Staining Knotty Alder - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 06-29-2019, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Staining Knotty Alder

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2 days ago #1
This is my 3rd house staining knotty alder doors and cabinets. This is my process. I use a pre-conditioner that I heavily soak on and leave overnight. Yes, I know you should be able to stain after the wood is dry, but I read an article about leaving it on overnight and how it really helped with the wood grain not showing as much blochiness. Then I use General Finishes of 1/2 Java Gel Stain and 1/2 Antique Walnut. The problem that I'm having is that my color still looks like it has an orange color to it. If I use full Java then my door look like it has too much red in it. I want a chocolate color. A deep dark brown. Any suggestions? I know my pre-conditioner will not allow my stain to fully penetrate, but it really reduces the blotchy look so I have to use it.
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post #2 of 2 Old 06-29-2019, 09:34 PM
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Alder is one of the woods prone to go blotchy so a wood conditioner is called for. The use of a wood conditioner varies by product so it's unknown if it is correct to let dry overnight. Some of them you have 30 minutes to get the stain on once it is applied. You just have to go by the product directions. Still sometimes you have to tinker with the wood conditioner. A wood conditioner is like a thinned down varnish and sometimes it's too concentrated and you have to thin it to get the desired results. It may be you are sealing the wood so much it won't accept the stain right.

If you apply a stain and it's too red then add some green pigment to the stain. If the stain is already applied to the wood then you can go over the stained wood with a green dye stain. The color green will cancel red. Working with dyes takes a lot of tinkering too. It looks like nothing when you apply it until a finish is applied so it's easy to apply too much green and have it look green. Start with the dye mixed about the color of lime coolaid. Use only one coat and if it wasn't enough you can put dye between the coats of finish until you get it.

Because of all the tinkering it's best to work out the finishing schedule on scrap wood before you put anything on the project.
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