Staining Oak Trim - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 42 Old 04-19-2013, 05:55 PM
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Rockler sells Trans Tint Dyes. They will mix with just about anything. Click on "more info" for color chart.





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post #22 of 42 Old 04-19-2013, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvercbx
Wow!! What a learning curve. I'll try a piece without the 'Wood Conditioner' and see how it turns out. When you know some of the basics, it all makes sense.
What Steve said about the additive settling to the bottom is true; I mixed some oil based Rosewood to the MinWas Sedona Red and I have to stir it all the time. Overnight, all the Rosewood is at the bottom in a big lump. It seems to disperse OK and I got the color I wanted on a separate piece of Dfir so it looks like I may be good to go.
When I do the sample piece w/o the 'pre-stain', I'll give some feedback here so the next 'newbie' can learn something.
I wish MinWax had said their WC didn't need to be used on Oak. When you don't know, you don't know.
Thanks to all for a lively thread !! Much help - I'll remember the site for the next time. I'll check in first before starting any finishing project.
I've used that wood conditioner before. If you stain directly after using the conditioner it will except the stain. It's written on the can. You just can't wait more than a few minutes.
I Personally would never stain oak unless a filler is used to fill those big pores. Oak grain is just too pronounced and varying for me. It's hard to get a fine finish out of it. The filler I use does except some of the stain and it will even the color and allow you to get a really level finish.

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post #23 of 42 Old 04-21-2013, 04:16 AM
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I have used a fair bit of oak and I really prefer a gel stain on the oak (with no conditioner). It gives it a very nice uniform color. The gel sits more on top of the wood and fills in the big pores so it gives a really nice color to the wood. A bonus is that the satin doesn't run when you apply it on vertical surfaces.
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post #24 of 42 Old 04-21-2013, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterjer
I have used a fair bit of oak and I really prefer a gel stain on the oak (with no conditioner). It gives it a very nice uniform color. The gel sits more on top of the wood and fills in the big pores so it gives a really nice color to the wood. A bonus is that the satin doesn't run when you apply it on vertical surfaces.
Yes I like the gel better too. But I try to avoid getting the stain in the big pores and that the reason for the filler. If I have to use stain my choice is dye stains.

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post #25 of 42 Old 04-21-2013, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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The MinWax Conditioner states (on the can) to: "let it sit for 5-15 minutes" -and- to apply the stain within 2 hours. When I applied the Pre-Stain, I let it sit for about 5 min, wiped it off, and applied the stain. The total time involved was less than 15 minutes. The results were as I have described. The oak accepted only one coat of stain; subsequent coats added nothing to the color.
There is a Sherwin-Williams outlet here that is not one of their retail stores; they have stains that will not seal the wood. I'm going back Tuesday to check out their colors; they will make any color I want. Seems like that may be an answer. Maybe not. Looked at the dyes at Rockler but don't know if I want to get that involved.
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post #26 of 42 Old 04-21-2013, 09:19 PM
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Also not an expert on stains, but I have had my share of staining attempts over the years, some more successful than others. A couple of things I have learned

1 - the stain is never as dark on the wood as it is in the container, especially on oak. If when you said you got the perfect color, you determined this by how it looked in the container, you need to go with much darker stains.

2 - the way to get the darkest stain is to make sure you apply plenty of stain and leave it on the wood as long as possible. Higher quality stains will have finer pigments, which will absorb better.

3 - gel stains tend to stain darker than liquid stains and give you better color control. I think they must be a cross between a glaze and a stain, because they work better on top of other finishes.

I can't speak at all to dies because I have never used them, but my understanding is in line with what has already been said.
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post #27 of 42 Old 04-22-2013, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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When I said I had the perfect color, I meant I had applied the mix to a couple of boards (pine - and I know it's not the same) and a couple of coats, then a couple of coats of Poly - and it came out just great. The color in the container looked like reddish mud. I was hoping to get something close to it on the oak - still hoping and working to get the color I want.
With one oak sample, I floated stain on it constantly for 5 minutes (by the clock), keeping the wood wet. After 5 minutes, I let it sit for 12 minutes then wiped it off. There was no appreciable difference in color from the other samples. Which is the primary reason I agreed with the thought that the Pre-Stain (Wood Conditioner) effectively sealed the wood before the first stain coat was applied.
I guess I'll have to look into gel stains.
The staining is turning out to be a larger problem than the trim construction but that's just my ignorance and inexperience. I've noticed that there is a wealth of varied experience here on the site.
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post #28 of 42 Old 04-22-2013, 02:14 PM
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That's really not a good idea to let stain soak for 5 minutes. It's not going to add that much color to it and what you would be doing is deeply imbedding the wood with the solvents which would make it take longer to dry. What you need is mix a darker stain than you use on the pine. It could be the same pigments but more concentrated. From you description it sounds like you need to add red oxide to the stain but you can't do that with Minwax. If you would use another brand stain you can add tinting color to it. I sometimes will even thin red oxide oil primer to use for stain. It has a heavy concentration of red oxide tint in it.
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post #29 of 42 Old 04-23-2013, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, it was just an experiment. When you don't know anything, you experiment as much as you can afford.

What is the difference between a 'wiping' stain and applying the same stain with a brush?

Just for the learning curve, why are some stains specified as 'spray only'. Why can't you brush on a 'spray' stain. What is the theory behind the formulation or the application?
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post #30 of 42 Old 04-23-2013, 05:55 PM
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With a wiping stain there isn't enough of a binder to bond the pigment to the wood so all of the excess needs to be wiped off. If you just brush it on it leaves a film on the surface that is not bonded well to the wood and when you varnish over it the varnish sticks to that film of stain instead of the wood. Then some weeks later the finish starts pealing off. As a rule of thumb it's a good idea to wipe all oil stains off for this reason. Now the gel stains have a more concentration of the binder so you can brush it on and just leave it. I think the gel stain was invented to finish woodgrain masonite doors to look like wood. It will adhere to most anything. It more or less is paint thinned with varnish and covers the wood. For that reason I don't care for it. It makes wood look plastic. Then the dye stain is like it sounds, its a dye that stains the wood. It is more similar to ink so it doesn't interfere with the adhesion of the varnish you put over it.

The majority of spray stains are lacquer based. The stuff dries so fast you could never brush it. Even the dye stains are better sprayed because the alcohol in it evaproates it makes it more difficult to work by hand. You can't brush it, it needs to be applied with a rag if working by hand.

Last edited by Steve Neul; 04-23-2013 at 05:59 PM.
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post #31 of 42 Old 04-24-2013, 01:44 AM
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Here's my current project on red oak. I'm making towers for my man cave to flank the 120" movie screen and to house the front speakers.

These two towers are nearly 8 feet tall made of oak ply and solid oak trim. I used a general finishes java gel stain (1 coat) and then sprayed 3 costs of lacquer. The color is really deep which us what I was going for. This was my first attempt at spraying, and I am really pleased with how fast it went and how the finish looks so far. I still need to rub out the finish, but I'm very happy with my growing skills.
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post #32 of 42 Old 04-24-2013, 01:46 AM
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Here are the pics.



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post #33 of 42 Old 04-24-2013, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvercbx View Post
Yeah, it was just an experiment. When you don't know anything, you experiment as much as you can afford.

What is the difference between a 'wiping' stain and applying the same stain with a brush?

Just for the learning curve, why are some stains specified as 'spray only'. Why can't you brush on a 'spray' stain. What is the theory behind the formulation or the application?
This is all turning out to be WAY more complicated than you need...

If you're looking for a red tint, try one of two things... Go to a paint store with a hunk of oak, and see if they have any "mistints" with a reddish hue. Sherwin Williams sells mistints for $0.50 a quart and $2 for a gallon. Since its "waste" they'll be happy to slap it on and see if there is anything you like.

Another thing to try is Verathane Cabernet gel stain. Below, I used it as glaze for a cherry music box:


You want red? There it is.
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post #34 of 42 Old 04-24-2013, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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"general finishes"? Is that a brand? If so, who carries it?
Those towers look really good. Hope my trim turns out as good.
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post #35 of 42 Old 04-24-2013, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by silvercbx View Post
"general finishes"? Is that a brand? If so, who carries it?
Those towers look really good. Hope my trim turns out as good.
General Finishes is a brand. You can find it at Rockler or Woodcraft. Never seen the stuff in the box store.
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post #36 of 42 Old 04-24-2013, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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What color did you select for your towers? Any particular reason you chose the 'gel' stain?
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post #37 of 42 Old 04-25-2013, 02:29 AM
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Masterofnone is right on. I picked up the General Finishes brand gel stain at Woodcraft. The color is Java. I went with gel after researching staining oak. I also tried transit dye in water, but I could never really get a color I liked. I also tried dyeing the wood then applying a stain. After trying wood conditioners and regular stain, I read a forum about how gel stains work on porous woods like oak and thought I'd give it a try. It was exactly what I was going for.

It looks even better after applying lacquer. I also applied finishing wax with a 0000 steel wool pad and that makes it extremely smooth and nice to touch.

Last edited by Masterjer; 04-25-2013 at 02:31 AM.
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post #38 of 42 Old 04-29-2013, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm back; some wiser but not much. I found a solvent stain at Sherwin-Williams that seemed to penetrate fine and the color was good. They provided the sealer and lacquer in aerosol cans for me to finish the job. So I'm good to go.
The problem is that I've uncovered so many different ways to apply the lacquer that I don't know how to apply the lacquer. There seems to be two schools of thought about that and I don't know which is the one to use. And I don't understand the difference between the two.
The first states to apply a thin coat in even passes and then let it dry for 48 hours BEFORE applying subsequent coats and let them also dry for 48 hours between coats. It also said to buff between each coat with 0000 steel wool. It wasn't stated how many coats were needed but got the impression that 6-8 were appropriate. Seemed that it would take forever to do the lacquer that way (48 hours is 2 days for each coat).
The second says to spray a 'wet' coat, wait three minutes, spray a second 'wet' coat, wait three minutes, then spray a third 'wet' coat. Then wait at least 2 hours, buff with 0000 steel wool until the surface is smooth. If the lacquer balls up, wait until the next day for a better cure/dry. Repeat the 3-coat process two more times for a total of nine coats applied.
I don't have any feel for the validity of either process; the first seems very long and the second seems about right for getting the job done.
But I'm too far invested in this job to do it quick if that's not the right way. I don't care how long it will take if that's the best way to go.
Opinions (expert, of course)?
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post #39 of 42 Old 04-29-2013, 01:39 PM
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There should be instructions on the can which would give a better idea of the drying time between coats. I know they put retarder thinners in aerosol lacquers which extend the drying time but without the product instructions I couldn't tell you for sure the drying time. Normally even with a good amount of retarder it doesn't take more than a couple of hours drying time before you can sand it and recoat it. I've never heard of any lacquer taking 48 hours to dry. I wouldn't recommend using any kind of steel wool or scotchbrite pad between coats. Use sandpaper. I normally use 220 grit stearated sandpaper for between the coats sanding with lacquer. Sherwin Williams also sells Glit sanding pads which are convenient having a foam backing. Lacquer doesn't sand real good anyway and if you have the surface smooth to your liking there is no reason to sand it at all. I would start with a sanding sealer or if you are using a cab-acrylic lacquer use vinyl sealer. A sealer is softer and much easier to sand and level the surface before topcoating with lacquer.
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post #40 of 42 Old 04-29-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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So, is the 3-coat + 3-coat + 3-coat method the way to go? I like the thought of not sanding if the surface is smooth.
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