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  • Staining fir

    I'm in the process of redoing my fireplace and part of that is a new mantle. Picked up a chunk of douglas fir and thinking I should have gone with a different wood.

    Given the colour of the stone we're going with my wife decided a nice dark stain would be petfect for the mantle.

    This is the end result after two coats using a minwax oil based stain. I applied a pre stain and let soak in for a good 20 minutes.

    I have also tried a darker stain and a gel stain with no real difference.

    Is there anyway to get a more consistent colour between the grains? We're not happy with how light sections are.

    Trying to avoid painting the thing because I like the look of the wood grain.

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  • #2

    Re: Staining fir

    That’s how fir takes stain.
    I think it looks great.

    Nathan

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    • #3

      Re: Staining fir

      Originally posted by Marloff View Post
      I'm in the process of redoing my fireplace and part of that is a new mantle. Picked up a chunk of douglas fir and thinking I should have gone with a different wood.
      Yes, you knew the answer to your problem.

      Generally, the darker the stain, the greater the contrast in the growth rings.
      You could try using dye instead of stain or go with a finish that has stain in the finish.
      Measure twice, cut once ... and if that doesn't work try again

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      • #4

        Re: Staining fir

        if you have spray equipment, or access to it, spray on a light clear coat of sealer. When that's dry mix up a "tone coat", which is basically a combination of thinners, sealer and dye. Spray light coats of that until you get the desired depth of colour, then apply a topcoat. This will give you a very even colour and avoid blotching and other effects that direct application of stain (or even dye) to fir will give you.
        I usually mix 6 parts thinners to one part sealer then start at 10 or 20% dye by volume.
        If you cant spray, it's possible to do this by brushing or padding but you will have to make sure the colour layer is very evenly applied, which can be challenging.
        There are tinted finishes available, Minwax had one (Polyshades??), and I'm sure other manufacturers do. I used it about 23yrs ago and found the pigments actually sagged within the finish on some vertical surfaces.
        Good luck
        Paul
        Last edited by Paul O in Paris; 12-10-2018, 03:21 PM.

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        • #5

          Re: Staining fir

          Just a further note regarding what Paul's recommeding, here's where you may order Target Coatings waterborne sander/sealer to use as Paul's recommending to seal the wood. After the first coat, lightly sand it with P180 then apply a second coat and sand witih P400. That will ensure the wood is sealer effectively. Then take a small amount of the sander/sealer and tint it with the dye Paul mentions and apply it as he suggests, then topcoat it for protection.


          Originally posted by Paul O in Paris View Post
          if you have spray equipment, or access to it, spray on a light clear coat of sealer. When that's dry mix up a "tone coat", which is basically a combination of thinners, sealer and dye. Spray light coats of that until you get the desired depth of colour, then apply a topcoat. This will give you a very even colour and avoid blotching and other effects that direct application of stain (or even dye) to fir will give you.
          I usually mix 6 parts thinners to one part sealer then start at 10 or 20% dye by volume.
          If you cant spray, it's possible to do this by brushing or padding but you will have to make sure the colour layer is very evenly applied, which can be challenging.
          There are tinted finishes available, Minwax had one (Polyshades??), and I'm sure other manufacturers do. I used it about 23yrs ago and found the pigments actually sagged within the finish on some vertical surfaces.
          Good luck
          Paul
          All the best,

          Marty

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

          Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Staining fir

            Try some food dye on a scrap piece. Perhaps blue or red and see if it will give a consistent colour. If it works mix up a batch to the colour desired and apply a few coats to get good saturation. Then expirement with the end finish you wish.

            The picture shows ash dyed with food colouring and then clear danish oil.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Egon; 12-11-2018, 09:37 AM.
            Egon
            from
            The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Staining fir

              Get away from Minwax oil stains, they apply easily, but don't offer much else. If you switch to a dye stain, you can apply and reapply to temper the colours. I only use minwax if the customer already has a piece that is stained with it, and I have to match.

              Simon
              nnieman likes this.

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              • #8

                Re: Staining fir

                Thanks for the replies everyone. Not good with this forum stuff so I'm not going to spend an hour trying to quote and reply to everyone.

                Don't have a lot of time to work on this every week but I'm not in a rush either. So I'm going to try this food dye thing and also the dye stain that has been suggested.

                I don't think have access to spray equipment and have never used anything like that. Might be a bit more effort than I'm willing to put in. We'll see.

                You aren't the first one to tell me to get away from Minwax Thorel. Think I'll listen to that bit of advice

                Thanks again everyone. If I remember I'll post some pictures if I get it figured out and remember to do so.

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                • #9

                  Re: Staining fir

                  Originally posted by Thorel Woodworking View Post
                  I only use minwax if the customer already has a piece that is stained with it, and I have to match.
                  Simon, rather than use Minwax stain, any company in the Sherwin Williams empire has the colour formula to match the stain perfectly because Minwax is owned by SW. I use ML Campbell (also part of SW) Woodsong II stains and have never has a colour mismatch. These stains are far superior and I have stained pine, fir and maple with absolutely minimal blotching.

                  Paul

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                  • #10

                    Re: Staining fir

                    Originally posted by Marloff View Post
                    I don't think have access to spray equipment and have never used anything like that. Might be a bit more effort than I'm willing to put in. We'll see.
                    In that case, try a good quality gel stain, which will give you a more even colour and greatly reduce/almost eliminate blotching. Just follow the manufacturer's recommendations re sanding.

                    Paul

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