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Discussion Starter #21
We have two sources locally: SW and a local provider who carries Zar stain and Old Masters.
I have looked into getting Benite in the past, and unfortunately not anywhere nearby from what I could find. I have used SealCoat, which I believe is Shellac, (but does not have any waxes, I think).

Would you treat Pine the same way? There is a mix of pine and maple in the room.
 

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That looks nice, that really enhances the grain.!
What clear did you use?

I think it’s too late to use a powder dye, as it wouldn’t match the existing trim.

Thanks Holland.

I used a couple of coats of Murdoch’s Hard Sealer which is a polymerized tung oil-resin blend followed by a couple of coats of Murdoch’s Uralkyd 500 satin. The finishes are very difficult to apply if you’ve never used them, and everything was brushed, not sprayed.

And in response to the questions in your following post it was a powdered water dye by WD Lockwood, however I did the work 14 years ago and don’t remember the color. That too was very difficult to apply but I’ve used the same dyes on maple, red birch, and oak flooring , even on poplar trim and never had any blotching.

Since I did the work so long ago there are newer & better metal complex powdered and pre-mixed concentrated water dyes which have better lightfastness than what I used.

I water popped the wood to raise the grain followed by fine sanding before dying so grain raise was minimal to none.
 

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We have two sources locally: SW and a local provider who carries Zar stain and Old Masters.
I have looked into getting Benite in the past, and unfortunately not anywhere nearby from what I could find. I have used SealCoat, which I believe is Shellac, (but does not have any waxes, I think).

Would you treat Pine the same way? There is a mix of pine and maple in the room.
Personally I would use a waterborne product, and probably I would reach for Saman if using different species that have to match.
1) This stain comes out basically the same across wood species.
2) You can continue to blend the color until it matches perfectly, it basically has unlimited open time to blend a new color into the existing without having to strip the previous stain.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Personally I would use a waterborne product, and probably I would reach for Saman if using different species that have to match.
1) This stain comes out basically the same across wood species.
2) You can continue to blend the color until it matches perfectly, it basically has unlimited open time to blend a new color into the existing without having to strip the previous stain.
Personally I would use a waterborne product, and probably I would reach for Saman if using different species that have to match.
1) This stain comes out basically the same across wood species.
2) You can continue to blend the color until it matches perfectly, it basically has unlimited open time to blend a new color into the existing without having to strip the previous stain.
I think I can get General Finishes, but I would have to order it. I have used their Urethane in the past.

Interesting. I have never seen a packaged water-based stain before. Does that have problems ‘lifting’ or ‘re-activating’(ie., smearing’ if multiple coats are applied)? I could see that being a good option, and fairly straight-forward to implement.

*wish I had easy access to some of the products that are commonly used on here. Limited in some ways by what is available.
 

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I think I can get General Finishes, but I would have to order it. I have used their Urethane in the past.

Interesting. I have never seen a packaged water-based stain before. Does that have problems ‘lifting’ or ‘re-activating’(ie., smearing’ if multiple coats are applied)? I could see that being a good option, and fairly straight-forward to implement.

*wish I had easy access to some of the products that are commonly used on here. Limited in some ways by what is available.
Yes the finish is best if you can spray a clear, this avoids any possibility of lifting the stain. Saman is especially prone to lifting with its long open time, you can change the color even 48 hours later it will reactivate. Both Saman and the newer GF waterborne stain come out looking sort of unnaturally even. Its kind of freaky coming from traditional oil based products. Both are great for DIY's or if you need your stain to look consistent across wood species.

Believe me when I say Saman is unlike any stain you have ever used. Part of why I'm not carrying it is that its too different. I carry GF stains because they are closer to what people expect out of a traditional stain even though I like the Saman. Just for example try telling an old timer that all of a sudden a new waterborne product can fix every problem hes had staining over the last 40 years. They simply don't believe you and even when you give them a bottle they spill it on the counter and say "its garbage I'm not working with water based crap!"

Since we're talking about waterborne stains its important to mention you should never use these type of products on highly figured woods. The evenness they achieve is a double edge sword as you also lose grain definition. Completely opposite of using a dye.
 

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One thing which works exceptionally well to prevent blotching in lieu of pre-stain wood conditioners & wash coats is glue sizing. I was introduced to the technique by an old-school Scandinavian cabinet maker who primarily worked with figured maple. I however only used it a couple of times under oil stains on some furniture I built for my own home, but was very impressed with the results.

And heed Coco’s advice not to use pigmented water stains on figured maple...alcohol/water dyes, or even aqua fortis/NA reagent or aqua fortis to temper the wood first followed by a dye work well on figured maple.
 

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An old cabinet maker told me a trick years ago that I've used and it works. Take denatured alcohol and water and mix it 50/50 and spray an even coat on all your woodwork but don't flood it. The alcohol makes it dry fast and dissipate and the water eliminates sweaty hand marks from installation. The stain does take a little bit darker though.

I had finished some wide plank EWP flooring several years ago and we’d just gotten done sanding the floors which were to receive an oil dye stain the following day. Everyone had been instructed that the floors couldn’t be walked on after being sanded and I installed barrier tape and warning signs at every entryway before wrapping it up for the day.

That evening the owner and his wife showed up at the job site, disregarded the warnings signs/barrier tape as well the prior verbal warnings, and took off their shoes and socks, entered the house and traipsed all over the floors in their bare sweaty feet.

The following day when not knowing the floors had been walked on, I ran the dye and everything looked great.

Early the next morning I received a 911 phone call from the builder asking me what was up with the thousands of bare footprints all over the dyed floors. Upon arriving at the job site shortly after, I literally gasped when seeing it. Just the perspiration from their feet opened up the grain making the stain absorb and dry down differently. We ended up having to belt sand the floors back to raw wood and start from scratch. It was a lotta sq footage as well, but the HO ended picking up the expense for the redo.
 

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One thing which works exceptionally well to prevent blotching in lieu of pre-stain wood conditioners & wash coats is glue sizing. I was introduced to the technique by an old-school Scandinavian cabinet maker who primarily worked with figured maple. I however only used it a couple of times under oil stains on some furniture I built for my own home, but was very impressed with the results.

And heed Coco’s advice not to use pigmented water stains on figured maple...alcohol/water dyes, or even aqua fortis/NA reagent or aqua fortis to temper the wood first followed by a dye work well on figured maple.
jeff jewitt used to sell his own premade glue size, possibly where I first heard about it. I've made my own but prefer dewaxed shellac due to its versatility as a conditioner and intermediate tie coat and non grain raising attributes.
 

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jeff jewitt used to sell his own premade glue size, possibly where I first heard about it. I've made my own but prefer dewaxed shellac due to its versatility as a conditioner and intermediate tie coat and non grain raising attributes.
Interestingly enough I’m pretty certain it was Jeff Jewitt who had written and published a case study in Fine Woodworking about lacquer cracking due to veneer lather checking we were experiencing...one suggestion which I’m pretty certain was provided by Jeff was that we glue size all the exposed Appleply maple veneered ply end grains on the cabinet door, drawer, and carcass edges before applying the clear coats. The exposed ply end grains were very common in Scandinavian designs and the glue size prevented water from permeating the end grains which often delaminated the plied layers. I also think the cabinet maker I mentioned who introduced me to glue sizing was a fairly good acquaintance of Jeff. This was going back some 30+ yrs ago.
 

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Here is some alder with benite as a conditioner. I like how it brings out the knots and subtle colors and features in alder.

View attachment 110821
Although I’ve never finished alder due to it not being a regionally preferred species, I was invited on as a finish design consultant for a new construction project out in the Rocky Mountain region up in your neck of the woods a few years back. I was provided with some alder to devise finishing specifications, and ended up using non-ferrous non-pigmented reactive dyes which provided perfect non obscuring uniformity without blotchiness, also enhancing the grain definition, and didn’t result in grain reversal, and were stupid easy to work with. Although I don’t have photos, the home’s been featured in a few off-the-grid publications. If I can locate them I’ll upload the links just so you can take a gander being alder is pretty common in your region.
 

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Although I’ve never finished alder due to it not being a regionally preferred species, I was invited on as a finish design consultant for a new construction project out in the Rocky Mountain region up in your neck of the woods a few years back. I was provided with some alder to devise finishing specifications, and ended up using non-ferrous non-pigmented reactive dyes which provided perfect non obscuring uniformity without blotchiness, also enhancing the grain definition, and didn’t result in grain reversal, and were stupid easy to work with. Although I don’t have photos, the home’s been featured in a few off-the-grid publications. If I can locate them I’ll upload the links just so you can take a gander being alder is pretty common in your region.
Ive used some GF dyes on alder with good results. Their product contains a bit of acrylic resin to reduce the amount of dye that gets pulled back up and of course a bit more open time that straight powder dye. I havn't done any reactive stains on alder at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Although I’ve never finished alder due to it not being a regionally preferred species, I was invited on as a finish design consultant for a new construction project out in the Rocky Mountain region up in your neck of the woods a few years back. I was provided with some alder to devise finishing specifications, and ended up using non-ferrous non-pigmented reactive dyes which provided perfect non obscuring uniformity without blotchiness, also enhancing the grain definition, and didn’t result in grain reversal, and were stupid easy to work with. Although I don’t have photos, the home’s been featured in a few off-the-grid publications. If I can locate them I’ll upload the links just so you can take a gander being alder is pretty common in your region.
*Would like links to product used if possible. Not sure how to break into trying these (new to me) dyes and stains, but would like to start familiarizing myself with them.
 

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*Would like links to product used if possible. Not sure how to break into trying these (new to me) dyes and stains, but would like to start familiarizing myself with them.
The company for the reactive dyes used on the alder is based out of France, and they terminated their US distributorship a couple years ago. Their EU distributor won’t ship to North America except to a boutique architectural surfaces distributor-retailer, where the products are relabeled and are available for purchase to only those who can demonstrate that the wood it’s being used on was purchased from them as well. They sell prefinished European Oak and keep the products under wrap from the general public and won’t sell to the trade. Pretty much SOL w/ that.
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
Part of the same project are some wooden screens. The veneer is so thin that sanding is problematic, but the surface is very rough. (I lightly sanded prior to stain and varnish and wiped down with denatured alcohol, but you couldn’t tell - it was very gritty).

after an initial coat have been using bronze wool and microfiber to apply successive layers of poly. I like theBronze wool. It seems to shed a lot less than steel wool.

am dipping the wool into poly and rubbing it with the grain to get rid of some of the texture, and then wiping smooth with microfiber. Will build up layers until smooth.

these were really rough texture!
110832
 

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Part of the same project are some wooden screens. The veneer is so thin that sanding is problematic, but the surface is very rough.

after an initial coat have been using bronze wool and microfiber to apply successive layers of poly. I like theBronze wool. It seems to shed a lot less than steel wool.

am dipping the wool into poly and rubbing it with the grain to get rid of some of the texture, and then wiping smooth with microfiber. Will build up layers until smooth.

these were really rough texture!
View attachment 110832
It also doesn’t rust if some of the shedding does so happen to end up in the film...I use soapy water to lubricate bronze wool for gently rubbing out satin waterborne clears, rubbing with the grain & very light pressure. Nothing beats the feel and look.

We also used to apply most of our drying oil-urethane/alkyd finishes with either bronze or steel. We’d even buffer & wool apply lower viscosity oil polys on hardwood flooring producing unrivaled results.

Just be careful of solvent finish soaked bronze wool spontaneously combusting. I had a builder friend burn down a house after leaving some oil soaked steel wool all bunched up, and it ignited later that evening. Had it happen on my boat, having accidentally left a piece of Watco teak oil soaked bronze wool in the boat’s steel sink. Luckily nothing burned asides from the wool.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Wasn’t worried about rusting, as I am using oil poly. I started with steel wool, but it was shedding black fibers all over the place, and especially getting stuck in the corners. Will definitely be using Bronze wool more often!

It was good timing, as I had just ordered a few to finish some windows (part of same project).
The Bronze Wool appears to be more expensive, and is not as easy to source as the steel wool, but am going to try to find a place to buy in quantity (3 for $10 is not economical in my opinion).
 
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