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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on a piece and want to layer stain to give depth and dimension. I plan to use a mustard color deep stain, MinWax chestnut and then finish with a product called antique door toner. I believe all products are oil based. Can anyone give me tips on how to do this as I would like to have all stains show through and look blended. I know I need a sealer between coats too. Can someone be specific in what brand and kind of sealer I should use? Thanks for your help!
 

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You don't want to put too much color between the coats of finish. Normally a toner is used when you stain a piece and notice you have the color wrong when you start sealing it. Then the toner is used to fine tune the color. I prefer to use Mohawk NGR stains for this purpose because it is more transparent but it is for interior projects only. Once you start putting color between the coats of finish you have to be very careful not to sand through that layer when you sand between coats. If you do it is much harder to fix. I usually put two coats of sealer over that color layer before I do any sanding for that reason.

Without knowing what the project was it would be difficult to recommend specific products.
 

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Thanks for the insight. I am redoing a cloak closet/armoire that I purchased for $10. (If I can figure out how to load a photo of it I will) The piece is about 3.5' x 3.5' x 6.5' tall made of red oak. I plan to brush the first coat of deep penetrating stain. I would like to know what kind of sealer I should use on top of the first coat of stain so that I can put on a different color of stain as the second coat. Should I wipe with a cloth the second coat of stain or should I brush it on with a brush. As you said, I don't want to get to much color between coats. Is this process sort of like "antiquing"?
 

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Thanks for the insight. I am redoing a cloak closet/armoire that I purchased for $10. (If I can figure out how to load a photo of it I will) The piece is about 3.5' x 3.5' x 6.5' tall made of red oak. I plan to brush the first coat of deep penetrating stain. I would like to know what kind of sealer I should use on top of the first coat of stain so that I can put on a different color of stain as the second coat. Should I wipe with a cloth the second coat of stain or should I brush it on with a brush. As you said, I don't want to get to much color between coats. Is this process sort of like "antiquing"?
Since you are working the finish by hand I would forget the idea of using toners. The solvents in the topcoat can rub the toner off making the color uneven. What I would recommend is just using a single stain and let it dry overnight before finishing. Test some samples on some scrap wood to assure you have the right color. Working the finish by hand you could just skip the sealer and just apply a wiping polyurethane. It will do the same thing but if you just want to use a sealer you might use something like Old Masters sanding sealer. A sanding sealer is made softer so it is easier to sand and level a finish before topcoating. Another sealer you could use is Zinsser Sealcoat but you could only brush one coat of it on. It is shellac and when you brush a second coat on the solvents melt into the first coat removing a lot of it. You would have to work very fast and not brush it much to apply additional coats of shellac. It works better sprayed.

When I apply color between coats it is in the very first few coats. For example if I stain a piece and it isn't red enough I will spray a transparent red dye over the first coat of sealer and then put clear sealer over that. Also if I use a stain that is too red I sometimes spray a transparent green dye over it to neutralize the red. It just comes down to fine tuning like right now I'm working on a remodel where I had to build an additional cabinet to go in someones kitchen. The walnut stain I used didn't quite match the existing cabinets so I sprayed a mahogany dye over the cabinet to give enough red to match.
 
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