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  • How to achieve such colors/look?

    Hi everyone!

    Been doing some work for the living room coffee table for the girlfriend, but i am having great difficulty finding a way to achieve the color she wants. She wants some sort of rustic uneven weathered look. It seems almost as if there was more than one stain color to it or other technics to it? I've been looking online but couldn't find any videos or guide that shows how to achieve such contrast/colors. Here's a picture of the colors she likes.

    I don't know if it's helpful to mention or not, but our coffee table is made out of maple, in case that changes something for the technics or stains i'd need to use.

    Any of you pros out here have any idea how to make this work? It'd be more than appreciated, thank you!
    Attached Files
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  • #2

    Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

    I think that is burned to get that look and might not work on maple like it does for softer wood with raised grain.
    Steve The Drill Sergeant
    Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

      That’s pine, not maple. It appears to be burnt - Google Shou Sugi Ban

      Like said above, the effect works on soft wood, I can’t imagine it working with maple.
      Maple doesn’t have the distinct grain lines plus it’s too hard to get a similar look with that technique.

      Nathan

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      • #4

        Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

        Yes, that's pine but I don't think it has been burnt. It's just a bad job of staining with a dark (probably MinWax walnut) stain. Pine is really had to stain evenly. Some areas the stain really soaks in, in other areas, not so much.

        You are not going to achieve that finish in maple.
        the other Ken
        ------
        "Each flitch, each board, each plant can have only one ideal use. The woodworker, applying a thousand skills, must find that ideal use and then shape the wood to realize its true potential" - George Nakashima

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

          Originally posted by the_other_ken View Post
          Yes, that's pine but I don't think it has been burnt. It's just a bad job of staining with a dark (probably MinWax walnut) stain. Pine is really had to stain evenly. Some areas the stain really soaks in, in other areas, not so much.

          You are not going to achieve that finish in maple.
          That's my thoughts, pine/framing lumber with a cheap dark stain to get that look. Make sure to not use a pre-conditioner as you want it to blotch and absorb unevenly in this case.

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          • #6

            Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

            Originally posted by the_other_ken View Post
            Yes, that's pine but I don't think it has been burnt. It's just a bad job of staining with a dark (probably MinWax walnut) stain. Pine is really had to stain evenly. Some areas the stain really soaks in, in other areas, not so much.

            You are not going to achieve that finish in maple.
            Oh ok! So this kind of rustic finish on maple isn't really doable? Is there any kind of rustic finish that is doable on maple or it's too hard to make it look old/distressed with uneven staining?

            Thanks a lot for the replies guys!

            Comment

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            • #7

              Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

              If I was in your shoes I'd take a few scrap pieces of maple and play around with a propane torch to see what effects I could get. Beat it up with a hammer and other tools for some distressing.
              nnieman likes this.

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              • #8

                Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

                The distressed look is do able with maple, but it won’t look exactly like the picture above.

                You will have to experiment with stains and dyes to give it an aged look.

                Vinegar and steel wool will turn it grey, also black tea can add an amber tint.

                Nathan

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

                  I understand that they've given a name to this technique: shou sugi ban.

                  I was able to find several videos describing the technique used to achieve the finish your girl-friend's wanting

                  Of all of them, this one is worth watching. Youtube video of the technique used to achieve the finish your girl-friend's wanting. As others have stated, the species of wood needs to have soft and hard grained features. Pine, spruce, cedar and such conifers are the woods to use - not hardwoods such as maple. Oak is another possibility, as is ash because they have the grain feature you're looking for.

                  After torching the wood, if you wish an even more dramatic appearance, use a wire brush in your hand-held electric drill to dig out more of the softer wood areas which burned more than the harder grained areas.

                  Hope this helps.
                  Last edited by MartyFromKingston; 09-04-2018, 03:56 PM.
                  All the best,

                  Marty

                  President of Kingston Wood Artisans https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

                  Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

                    Thanks alot everyone! Very helpful replies!

                    I tried with a small piece of maple yesterday to just stain dark walnut after quick sanding. Wow it didnt work at all! Its the same stain i had previously used on an oak aquarium stand which worked well. Not sure what i did wrong but its definatly not dark walnut nor did it do a good staining job. We opted for this stain after reading all the replies saying what we wanted to do would be doable but nearly impossible. I am a beginner so i wasnt too sure if id be able to do it or not.

                    Heres a picture of how it turned out... if any of you figure out what i did wrong please let me know. Could it be because i sanded all the way to 600 grit? (though very lightly i didn't bother removing all the scratches just wanted to see how the stain would apply) Its my first time working with maple, total noob here.

                    Thank you very much again everyone!
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by LordPM; 09-05-2018, 09:13 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

                      Welcome to the world of staining maple! It's tight grain does not accept the coloured particles of stain easily, and it is worse if you sand to a high grit count..... I would stop at 150. Maple also has a tendency to blotch easily where certain areas accept the stain more readily than others. For this reason many will use a dilute coat of shellac before staining to avoid the blotching. I have had some success by wetting the maple, let dry, light sand, repeat 2 more times before staining..... the theory is that those areas that wish to accept more stain have had their thirst satisfied with the water. I learnt this method from a fellow who used to post on here and went by the name Hickory, may he RIP. Roy
                      Are you solving the problem, or becoming part of it?

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                      • #12

                        Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

                        Originally posted by LordPM View Post

                        Could it be because i sanded all the way to 600 grit? (though very lightly i didn't bother removing all the scratches just wanted to see how the stain would apply) Its my first time working with maple, total noob here.
                        Sanding to that high a grit definitely doesn't help the stain bite into the wood. 150 is as high as you need to go on solid wood prior to staining, maybe even try a sample at 120, or lower, as you are trying to encourage the stain to spread unevenly and give a dark look.
                        The type of stain used can also make a big difference, a penetrating stain will be better than a gel stain or a dye, and an oil based product will get you closer to what you want than a waterbased. I don't use or recommend Minwax stains, but in this case, their oil based product may work best.
                        As others have said you won't get the same look with maple as the pine in the picture you posted. Without actually seeing the sample, it's pretty difficult to tell if it's burnt on or stained. It's relatively easy to get that look on pine by staining heavily, then sanding back (with a finer grit) to leave the biggest concentration of pigment in parts of the grain. As you have discovered, maple doesn't behave the same way.
                        Only way I can see to get a similar look would be to selectively apply stain to certain areas within the grain lines, let it soak in, scuff back when dry and maybe apply a lighter dye to the whole piece to give areas of an even, lighter colour for contrast. Lots of work and potentially a high frustration level!
                        I have never used the scorching method so I can't pass on any experiences for you.
                        Good luck
                        Paul
                        Last edited by Paul O in Paris; 09-05-2018, 11:06 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

                          Originally posted by Roy in Thunder Bay View Post
                          Welcome to the world of staining maple! It's tight grain does not accept the coloured particles of stain easily, and it is worse if you sand to a high grit count..... I would stop at 150. Maple also has a tendency to blotch easily where certain areas accept the stain more readily than others. For this reason many will use a dilute coat of shellac before staining to avoid the blotching. I have had some success by wetting the maple, let dry, light sand, repeat 2 more times before staining..... the theory is that those areas that wish to accept more stain have had their thirst satisfied with the water. I learnt this method from a fellow who used to post on here and went by the name Hickory, may he RIP. Roy
                          Ok! I will try different grit (80, 120, 150) and see what happens. I have used minwax wood conditioner before staining though but it didn't seem like it helped at all to be honest. Thanks a lot for the nice suggestions!

                          Originally posted by Paul O in Paris View Post

                          Sanding to that high a grit definitely doesn't help the stain bite into the wood. 150 is as high as you need to go on solid wood prior to staining, maybe even try a sample at 120, or lower, as you are trying to encourage the stain to spread unevenly and give a dark look.
                          The type of stain used can also make a big difference, a penetrating stain will be better than a gel stain or a dye, and an oil based product will get you closer to what you want than a waterbased. I don't use or recommend Minwax stains, but in this case, their oil based product may work best.
                          As others have said you won't get the same look with maple as the pine in the picture you posted. Without actually seeing the sample, it's pretty difficult to tell if it's burnt on or stained. It's relatively easy to get that look on pine by staining heavily, then sanding back (with a finer grit) to leave the biggest concentration of pigment in parts of the grain. As you have discovered, maple doesn't behave the same way.
                          Only way I can see to get a similar look would be to selectively apply stain to certain areas within the grain lines, let it soak in, scuff back when dry and maybe apply a lighter dye to the whole piece to give areas of an even, lighter colour for contrast. Lots of work and potentially a high frustration level!
                          I have never used the scorching method so I can't pass on any experiences for you.
                          Good luck
                          Paul
                          Ok thanks! I will go down a lot in grit and try with 80/120 and see what happens. Minwax stain is the one i was using. There was also wood conditioner added prior to the staining, as i was told it helped with evening out the stain. Told the girlfriend that we would go with a more uniform color in the end. We found these two colors here that we really like, but from what i was reading the guys used wood dyes instead of stains. Would dyes work better than stains for maple and is it relatively easy to do or are we talking pro-technics here that i should just forget about? Here are the pictures.

                          Thanks a lot everyone for the great replies!
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

                            I "create" that finish fairly often. I like to use general dye stains. My recommendation is to stain it with their "dark brown"(maple will take dye well up to about 220 grit IME). Once it is dry, use a random orbit sander with 220 grit paper to gently sand out some "distressed" spots, then go over the whole thing with a light pecan/honey oak style stain. Again, using general finishes dye stains has always worked well for me. This should give you something comparable to a burned look, without a torch.

                            If you want more light/distressed areas after the two stain coats are done, then you can sand out some more areas and restain with the lighter tone. If you want more dark areas after the two passes, then you can just stain over the light areas with the dark. That is the beauty of dye stains, they can be layered and applied over top of each other without much trouble.

                            Simon

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                            • #15

                              Re: How to achieve such colors/look?

                              I agree with Simon. I think you should use a dark brown stain and then use a sander. I think that would work well!

                              Originally posted by Thorel Woodworking View Post
                              I "create" that finish fairly often. I like to use general dye stains. My recommendation is to stain it with their "dark brown"(maple will take dye well up to about 220 grit IME). Once it is dry, use a random orbit sander with 220 grit paper to gently sand out some "distressed" spots, then go over the whole thing with a light pecan/honey oak style stain. Again, using general finishes dye stains has always worked well for me. This should give you something comparable to a burned look, without a torch.

                              If you want more light/distressed areas after the two stain coats are done, then you can sand out some more areas and restain with the lighter tone. If you want more dark areas after the two passes, then you can just stain over the light areas with the dark. That is the beauty of dye stains, they can be layered and applied over top of each other without much trouble.

                              Simon

                              Comment

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