use a gel stain as a glaze….that also solves the blotching. I should add that I’m not one of the finishing “experts” around here (or anywhere else) ....so more advice will follow.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

876 posts in 697 days


#2 posted 327 days ago

Most of the staining we do is with a toner type of coat where we mix color into our sand and seal and or lacquer top coats. This always gives us a very even color throughout.

I think you can keep doing the same, just add a dye underneath. You could start with a dye like Solar Lux, or Transtint, which will also provide some complex undertones. Stay away from darker dyes, and the overcoats will even things out. Sometimes, I’ll start with an orange or amber dye, then use brown overcoats to reach a similar color to your photo, similar to an aged cherry.

To find the color, make a finish-ready Alder board with 12 boxes divided by shallow kerfs. 6 inch square boxes work well for me, big enough to tell, small enough to be easily handled and not waste materials. Dye three strips of four boxes with three different dyes. Spray 4 different top coats, one on each color of dye. This will give you 12 different looks. Pick the one closest to your destination and either go with it, or fine tune from there on another grid..

Note the details on the back and save the board.

I don’t use much alder, but I use a decent amount of soft maple and birch, and this works for me.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

888 posts in 1277 days


#3 posted 327 days ago

CPBarry is right – I would add one thing. Have the customer sign the back of the finish they select. If they want a piece (to match decor) then make a second one, do not give up the signed copy.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 942 days


#4 posted 327 days ago

You have to sand the wood before you apply a wood stain. I know in a lot of cases this is a step thet gets omitted in large companies that use that process, well, they don’t sand that well. You also need to spray a piece after staining in order to see what it will look like. You might be putting it on too heavy, or not wiping away excess. Also need to know what kinds of stains you are using like gel? Wiping? Dye? Gels tend to go on too heavy for this kind of wood.

Have used alder several times and did it with the traditional stain then finish approach and have never had problems.

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

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4702 posts in 1164 days


#5 posted 327 days ago

I’d heed the advice of Charles Neil first, and have the customer sign
off on the sample as stated above.

Maybe ask Charles as he is an LJ member and an approachable fellow as
well.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3034 posts in 1262 days


#6 posted 327 days ago

I am seeing Alder cabinets in some of the new homes in my area. I just don’t care for the wood but that is a personal thing. I will say that what I am seeing here is darker than you show in your pic. I think they are using something different to color the wood. I mean something different than a color added to a finish. I like your pic better than what I see locally. I don’t think you will go wrong with tinted finishes and a sprayer. Good luck and NO I am not a finish expert. As a friend once told me there are a lot of things you can do to make this worse and you have used most of those things in this project.

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

876 posts in 697 days


#7 posted 327 days ago

Have the customer sign the back of the finish they select. If they want a piece (to match decor) then make a second one, do not give up the signed copy.

+100!

I usually make a 12×12 of the final choice, have them sign the back, then I cut it in half if they want a “copy”. I also always put in writing, on the work agreement: “Wood is a natural product and is subject to natural color and figure variations that may change over time. Exact color matching may or may not be possible, and due to environmental aspects like light, colors may grow darker or lighter over time.”.

The best part of this is that they accept a color in their location, and you still have the sample to compare under your shop lights. If it works in one place, it’ll work at the other, during the day, at night, on rainy days…

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Justin57's profile

Justin57

36 posts in 1824 days


#8 posted 327 days ago

+1 to Charles Neil advice. He also has a “Finishing Class series ” online ( http://www.cn-woodworking.com/finishing-class/ ), where you can go any time you need to see how to handle specific situations. Videos are listed in outline format so you can go right to the topic you need to review. HTH

-- Carl (Justin57)

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1939 days


#9 posted 327 days ago

I use alder all the time.. we call it a “poor man’s cherry”, and yes it is prone to severe blotching.. I too, recommend you use Charles Neil’s Blotch control..I have done some very large kitchens out of both the alder and cherry as well as other highly blotch prone woods and his formula, in my opinion is the best way to go.. I have just finished one kitchen in cherry that had 4 different colors of stain to get the color they wanted, and everything was treated with his blotch control first and not one stitch of blotching when I was done. trust me on this, buy the BC from him and you will have results that will impress the heck out of you and your client.

here is the cherry kitchen that I did first treated with his BC solution.. this kitchen alone, has gotten me many more jobs

http://www.racfurniture.com/portfolio/my-work/17446156

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1227 posts in 844 days


#10 posted 327 days ago

I might be wrong, but it looks like there is blotching in the pic. Maybe it would be prudent to ask if they want it with or without blotching. I know one person that prefers blotches. His reasoning is that wood is a natural product and the blotches highlight that fact. FWIW

-- Art

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2164 days


#11 posted 327 days ago

Charles Neil knows his stuff he’s a finishing expert and his blotch control works great.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2146 posts in 2134 days


#12 posted 327 days ago

Yeah I agree Art, but some variation in color is good but my practice piece was terrible so I hope to control it some.

Thanks everyone, I will get with Charles and buy some of his stuff. I am sure it cannot hurt and should help. Thanks again.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2146 posts in 2134 days


#13 posted 327 days ago

Randall, very nice work on your web site. I like it a lot.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1939 days


#14 posted 326 days ago

thanks Jerry..I appreciate it..pretty much everything I learned about finishing comes from Charles..he’s really helped me a lot over the years and really improved my finishing skills..

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

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