Help, please! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-12-2017, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Help, please!

Hi all,

Hoping you can help me. I just stained two pine end tables with an alcohol-based stain, and unfortunately, it's become a really dark orange. I need to lighten it a couple of shades. I have been scouring the web and reading the pros and cons for everything from bleaching, scrubbing, using a lighter color toner, and of course, stripping and starting over (which I would really prefer not to at this point). Given that it's an alcohol and not oil or water-based stain, not sure what would actually work. Would greatly appreciate any/all suggestions.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-12-2017, 10:12 PM
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First try washing it with alcohol. It would been better had it been done immediately but won't hurt to try.

Can you post a picture? If the color is too orange you might use a very thin blue dye to neutralize the color. What you need to do is practice the color on scrap wood.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-13-2017, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Here you go, Steve. Thanks!
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-13-2017, 07:00 AM
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I think as orange as that is you better use paint and varnish remover and then sand it again. Then use a different color stain. You might stain a piece of scrap wood orange like that and test the new color on the scrap before you commit to the project.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-13-2017, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I think as orange as that is you better use paint and varnish remover and then sand it again. Then use a different color stain. You might stain a piece of scrap wood orange like that and test the new color on the scrap before you commit to the project.
Thanks.

So there is no way to lighten the stain without having to start from scratch? Is your earlier suggestion of an alcohol wash worth a try? Bright orange stains are hard to come by; I found this Spirit Stain (see photo) online. Looked like what I wanted, but the color sunk in very (too) quickly. My concern is that given that it's alcohol based, I'm not sure I will be able to remove it with a stripping solution.

Do you know of an orange stain that is more opaque? I just used a Varathane Carbon Gray on our coffee table (our room is a gray/orange combo), and that is more of a paint stain. Sorry for all the questions. I am new to the DIY world.

Thanks again for your time.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-13-2017, 02:11 PM
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I would try wiping it down with denatured alcohol to see how it behaves. You could even try scrubbing with 0000 steel wool and denatured alcohol. The problem I foresee is streaking, though.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-13-2017, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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I would try wiping it down with denatured alcohol to see how it behaves. You could even try scrubbing with 0000 steel wool and denatured alcohol. The problem I foresee is streaking, though.
Thanks, Roger. I will give it a shot.

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-13-2017, 08:43 PM
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Nothing, including the stripper will remove all of it. The stripper will just remove more.

Not knowing the desired look it's difficult to say just how much needs to come off. If it's basically the right color but got a little too dark washing it with alcohol might work. In any case when you go back with stain you could add more thinner to the dye you are using and it shouldn't go as dark.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-13-2017, 09:32 PM
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I'm a little late to the party, but this is a prime example of why scrap should always be used as a test piece before putting a stain, finish or both on anything.

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.
- Frank Sinatra
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-13-2017, 09:42 PM
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Part chemistry, part science, part astrology ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpokey View Post
I'm a little late to the party, but this is a prime example of why scrap should always be used as a test piece before putting a stain, finish or both on anything.
Folks come here on a regular basis ..."I screwed up my finish....what do I do now?" It's what they should always do BEFORE is the answer....practice on scrap!

Between pigment stains, water stains, oil stains, dyes and Lord knows what ever else, Hows You Gonna Know What it Gonna Turn Out Like?
I would think that an alcohol stain is like a dye and nothin' is gonna take it out. You can only use a stain/dye over it to darken it or change the color. JMO.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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