How to slightly darken and reduce contrast in Acacia wood? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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How to slightly darken and reduce contrast in Acacia wood?

Hi there!
I'm pretty new to working with wood. Having fun though!

I'm trying to make a table-top out of some Acacia wood, and thought I'd ask for some advice.

When we bought the wood it had a lovely dark, faded look:
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(not sure why that photo is upside down! sorry!)
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But then I sanded the top side down (because I'd joined the two panels and there was an un-evenness at the join). I didn't realise that this would change the colour of the wood, but it turns out the colour I loved must have been a pre-existing stain.

My plan for finishing the wood was 2-3 applications of Boiled Linseed Oil followed by liquid Beeswax. So I applied the first coat of BLO to see if it would darken it.

It has darkened it somewhat but I'm still a bit disappointed in the look. The brightness of the blond sections contrasts too starkly with the dark sections. (See this photo, compared with an off-cut of the original wood)
How to slightly darken and reduce contrast in Acacia wood?-img_5206.jpg.jpg

So my question is, is there any way to get the finish of this wood closer to what it was originally? Less contrast and a bit more of a darker/faded look? Especially now that I've already applied one coat of BLO...?

Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 03:07 PM
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You could do that with a toner. More or less spray a very thin coat of paint over the top and then apply a clear coating. You would never be able to do that brushing it. It would get very blotchy looking.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply :)

Is there a way to do it and keep the finish an oil / wax feel? I like the satin / matte / natural feel of it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 07:38 PM
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I don't think there is a way. What you are needing is a film over the top clouding the appearance. With a oil finish it would take age and dirt to do that. You might take a piece of scrap wood or the underside of that table and with it wet with an oil finish rub it with a dirty rag. I just don't know what the outcome might be.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

I'm not too concerned with it looking blotchy (as I think it might enhance a feeling of agedness).

So a stain wouldn't work? What if I lightly sanded the surface and used an oil-based stain?

Or used some Mineral Turpentine to thin the oil on top, then used an oil based stain?

Then I could oil again, and then wax over the top?
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 07:56 PM
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Acacia doesnt get blotchy. An ebony stain would get you that look you once had, but since you applied BLO on it, Im not sure the wipe stain will penetrate enough.....but it might be worth a try. The ebony stain will turn those white areas gray, and cool down the dark areas.

If I dont forget, I will check a finishing schedule I did when I get to work tomorrow. I finished a piece of acacia that looks very similar to what your looking for.

Can you spray, and are you good with dye stains??? Like I said, the black wipe stain may work.......

Last edited by RandyReed; 02-28-2016 at 07:59 PM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Randy!

If I don't know what 'can you spray' means, I guess the answer is no!

I've never tried staining before either... haha!
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hayesy View Post
Thanks Randy!

If I don't know what 'can you spray' means, I guess the answer is no!

I've never tried staining before either... haha!
Since you have BLO on it, try some ebony wiping stain on a small spot, and I mean a small spot, like a 1X1 inch area, to see if you like it.......if you dont like it, simply wipe it off with mineral spirits. If you do like it, wait 24 hours before applying your topcoat....just make sure its dry before applying your topcoat!
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome thanks so much!
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-28-2016, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Better or worse to lightly sand beforehand?

Also... is this the sort of stain you mean?
https://www.masters.com.au/product/9...sh-ebony-946ml

Last edited by hayesy; 02-28-2016 at 09:24 PM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-29-2016, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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It worked!

See attached pictures :)

From here, once the stain is dry, would it be a bad idea to try to use more BSO?
So far the wood has had:
1 coat BSO
1 stain

The final finish will be liquid beeswax. I would like to put on another coat of BSO if possible to further protect + colour the wood. But will this react badly?
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-29-2016, 04:50 AM
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Looks good my friend.

Another coat will be ok, but remember to wait 24 hours or longer if possible.
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