How to finish Knotty Pine Tongue in Groove?? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-31-2010, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy How to finish Knotty Pine Tongue in Groove??

First off - I really know NOTHING about wood working - we've hired someone to finish out basement. We are putting knotty pine on teh ceiling and 1/3 way up the walls. To save some money, we said we would finish it our selves before they put it up to make it easier. We knoe we don't want to just put a clear coat on - we wnat it a little darker.

So what do we do? Stain, a sealant?? I know nothing. Help?????

ALso - it's the middle of winter and we have a dog and a 6month old baby - so what do we use that would not be harmful?

Last edited by mpiche; 01-31-2010 at 01:47 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-31-2010, 03:57 PM
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Whew.... you took on a big project in that conventional wisdom and your initial perception will be to get it done quickly. However, if you want something to look incredibly nice and professional (not like it was DIY), then plan on many steps and lots of time. First.... is the sanding and preparation steps. Probably the most over looked of any DIY finishing project. Once you have all of your wood acclimated to you room (at least 24 hours of "rest" in the room to get acclimated to temperature and humidity), wipe everything down with a rag soaked in mineral spitits. This will help remove any dirt, oil, grease or whatever may be present on your wood..... let it flash off and dry.

Then start your sanding process. I would highly recommend a palm sander or just a plain old sanding block. With the pine, I would probably start with #100 garnet sanding paper. Once everything is sanded, vacuum and then wipe your wood down with a rag soaked in mineral spirits. Let it dry, then move to #120 paper and repeat vacuum and cleaning. Go next to #150, then #180 and finally #220 repeating the vacuuming and cleaning between each sanding step. Do not skip steps in your sanding. If you skip and go to #180 paper after sanding with #100.... you will not smooth out the scratches or abrasions you put in the wood from the #100 paper. Take your time and do each of these steps fully and completely. You will have a much smoother surface and wood that will take your stain a lot better.

Now, once you're done.... you have a nice smooth surface in preparation of finishing. Pine however, is very un-eaven in how porous it is and generally stains up with a very splotchy appearance. So, a pre-conditioner is necessary. You can buy pre-stain conditioners redy-mixed off the shelf. However, I have found them to be very un-impressive in their performance. I like to use a shellac based conditioner for Pine, Poplar, Birch and other soft woods. What I do is use the Zinsser shellac based sanding sealer http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID=72 and cut it 50/50 with denatured alcohol. I generally give my raw (soft) wood two coats of this "conditioner" lightly scuffed with a 3M sanding pad between coats (always create test samples on scrap wood to BEFORE tackeling your entire project to be certain of your results). Wipe the wood after scuffing with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits and let your wood completely dry before the next coat.

Once you've conditioned your soft wood with a couple of coats of this home made conditioner.... you are ready for stain. If using an oil based penetrating stain, I like using the Sher-Wood BAC wiping stains from Sherwin Williams: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/pro/...ains/index.jsp or an equally fine product from General Finishes: http://www.generalfinishes.com/finis...es/oilbase.htm Using big box brand stains like Minwax, Cabot, Deft are ok.... but they just aren't the quality of the brands I've already mentioned or other professional grade stains like ML Campbell and Mohawk. A pro grade stain may be a bit more expensive on the front end, but you generally can stain in a single coat and have a MUCH "cleaner" final appearance prior to final finishing. Assuming you are using a pro-grade stain.... flood the surface of your prepared wood and let the stain flash off (dry to the touch). Then wipe it using a cloth soaked with mineral spirits and remove all of the excess stain. I can't stress enough the importance of having a LOT of clean cotton rags available. Once you start wiping your stain off.... your wiping rag will fill with excess stain and you will need another one. Let everythig dry for at least 24 hours after staining before final finishing.

For final finishing.... if doing a lot of wood like you are probably going to be doing.... a lacquer, alcohol or water based final finish would be the way to go because anything oil based will take several hours to dry between coats. Longer even if using an oil based polyurethane (which for me is NOT a good thing because of all of the "dust" and particles that get stuck in the finish). What I would do if it were me.... and remember, I tend to be a bit anal in my finishing schedule (but my stuff usually looks darned nice if I do say so myself), is give my newly stained wood a couple coats of sanding sealer. I would use that very same DE-WAXED shellac based sanding sealer from Zinsser that you used in your wash coat. Two coats of the de-waxed shellac will help seal your wood and start a nice build toward your final finish. You can very lightly scuff between coats with a 3M synthetic pad. Wipe the sanding dust off with a cotton cloth dampened with mineral spirits and then a final wipe with a cloth dampened with water.

I would then finish the wood using a water based final finish of your choice. I am using the General Finishes Polyacrylic: http://www.generalfinishes.com/msds-...lic-062805.pdf on a project right now. Similar to yours in that mine is a bunch of molding which I am staining and finishing for my family room. I ran a test between the General Finishes Polyacrylic and that from Minwax.... and it wasn't even close. I had to constantly stir the MW product and it was a lot more "sticky" than that from General Finishes. The General Finishes product flows out like brushing finish on glass. No brush marks and it's crystal clear. I'm putting three coats over two coats of the de-waxed shellac sanding sealer.... scuffing between each coat with a synthetic 3M pad. A lot of steps for sure.... but my finished product has a lustre and appearance that you just find yourself wanting to "touch" and rub your hands along. LOL.... kind of like that "wet paint" sign when you see it. You just HAVE to touch it to make sure.

Now, if you own or have access to spray equipment and are adept at using it.... you can accomplish the "finish" process even faster spraying a vinyl sanding sealer and then a few coats of coats of lacquer. Lacquers dry in mere minutes and you can build several coats of finish in just a couple of hours. However, with most lacquers you have fumes and odors that aren't good for anyone (especially the baby) But, alas, I don't have the space for spraying, nor the professional equipment. So, I have to do everything by hand. Nor, do I have the worry about fumes.

Good luck with your project. Take your time.... don't rush things or skimp and practice, practice, practice on scrap getting everything right prior to starting your entire project. Make a finish schedule on your scrap so when you find something that you like.... it is repeatable.

Last edited by JW_in_Indy; 01-31-2010 at 04:02 PM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-31-2010, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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oh my goodness JW - I had no idea!!!!

I really appreciate the time and thought you put into that response. We definitely do want it to look good. What if we like the "rough" look? Would that make a difference in the suggestions you've made made? I'll add more later - my baby's crying for me!
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-31-2010, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mpiche View Post
oh my goodness JW - I had no idea!!!!

I really appreciate the time and thought you put into that response. We definitely do want it to look good. What if we like the "rough" look? Would that make a difference in the suggestions you've made made? I'll add more later - my baby's crying for me!
Well, some would simply go to Home Depot or Lowes, buy a can of redi-mixed wood conditioner, a can of Minwax stain and a can of Minwax Polyurethane. They might pick up some #180 and #220 sand paper (if they choose to sand at all) and a bag of gloves. They'd go home and start sanding with the #180, then about half way through the #220, get tired and start staining. They "might" wipe enough of the first coat off to realize with that type of stain, that they need another coat. Or, they won't and they will have all kinds of residual "smudges" which they think are how it's supposed to look.

Then, after the impatience of staining grows, they'll go ahead and "Poly" everything without proper surface preparation. It'll look "OK," but anyone with any kind of eye will know in an instant that it's DIY. So, you need to ask yourself what you want.... a professional looking stain and finish job (which you can achieve given that you take your time and do things right) or one that is just done to be done and not even close to being something you can be proud of if you look half way close.

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post #5 of 20 Old 01-31-2010, 07:40 PM
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Mp,
What JW told you is correct for finishing 'finish grade' wood. I have installed a lot of t and g pine in basements, mainly for feature walls and covering bulkheads around ductwork. The knotty pine is too rough for all intents to expect a smooth as silk finish on. Take the wood and lay it out on sawhorses. Hit it with a shop vac with a brush attachment. Go to sherwin williams and get a gallon of their oil based stain called 'woodscapes'. It's their house brand. They have different colors and will custom tint it for you also. Brush it on, let it sit for a few minutes and wipe it off using old rags. They sell the blocks of t-shirt rags at SW. Let the stain dry at least for a 24 hour period. For a finish, brush on two coats of quick dry varnish. I wouldn't worry about sanding in between coats.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-31-2010, 08:53 PM
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Mp,
What JW told you is correct for finishing 'finish grade' wood. I have installed a lot of t and g pine in basements, mainly for feature walls and covering bulkheads around ductwork. The knotty pine is too rough for all intents to expect a smooth as silk finish on. Take the wood and lay it out on sawhorses. Hit it with a shop vac with a brush attachment. Go to sherwin williams and get a gallon of their oil based stain called 'woodscapes'. It's their house brand. They have different colors and will custom tint it for you also. Brush it on, let it sit for a few minutes and wipe it off using old rags. They sell the blocks of t-shirt rags at SW. Let the stain dry at least for a 24 hour period. For a finish, brush on two coats of quick dry varnish. I wouldn't worry about sanding in between coats.
Mike Hawkins
Thanks Mike.... all too often when finishing, folks tend to get in a hurry and skip steps along the way. The end result will be the same in that.... both projects will have "color" and some type of film finish. You simply must take your time and do things right to end up with a nice stained and finished product. Even the SW "Woodscapes" will be problematic if the wood isn't prepped correctly prior to using it.

But, I digress.... my very best advice is practice on your scrap and keep a finishing schedule so that it's repeatable.

Last edited by JW_in_Indy; 02-01-2010 at 06:51 PM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-01-2010, 01:45 PM
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we have a dog and a 6month old baby - so what do we use that would not be harmful?
There aren't a lot of stains out there that don't have a strongish smell, but water based varnishes have a lot milder odor than varethanes, etc.

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 03:30 PM
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JW- I am currently following your steps for finishing pine tongue and groove for a ceiling project. After I applied the BAC wiping stain on my sample board and let it dry to the touch, I wiped it with a rag soaked in mineral spirits but most of the stain came off leaving the board lighter than I had hoped. Other samples that I just wiped with a dry rag came out at the desired color. Is the mineral spirit wipe down necesarry?

Last edited by lake rat; 09-14-2011 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Misspelling
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-21-2011, 04:12 PM
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try using an amber shellac, dries quickly and will give a nice finish.
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-21-2011, 05:05 PM
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JW- I am currently following your steps for finishing pine tongue and groove for a ceiling project. After I applied the BAC wiping stain on my sample board and let it dry to the touch, I wiped it with a rag soaked in mineral spirits but most of the stain came off leaving the board lighter than I had hoped. Other samples that I just wiped with a dry rag came out at the desired color. Is the mineral spirit wipe down necesarry?
LR this is an old thread, not sure he will answer you. No you don't have to wipe down with a mineral spirit rag, you can use a dry rag or if you like it the way it looks before wiping just let it dry.

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post #11 of 20 Old 09-21-2011, 05:44 PM
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LR this is an old thread, not sure he will answer you. No you don't have to wipe down with a mineral spirit rag, you can use a dry rag or if you like it the way it looks before wiping just let it dry.
+1. Some procedures need to be completed in your lifetime. Nothing wrong with some off the shelf conditioners. A lot of hoopla about conditioners. I've done T&G with and without conditioners. Waterbase stains work very well with soft woods, and are less likely to streak or overlap. Likewise a waterbase topcoat will dry fast and not stink.

Here is an example of T&G, and all trim, and soffits were of the same wood. The color in the picture is not accurate, as it's an old 35mm shot inside with no flash or lighting.








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post #12 of 20 Old 09-21-2011, 08:33 PM
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All- Thanks for the advice. I'm shooting for a darker finish so I think I will just apply a light coat of wood conditioner to control the blotching and then limit my wipe down of the stain to a dry rag. Thanks again.
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-21-2011, 10:09 PM
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All- Thanks for the advice. I'm shooting for a darker finish so I think I will just apply a light coat of wood conditioner to control the blotching and then limit my wipe down of the stain to a dry rag. Thanks again.
Once the stain is dry if it is still too light apply another coat.

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post #14 of 20 Old 11-27-2011, 08:12 PM
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All,

Thanks for your advice. I just finished installing the ceiling today and am very happy with the result. Another question: I have some trim to finish the project and it has a detailed profile. What is the best way to sand the profile of the moulding without rounding out the ridges? Thanks in advance for your excellent tips.

Best,

Lake Rat

Last edited by lake rat; 11-28-2011 at 06:54 AM.
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-06-2011, 07:46 AM
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This is T&G siding on the outside of our Lake House that we recently resided



The product we used was from Perma-Chink http://www.permachink.com
They specialize in log cabin siding stains and finishes.
It's all water-based
Several stains and sheens to choose from
If you write to them, they send you free samples and instructions to test pieces
They are soooo good to work with

It's a four step process
...and you have to do them all ...
The finish is like a piece of furniture

...and most importantly for you doing this in your basement with a little guy...
no smell...no harmful vapors.....

I love this product and I'm an old school, solvent based die hard....

Learning more about tools everyday

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post #16 of 20 Old 12-31-2011, 03:50 PM
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Lake Rat. I love the color of the pine ceiling that you posted. What is the brand/color of the stain that you used. I want the same thing but haven't been able to get the paint store to come up with anything that dark on pine.
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-31-2011, 04:07 PM
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very good post!! lots of info, to the point, they should all be this way- Kudo's to you JW.!! helping people is what it's all about and to others also.

Last edited by chemmy; 12-31-2011 at 05:59 PM.
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-01-2012, 09:46 AM
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JM,

I pretty much followed JW's instructions that started this thread. The stain was a Sherwin Williams BAC wiping stain and the base color was dark walnut. The guy at SW was awesome and patient as we added color 3 or 4 times to get the color just right. We applied the stain with a foam brush and let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping. The only place where we varied from JW's instructions was wiping down with mineral spirits after staining. We tried but it was taking the stain off. Other than that we wemt through all of his steps and are very pleased with the result. We had little or no blotching and the finished product was so good we almost hated to put it all the way up on the ceiling!! I highly recommend the General Finishes polyacrylic that JW mentioned. Again we used a foam brush to apply and the brush marks were almost non-existent. Good luck with you project. Post a pic of the finished product.

Best,

Lake Rat
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post #19 of 20 Old 05-12-2013, 03:40 PM
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I know this is an old thread, but, I'm trying to straighten out in my simple head, the excellent steps posted by JW in Indy. Let's see if I have this right:

Sand

Two coats of wax-free shellac sanding sealer

Wiping Stain

Two coats of (the same) wax free shellac sanding sealer

Polyacrylic final finish

In order to achieve some of the pictures posted by others?

I note in his post he mentions spray equimpment would make this go much faster, but I wonder if the same products could/would be applied in the same order, with the same number of coats, or is the process entirely different with spray equipment?
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post #20 of 20 Old 05-12-2013, 06:38 PM
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I know this is an old thread, but, I'm trying to straighten out in my simple head, the excellent steps posted by JW in Indy. Let's see if I have this right:

Sand

Two coats of wax-free shellac sanding sealer

Wiping Stain

Two coats of (the same) wax free shellac sanding sealer

Polyacrylic final finish

In order to achieve some of the pictures posted by others?

I note in his post he mentions spray equimpment would make this go much faster, but I wonder if the same products could/would be applied in the same order, with the same number of coats, or is the process entirely different with spray equipment?
It was a bit much to read what JD from Indy wrote so I'm just addressing your post. If you start with de-waxed shellac, it will seal the wood to where you can't stain it. On a wood like pine that is prone to blotch you should use a pre-stain wood conditioner. I make my own mixing linseed oil and mineral spirits 50/50. Then stain within the timeframe of the conditioner you use or if you use mine, let the conditioner dry a couple of hours to overnight before staining. When you stain be sure to wipe off all the stain on the surface. Anythig left can adversely affect the adhesion. If it's not dark enough you can suppliment the color with dye stains such as Transtint Dye. Then put a couple of coats of sealcoat on lightly sanding with 220 paper between coats. Then continue with the polycrylic.

It would be better to spray the finish. Putting two coats of any kind of shellac on is difficult because each coat melts into the previous coat and brushing it you are likely to take as much off as you apply. The amount of coats could vary depending on how well the wood was sanded or what kind of wood you're using. Some woods soak up more finish than others. You just kinda have to go by appearance. In the end you should end up with an emulsion about 3 mils thick which is about the thickness of a lawn and leaf trash bag. You should try to achieve this with more polycrylic than sealer. The sealer is soft for sanding and leveling. Think of it as clear primer.
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