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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am almost done with my second commission. The first commission I had was for a pool cue holder. When I asked what kind of finish the person would like he said "get a chestnut stain". So I followed my orders and I must say I hate it. He is happy with it but I hate it. So now I am building a fishing pole holder. This person said "do what you would like". So I decided based on the existing furniture in this house a two toned finish would look really nice. The piece has many levels and depths so I can switch it up to make it look nice with little effort. The question is what sort of finish should I get? I have very minimum experience, I would like to do dark and light two toned, its chestnut, and it is very important that the finish does not effect the fishing poles (smell, color or anything). I assume small amounts of water may come in contact with the finish so that would be important to consider, I also do not have any special tools other then my amazing hands and paint brushes, sponges and cloth. Thoughts?
 

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I'm guessing you don't like the stripped look like ash. You could use a wood conditioner prior to finishing it to make it stain more uniform. Depending on how dark you want it you might have to use a dye stain to achieve the color with a conditioner on it. Dyes are really better done with a sprayer but if you are going to work it by hand use the dye mixed with water. Then once stained you can finish with a oil based polyurethane if not left in the weather a lot or use a spar varnish. Either finish would take a month to fully cure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Steve thanks for the info, Honestly I am taking every word you just said and googling it to figure out what you mean lol. It will be a good learning experience for me today. I will get back with more questions I am certain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok so the learning continues! I believe what you mean by the stripped look is where the wood is now. I used a stripper paste and sanded down it down to 100 grit so far. I plan on going to 1000 grit. Problem is that the wood is heavily stained on 1/2 the boards (up towards the trim) and almost clean on the bottom half. So when I strip it there is still a slight color contrast. When I use a basic stain from home depot it tends to hide the contrast which I am fine with. Thank you very much about the part concerning wood conditioner. I had no idea that even existed. I will pick some up tomorrow after work. I am excited to see how it turns out. Thank you also on using the term Spar Varnish. I was unaware of that till I looked it up. I think I have used a Spar Urethane in the past. My memory seems to think that it still holds a bit of a chemical smell to the wood even after time. I am concerned that a Urethane smell may transfer to the fishing line and render the pole essentially useless (I very well maybe looking to much into this) so I was wondering if a wax maybe a smarter move?

Ok so here is my to do list (please let me know if I should change anything)

Sand down all the pieces to 600 grit
Apply wood conditioner wait 15 minutes
Apply stain let sit for about a day or two
Light sanding to 1000 grit
Stain again let sit again
Now apply Polyurethane/wax/varnish (TBD) and let sit for 1 month
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually I looked up some videos about water based stains and I love the look so I am going to play around with that. Should I still pre condition if I go with a stain?
 

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Ok so the learning continues! I believe what you mean by the stripped look is where the wood is now. I used a stripper paste and sanded down it down to 100 grit so far. I plan on going to 1000 grit. Problem is that the wood is heavily stained on 1/2 the boards (up towards the trim) and almost clean on the bottom half. So when I strip it there is still a slight color contrast. When I use a basic stain from home depot it tends to hide the contrast which I am fine with. Thank you very much about the part concerning wood conditioner. I had no idea that even existed. I will pick some up tomorrow after work. I am excited to see how it turns out. Thank you also on using the term Spar Varnish. I was unaware of that till I looked it up. I think I have used a Spar Urethane in the past. My memory seems to think that it still holds a bit of a chemical smell to the wood even after time. I am concerned that a Urethane smell may transfer to the fishing line and render the pole essentially useless (I very well maybe looking to much into this) so I was wondering if a wax maybe a smarter move?

Ok so here is my to do list (please let me know if I should change anything)

Sand down all the pieces to 600 grit
Apply wood conditioner wait 15 minutes
Apply stain let sit for about a day or two
Light sanding to 1000 grit
Stain again let sit again
Now apply Polyurethane/wax/varnish (TBD) and let sit for 1 month
I'm sorry, I meant stripes, having light and dark parts of the wood. The wood conditioner would help the soft parts of the wood not get so dark.

Your finish schedule looks alright except for the wax. Wax is beneficial for some finishes but not a urethane. After a month you could use some clearcoat safe polish. It takes a month for an oil based finish to fully cure.
 
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