An opaque stain?

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garlanre
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An opaque stain?

Postby garlanre » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:43 pm

Heywood Wakefield furniture has a wonderful finish that Bob Boardman told us about that is halfway between a stain and a paint. It effectively mutes the grain, thus emphasizing the form of the piece rather than the wood itself. Many mid century pieces, especially those made out of walnut, have a finish like this that de-emphasizes the grain. Simply stripping, staining, and finishing does not look right because the grain stands out and it looks "folksy" rather than "sophisticated." Does anyone know a recipe for the kind of finish I'm talking about?

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Postby AsonnyA » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:46 am

Gel stain? Available in many places.

Sonny

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Postby Bob Boardman » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:14 am

If I understand your question, you're looking to obscure some of the walnut grain. Stains alone (even gel stains), though they may contain pigments, won't do that.

To get that effect, you'll have to do one of two things:
A) Add a small amount of paint to your stain. To avoid adherence issues, you should test the compatiblity, and always add water base paint to waterbase stain, and oil base paint to oil base stain. You should not add more than 10% paint to the mix, and the paint color should be close to the color of the wood, when just stain is applied. It doesn't hurt to also add about 5-10% thinner.
B) Stain first, let stain dry, then seal surfaces with Sealcoat. When Sealcoat dries, make a mix of 60% paint & 40% thinner (same color as described above). Spray or brush this on, and then evaluate before it dries. If you don't like it, wipe off with rag dipped in thinner, before it dries. You can also play around with this, by removing or adding to certain areas. If you like, let dry, then apply Sealcoat, then your finish of choice.

Of the 2 methods, I prefer the first. I also recommend you test the mix and make samples.

Good Luck
Bob "Boardman" Borders

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Postby AsonnyA » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:58 am

Bob, adding paint to stain sounds like a neat technique I wasn't aware of. I'll have to play with it. Thanks. ....sounds better than gel stain, too.

Sonny

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Postby garlanre » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:56 pm

Hi Bob and Sonny,

This worked incredibly well! I have a mid century modern walnut chair with arms that start at the top of the back seat and curve downward, like a bow. To make a piece on a curve like that, you'd have to cut across the grain as well as along it, and I found that it absorbed stain very unevenly. In fact, it looked terrible - all blotchy and dirty looking. It's kinda hard to describe, but I hope you get what I mean. Anyway, I wanted a "paint" that would obscure the blotchiness, but let a little of the grain show through. I mixed different shades of brown paint into Minwax's "Special Walnut" stain until I got the color I wanted. It looks really lovely. Thank you! I will use this technique again.

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Postby jforb » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:21 am

I'm working on an old truck camper from the 60s, it has wood cabinets inside. The cabinet frames seem to be made of pine, and the doors are birch veneer over particle board. I want to try to duplicate the original finish, I think it might be an opaque stain, as the grain is there but not very noticeable (there's not much contrast). I tried a golden oak stain and satin lacquer, and it brings out the grain too much.

Any suggestions for what to use?
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Postby Bob Boardman » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:12 am

I believe that's birch ply. Try just a coat of clear finish. That's probably what was originally used, but has yellowed a bit over time. You could try a diluted coat of orange (amber) shellac before applying the clear finish - that would make up for some of the yellowing
Bob "Boardman" Borders

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Postby jforb » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:34 pm

i tried a clear finish, and it came out much ligher than the original finish was.

I'll try to get some pictures of the before and after tests I've done. lighting is tricky though.


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