Wood finishing expert Bruce Johnson shares basic wood staining tips and offers advice on how to stain some of the more popular wood species. Crystalac Clear Waterborne Wood Grain Filler , on the other hand, dries water-clear, which can be a real advantage: You don’t have to worry about getting the perfect color, nor do you have to worry about getting every last bit of the excess filler sanded off: If you leave a little behind, you’ll never see it. Aesthetically, the color of the filler you use has a tremendous impact on the look of the wood.
While the little color samples supplied by stain manufacturers allow a general guide as to which colors a customer may like,that color on an actual wood floor can be affected by numerous factors: the wood species, the abrasive sequence, the lighting in the room, the color of the paint on the walls, whether the floor was waterpopped or not, and more.
Some contractors still start creating a white floor by bleaching it, although this method isn’t as common as it used to be. Because bleaching the floor actually damages the structure of the wood cells, thereby prematurely aging the wood, many people are firmly against it. However, those who do bleach advise using a species such as red oak or maple—never white oak,as it can turn green when bleached, and its tannic acid may chemically react with the bleach, actually creating foam on the floor.
We used PolyShades in the Espresso color upstairs on our bathroom vanity back in November and really liked how it worked out for us, so we decided to go with the same brand for the lower cabinets, except in a slightly warmer/less dark shade (we were inspired by kitchens with wooden lowers and light painted uppers like this and this ). We bought two quarts ($13 each), but only ended up needing one for two coats, so we got to return the extra one.
It does not tend to turn blotchy, but like all woods it will stain more evenly after an application of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner or Minwax®Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner To insure that any stain penetrates and fills oak’s deep pores, apply a liberal amount of stain to the wood, then work it into the pores using a cloth in a swirling motion.
As usual, what you find here are just a few items off the big, broad menu of wood finishing. Liquid oil-based stains penetrate into the wood without raising the wood grain. If the floors are old, damaged or of a lower quality, dark stains have the capability of hiding some of the imperfections. The change isn’t as dramatic as last week’s upper cabinet painting post , but as you can see below – we did achieve our goals of making them a slightly darker and less orange color while reducing (but not eliminating) the wood grain. But for this job of Java (ebony) I chose the acrylic because the stained wood was sooo dark.
And I mean an even and deep tone of black, showing the wood grain and having the early and late wood (of a ring porous wood like oak or ash) come out with almost equal tones. To help reduce blotchiness when staining, first apply a liberal coat of a pre-stain wood conditioner. It just looks off, and maybe even a bit yellow (I stained the lighter wood putty an espresso color). I settled on MiniWax products (Stainable Wood Filler, Sanding Sealer, Red Mahogany Stain, Dark Walnut Stain). Either way, staining is a skill that all wood flooring contractors should have.
If the final color of the wood is not as dark as desired, the stain can be applied a second time. But then I decided that those pretty little turned legs were worthy of a real wood top, so I removed the cheap top and painted the base. Oil finishes are applied to the wood and allowed to soak for a certain amount of time. An equal amount of stain was applied over the entire piece of wood and wiped off immediately. The question is how to deal with the now-raised grain of the wood before applying the oil finish.
In general, I would say, if you want it to look like mahogany, oak, or maple, then it is best to start by using that wood rather than building with maple and then trying to stain it like mahogany. Stains can be mixed to match an existing wood and stains can be used to make a color more uniform over an area of color variations in the natural wood. Household ingredients such as vinegar, coffee and tea along with minerals from metal such as steel wool, rusty nails and copper pennies, are all you need to create an effective pine wood stain. And because the gel stain is thick, it won’t penetrate very deeply into the wood.
Several companies have simplified this repair process by putting oil-based wood stain into marker-like containers. I started researching and discovered that a lot of people have had great success darkening finished wood with gel stain. Stains are not intended to fully coat the wood like paints do. They are intended to soak into the wood, affecting its color and protecting it. Therefore, stains cannot be applied to wood that has already been painted, varnished, or finished in any way. And instead of white staining it, apply the catalyzed water based finishes I mentioned above.
To stain a wood dark without obscuring the grain, I would choose an analine dye as opposed to a stain. This makes it difficult to sand to a smooth, flat surface, because the softer parts of the grain sand away faster leaving the summer wood raised slightly above the rest of the surface. Teak oil, walnut oil, mineral oil, lemon or orange oil, olive oil, tung oil, or even old transmission fluid can be used to keep wood from weathering and drying out.