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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are just in the middle of renovating our basement. The walls are now Grey (Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist) and the flooring will be a darker grey wood look LVP. Our Brown fireplace mantle colour is no longer going to work with the new color scheme. My goal is to change the color to a darker grey tone but still allow the grain to show. Is this possible? I gave a small area (bottom of a shelf) a light sanding and applied a smoke grey stain and I ended up with pukey brown...sigh. I have included a couple pics which show the fireplace and some flooring samples in front plus the sample showing my poor first attempt. There is no way I could completely remove all the old brown stain as there is much intricate detail and it is a wood veneer which is not very thick. Is it possible to make sanded brown stain dark grey or even black while maintaining wood grain? Thanks.
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Deeper,
You would have to strip or completely sand all the finish and stain off to have a chance of changing the color like you want. I would recommend painting it. Scuff sand, bonding primer, then two coats of your paint choice.
Mike Hawkins
 

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To achieve that color the finish would have to be completely chemically removed. Then sanded. Then bleached with a two part wood bleach. Then the stain you used would probably work. It might need to be thinned a little though. The natural red in the wood would need to be removed to be able to get that color. If the wood isn't chemically stripped there is a high chance the wood would still be sealed with the old finish and the bleach wouldn't work. Sanding tends to remove what is on the surface and leaves what is penetrated into the wood.
 

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We are just in the middle of renovating our basement. The walls are now Grey (Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist) and the flooring will be a darker grey wood look LVP. Our Brown fireplace mantle colour is no longer going to work with the new color scheme. My goal is to change the color to a darker grey tone but still allow the grain to show. Is this possible? I gave a small area (bottom of a shelf) a light sanding and applied a smoke grey stain and I ended up with pukey brown...sigh. I have included a couple pics which show the fireplace and some flooring samples in front plus the sample showing my poor first attempt. There is no way I could completely remove all the old brown stain as there is much intricate detail and it is a wood veneer which is not very thick. Is it possible to make sanded brown stain dark grey or even black while maintaining wood grain? Thanks. View attachment 427082 View attachment 427083 View attachment 427082 View attachment 427083 View attachment 427082 View attachment 427083 View attachment 427084
If you are going for a solid gray stained look, I would proceed like this. Clean the unit thoroughly, I would use cloth dampened with TSP. Buff sand to 220 to create bite. 1-2 coats of BIN white shellac based primer. You can then use a solid pigmented stain. Finish with topcoat of your choice, should be water white clear. I see no need to strip the wood before finishing as long as the original finish is locked in, which the BIN will do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ugh.. I was afraid of that...And I assume painting would result in more grain correct?
If you are going for a solid gray stained look, I would proceed like this. Clean the unit thoroughly, I would use cloth dampened with TSP. Buff sand to 220 to create bite. 1-2 coats of BIN white shellac based primer. You can then use a solid pigmented stain. Finish with topcoat of your choice, should be water white clear. I see no need to strip the wood before finishing as long as the original finish is locked in, which the BIN will do.
Thanks. We were hoping to still see the grain of the wood but after priming and painting I imagine this will be gone. It may be the only practical option to change the color it seems though. Thanks for the help.
 

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Ugh.. I was afraid of that...And I assume painting would result in more grain correct?

Thanks. We were hoping to still see the grain of the wood but after priming and painting I imagine this will be gone. It may be the only practical option to change the color it seems though. Thanks for the help.
If the wood is oak, you will likely still see the grain. To hide the grain with oak is difficult requiring either a grain filler or several builds of a high solids primer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. I was reading about gel stain. Would this be an option to change the brown to a dark grey or black?
 

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A gel stain is still somewhat transparent. The red color of the wood is still going to show through. About the only way to avoid stripping and bleaching the wood is to use a Faux finish. You would paint the wood the lighter color gray and then go over it with a darker gray glaze. The glaze would just highlight the grain of the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am going to proceed with the priming and painting. My concern with the Shellac based primer is the strong smell in the house. I recall using a little in the past and the smell lasted days in my basement This is a large mantle also in the basement so concerned. Is their a recommended low odor primer that will also work? I see Zinsser advertising an odorless primer. I will use Benjamin Moore Advance waterborne alkyd paint for the painting. Perhaps I should consider BM Advance primer too? Any recommendations in low odor primer? Thanks.
 

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I am going to proceed with the priming and painting. My concern with the Shellac based primer is the strong smell in the house. I recall using a little in the past and the smell lasted days in my basement This is a large mantle also in the basement so concerned. Is their a recommended low odor primer that will also work? I see Zinsser advertising an odorless primer. I will use Benjamin Moore Advance waterborne alkyd paint for the painting. Perhaps I should consider BM Advance primer too? Any recommendations in low odor primer? Thanks.
Whenever I have painted previously stained woodwork, I've used Sherwin Williams bonding primer. Doesn't smell much at all and dries fairly quick. Make sure you scuff sand with 220 so the primer has something to bite into Andy you should be fine.
Mike Hawkins
 

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I am going to proceed with the priming and painting. My concern with the Shellac based primer is the strong smell in the house. I recall using a little in the past and the smell lasted days in my basement This is a large mantle also in the basement so concerned. Is their a recommended low odor primer that will also work? I see Zinsser advertising an odorless primer. I will use Benjamin Moore Advance waterborne alkyd paint for the painting. Perhaps I should consider BM Advance primer too? Any recommendations in low odor primer? Thanks.
Not actually sure what you are proposing. If the old finish has been removed then you could use a latex primer which would be low odor. If it has the finish on it even the shellac based primer wouldn't adhere very well. Going over an existing finish an oil based primer would be needed and it that has a lot of odor to it. If the old finish is lacquer you could go over it with a lacquer primer. It would have to be sprayed and has a lot of odor but dissipates quickly. I know it sounds bad spraying a finish inside the house but lacquer dries so fast you would only have to mask the immediate area. Anything that would drift out in the rest of the room would just settle as dry dust. The overspray wouldn't adhere to other things like an oil based finish would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys. It seems like SW bonding primer may be my best alternative to reduce smell and still get sufficient bonding. I will be using a darker charcoal grey latex paint so don't think I should be too worried about stain blocking from this wood veneer that would necessitate the Shellac primer.
 
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