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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok working on a new cat furniture project, it's basically a hexagon piece that will have carpet in recessed areas within the frame. Can be placed on the floor and double as a foot stool or hung from the wall. Decided to use red oak on this project and thought I wanted a dark stain look, so I used dark walnut stain and left it on way too long...looked horrible...:furious:...so decided to re sand and stain it again, but after I re-sanded, I think I kinda like this look...really interesting, the dark stain didn't sand off of the grain area portions and now the grain really POPS, happy accident. Now I am wondering if maybe I shouldn't just poly this thing to retain this look, kind of a rustic exotic wood look. Here are a few photos of where I am at, I left one shelf with the stain to give you an idea of the stained portion compared to the sanded look Last pic shows the normal orientation of the piece, will have carpet on the top shelf and interior shelf's when completed. What do you'll think, should leave it or continue and re stain. Maybe use something other then poly...
 

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I kinda like it the way it looks.
 

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We all love our pets but I don't think we need worry about them being harmed by polly or whatever. Our homes are full of that stuff - can't get away from it. As for refinishing it... I don't think you'll get it clean because oak has that open deep pores and that stain is stuck down inside those open pores. In my experience, polly does not work well with oak. I'm sure somebody has a better or more technical explanation then I do, but I think it's the tannin in the oak that tends to peel it after a while. I'm thinking a spar varnish might be better.

That's my 2 cents and I'm willing to bet someone has better info then I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is the first thing I have made using red oak, usually use ash or pine some times poplar the minwax polycrylic worked well on them. Ash is getting almost impossible to find locally here, so thought about red oak as an alternative hardwood. This oak is sure heavy, I am wondering about hanging this on a wall..lol... I guess I need to do a little more research before I finish this project.
 

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I like it, the grain is intense. I like working with red oak, I'm making a few furniture pieces and am having a hard time figuring out what dye to use. You may have inspired me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I like it, the grain is intense. I like working with red oak, I'm making a few furniture pieces and am having a hard time figuring out what dye to use. You may have inspired me.
:laughing:...very easy to do, just put on some dark walnut stain, leave it on for 15 minutes get pissed off when it gets all blotchy, then wait two days and sand it all back down over the weekend...and you too can have this look...:smile:....but it is a unique look, wish there was another way to get there that wasn't so labor intensive. Really wasn't that hard, just hit it with 80 grit then another pass with 120, hardest part was getting the nook and crannies with my Dremel Multi-Maxl sander at each of the joints where my random orbital couldn't reach...that was a PIA
 

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I personally have not had bad luck with poly and red oak. At least the cabinets I put them on have held up well. Like I said, this is only my e experience, limited though it might be.
image-1253334392.jpg

The top was done with oil based wipe on poly, and the cabinet was water based poly over white stain. They've held up several years now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I personally have not had bad luck with poly and red oak. At least the cabinets I put them on have held up well. Like I said, this is only my e experience, limited though it might be.
View attachment 82706

The top was done with oil based wipe on poly, and the cabinet was water based poly over white stain. They've held up several years now.
how many coats did you do with that wipe on poly, because that looks pretty good. I must be doing something wrong, I just poured on a tee shirt and wiped on, should I have poured onto the wood then wipe or what... I did a couple test pieces with three coats and just didn't look very thick, you could still feel the grain. I would like to use a wipe on, no runs seems like it would go on smoother. One coat of water based polycrylic looked and felt twice as thick as that oil based wipe on test piece I did
 

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I can't remember, somewhere about 10-12. Wipe on poly is way thinner, so it takes many coats, but they dry quicker too. I like it because it gives a way smoother finish, IMO. I did it both ways on some of the coats. Poured it on the wood, then wiped it and I poured it on the rag and wiped it. Both ways worked good for me. It just takes several coats.
 

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I like the look as is. You could try sanding with 100x or 150x, and then apply a dark oil base stain, and wipe off after a minute or two. A dye stain either waterbase or alcohol base should work the same.

A WB poly works well on any stain once the stain has cured. I prefer to spray it, but wiping will also work well. The work below was done with an oil base stain and a waterbase polyurethane topcoat.
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warren_5.jpg




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another option for you

Something else you could try would be tung oil. If you have a test piece, wipe on some tung oil, let it set for a few minutes and wipe it back off. Let is set for at least 12 hours and lightly rub with a very fine steel wool. Wipe down with clean cloth and repeat the process as many times as you want until you get the look you want. I have recently fell in love with tung oil (I have told my wife and she seems to be ok with it!) as it has a beautiful finish and is so easy to apply. The downside is that the process is very slow. And if it ever gets scratched, just take a light sandpaper to the scrartched area and re-apply the tung oil. Good luck.
 
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