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Finishing quarter sawn white oak

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Forum topic by Steven Gaffin posted 02-18-2014 04:38 AM 1692 views 5 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1011 days


02-18-2014 04:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: arts and crafts oak finishing

I have gone through almost a dozen finishes in quarter sawn white oak for my kitchen cabinet project. My wife finally found a reference image. Does anyone have any ideas on which dyes to use? My initial plan is to use a water based dye, then shellac, and finally something like a gel stain. I’m just not sure what stains will help me achieve this look.

Any ideas?


18 replies so far

View darthford's profile

darthford

532 posts in 679 days


#1 posted 02-18-2014 05:55 AM

WOW that will be my next kitchen if ever I buy another new house, love that look. I’m watching this thread to see what others can offer, sorry I pretty much suck at finishing so I’ll have to watch this one from the sidelines.

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BobLang

104 posts in 2155 days


#2 posted 02-18-2014 11:28 AM

Aniline dye followed by amber or garnet shellac, then a top coat of something more durable as it is in a kitchen. Or you can use an oil-based stain (not Minwax) followed by walnut Danish oil. With plan B you might also want to add a coat of shellac to warm things up. A durable topcoat should follow this as well.

links are to more detailed answers

3 Ways to Arts & Crafts Finish

Stickley Finish With Modern Materials

-- Bob Lang, http://360woodworking.com/

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Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1011 days


#3 posted 02-18-2014 12:10 PM

Bob, I actually followed your finishing processes for my initial finish test samples but unfortunately the didn’t contrast well with the flooring or countertop that my wife has in mind. Do you have any thoughts on what colors I should focus more on to reach these colors? Do you think a gel stain after the shellac process on plan A is necessary.

P.S. First time building cabinets and your cabinet building book has been by my side on the journey the entire time.

View JustplaneJeff's profile

JustplaneJeff

185 posts in 658 days


#4 posted 02-18-2014 12:46 PM

Check out my kitchen project on my projects page. Its a similar style kitchen, and if you like the finish on it I can tell you what I did

-- JustplaneJeff

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BobLang

104 posts in 2155 days


#5 posted 02-18-2014 02:10 PM

Thanks for the kind words. The finish in the photo looks pretty light. You can control the color by using/mixing the different flavors of Danish Oil. Not sure if they still do, but there used to be Light Walnut, Walnut and Dark Walnut. A good paint store should have all three. You’ll have to experiment, but you can mix the colored Danish Oil with the clear for a lighter color. You could also thin down the stain.

I don’t get why you would want to put the gel stain on after the shellac. If you want to darken the open pores, use a dark wax at the end. Keep in mind that the wax will darken everything.

Hope this helps

-- Bob Lang, http://360woodworking.com/

View Steven Gaffin's profile

Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1011 days


#6 posted 02-18-2014 02:26 PM

It does. I just finished reading your article

http://readwatchdo.com/2011/12/gustav-stickley-finishing-article/

I will try the “fumed” aniline dye with amber and garnet shellac. I will also try danish oil experiments. I have also contacted lockwood for any advice they would have on which dye to try.

I read a few people who would put gel stains over shellac so I tried it as well. It seems like the contrast between the open and closed grain was not subtle at all.

I will post photos of my sample results as soon as I finish them. Hopefully I will have them done by the end of this week.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1172 posts in 2625 days


#7 posted 02-18-2014 05:03 PM

If you care to drop me a Pm, we can do some emails with photos.. I think I can get this pretty close for you , I just happen to have a ton of dyes out as we speak.. This color looks really close to one I have.

View levan's profile

levan

428 posts in 1734 days


#8 posted 02-18-2014 07:39 PM

Might also want to check out the victorian cherry wiping stain at hood. I have used these stains and dyes alot and have always been happy with them.
http://www.hoodfinishing.com/stains_colorants.html

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View junebug's profile

junebug

88 posts in 1159 days


#9 posted 02-18-2014 07:54 PM

Wow, first Bob Lang helps and then Charles Neil chimes in? You’re in good hands sir!

View Steven Gaffin's profile

Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1011 days


#10 posted 02-18-2014 08:22 PM

I know I have been updating my wife about who I am getting to talk to :)

View Steven Gaffin's profile

Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1011 days


#11 posted 02-19-2014 08:24 PM

Thought I should throw up an update. Charles Neil and I have been going back and fourth by email a bit and he was able to duplicate the look of the cabinets in the images I provided. He used 2 parts General Finishes light brown and 1 part General Finishes Orange.

I will be testing the process this weekend. Unfortunately the wife is out on a survey project and won’t be back until the following weekend so I won’t know for sure if this is the definite rout until then.

The photo lighting is much different so an exact match by images would be very difficult but I can already tell a difference by how the grain looks with his tests compared to what I had.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1172 posts in 2625 days


#12 posted 02-19-2014 08:47 PM

unfortunately I had to take the photos with my phone, and they appear much lighter, but looking at the photos Sgffin sent me ,its on the money. But the cool thing about dyes is you can “season to taste” once you have the basic colors down. Just wrote a book on it ..

View BobLang's profile

BobLang

104 posts in 2155 days


#13 posted 02-19-2014 08:50 PM

Looks like you have the color close, but if you’re going for a period look the flakes are too light. Today everyone wants “POP” but in the day a more even color was preferred. Colored Danish oil (or some other glaze) will even it out.

-- Bob Lang, http://360woodworking.com/

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Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1011 days


#14 posted 02-20-2014 02:23 PM

I am definitely going to give the danish oils a test run and compare them against the stained wood shown above but I am not sure if I am going for a purely period look or not. The house is a 1920 vernacular duplex that housed mill workers. At the moment it is a noncontributing structure on the National Registry of Historic Places so we are not pinned down to anything specific on style. The big question is what works best with the chosen flooring and the counter top color.

Here is a image of the original test samples I did over the chosen flooring which is marmoleum (a linoleum that is manufactured with materials that would have been appropriate to the time period)

Bob, number 4 is from your write up using modern materials. I was having trouble getting it darker though. The QSWO seemed to only soak up so much of the oil based stains.

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Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 1011 days


#15 posted 03-03-2014 03:07 PM

I tried the stains this weekend. she liked the stain of 3 light brown to 1 orange but wants a darker finish. She wants something between the water based 3:1 stain and the cherry gel stain + Amber shellac + Java gel stain.

Essentially I need to create a rich deep brown with hints of reddish orange.

I will play with using the water based stains then protecting them with a shellac and putting a coat of gel stain over that.

I use a gel stain instead of a wax because I have heard I cannot put a protective finish over the wax and since these are kitchen cabinets I want a very durable finish to protect them.

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