Best stain for white oak chairs

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pasquander
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Best stain for white oak chairs

Postby pasquander » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:14 pm

Hello,

I have what I believe is a white oak dining room table and chairs. When I got them they were stained a peachy color with a thick high gloss laquer. I really didn't like the light color and I had every intention of staining the chairs a Robin's egg blue color and staining the table top a driftwood color, but now that I've been slaving over these chairs just to strip them down, I'm having doubts. The natural wood really is stunning, but the light color is just not my preference. I'm also really intent on the blue color even if it is more trendy. Right now, I'm wondering if there is a way to stain them that will be easier to remove a few years from now if I fall out of favor with the blue, or if that is just wishful thinking. This is my first refinishing job and I don't want to destroy perfectly good furniture.

Thank you for any kind of advice you might have! I've attached a few pictures of one of the chairs after stripping and washing.

EDIT: pictures were too big to attach, so here is a link to them: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id= ... Vh0OFQ2Slk

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Bob Boardman
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Re: Best stain for white oak chairs

Postby Bob Boardman » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:30 am

If I understand your post, you:
1) have removed all the old finish, 2) want to stain chairs a robin's egg blue, but 3) want the blue to be relatively easy to remove, if your tastes change in a few years. If this is the case, there's a couple things you can try.

The first thing is that you don't want the blue to penetrate into the wood - rather to sit on top of the wood. There's nothing wrong with this approach - furniture mfgr's do it all the time. To accomplish this you can choose from either of the techniques below.

1) Seal with shellac: Apply a coat of SealCoat to all surfaces. Sealcoat is a diluted shellac, that will penetrate the wood. Both water and oil base products adhere to shellac. Once you've applied, light sand all surfaces and vacuum up dust. You can now apply either a pigment stain or a dye stain. Dye stains are translucent, while pigment stains are more opaque. Apply the stain to a test area, and before it dries, decide if you like the look. If so, let it dry. If not remove the stain with the appropriate solvent (water or paint thinner). The stain is sitting on the shellac, so it will wipe off easily, and you can test another stain type or mix. Once you decide on the color/type of stain, let it dry, and apply a couple coats of finish.

2) MIx some stain into your finish: For this technique you need spray equip. You can try brushing but it usually doesn't turn out as well. For this, you can seal with shellac (as above), or proceed without the sealcoat. You will have to experiment with a bunch of different dilutions of stain to get the right color. Test the dilutions on an inconspicuous spot, like the underside of a chair. Once you have it right, apply to all surfaces, let dry, and then apply a couple coats of finish.

With both techniques, removing the color is going to be relatively easy, because the stain isn't in the wood, rather in the finish. You can sand or strip it off easily. Once removed, you can either leave the shellac on, remove it (wipe down all surfaces with a rag dipped in ammonia), or add another coat.

This should steer you in the right direction
Bob "Boardman" Borders

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Re: Best stain for white oak chairs

Postby pasquander » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:45 am

Thank you so much! This is exactly what I need. I had gotten bulls eye shellac to put on between my layers of stain and polyacrylic. I'll pick up the sealcoat diluted shellac to put on first. I don't have spray equipment, so I'll be using the first technique you mentioned.

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

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Re: Best stain for white oak chairs

Postby pasquander » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:07 am

It seems like the answer to this question is almost always 24 hours, but how long should I let the barrier layer of shellac sit before sanding and applying stain?

The stain says the second coat can be applied after 2 hours, and then I was planning on waiting 24 to apply the intermediate shellac and then another 24 before the first later of polyacrylic.

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Bob Boardman
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Re: Best stain for white oak chairs

Postby Bob Boardman » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:40 am

If you have BullsEye shellac, there's no need to buy Sealcoat. Simply mix 2 parts of Bullseye to 1 part denatured alcohol and you'll have a good mix to use. Shellac is alchol based, so (unless you're in a very humid climate) it's ready for sanding or recoat after 45 minutes.

The 2 hours is a recoat time - this is the time in which the 1st and 2nd coats will adhere to each other. If you wait 24 hrs between coats, then I'd light sand with a 400 grit paper, vacuum dust, and apply next coat. The sanding scratches create a mechanical bond for the 2 coats.

Also, please test your schedule on underside of chair if applying 2 coats of stain. Sometimes the 2nd coat comes out too muddy, and needs to be diluted.
Bob "Boardman" Borders


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