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Finishing pine

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  • Finishing pine

    Building a pine work bench and I want to darken the legs to add some contrast.

    Which is better/will show better, a walnut coloured watco danish oil, or a walnut miniwax stain? Does the danish oil need a pre-conditioner like the stain or would you just reapply to cover up any areas that like to drink?
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  • #2

    Re: Finishing pine

    Pine hates stain. The light parts go darker than the dark parts. Myself, I just use boiled linseed oil and then water based poly. Some folks like to put a coat of shellac on the knots to stop bleeding, but I haven't had a problem. That, and time. Pine will darken by itself over time, the BLO just shortens that time.
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    • #3

      Re: Finishing pine

      If you have access to a dealer that sells ML Campbell stains they have a charcoal stain that is a dark stain that you can still see the grain pattern. They probably won't sell you lacquers and other top coats but I am sure they will sell you stains. They are a solvent based product. I just fished a large entertainment Center for a client and it took the stain rather nicely. There are lots of ML Campbell dealers on the planet earth.

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      • #4

        Re: Finishing pine

        Which is better/will show better, a walnut coloured watco danish oil, or a walnut miniwax stain? /QUOTE]

        Given the choices provided and the fact that it's a work bench, then I would go with the oil, which really doesn't need any special preparation other than even sanding.
        If you are wanting to experiment with different types of colouring media then try both and also a gel stain (you can often get small samples at the box stores).
        As Jim pointed out, pine is notorious for looking butt ugly after staining. IMO this is due to two factors, not preparing the wood properly and the use of a cheap stain with coarsely ground pigments that get lodged in the negative grain and give the dark banding most people hate.

        As Brian said, pine can be stained very effectively, but it needs much higher quality stains than are available at box stores to achieve that look. Like Brian I use ML Campbell solvent stains and have excellent results, even on blotch prone woods. Because ML Campbell and Minwax are part of the Sherwin Williams group of companies, every distributor has the exact mixing ratios to achieve the popular Minwax colours. It's a great combination because potential customers can easily go to a local hardware/box/paint store, pick out a colour they like and ultimately get a far superior looking end product.
        Not to belabour the point, but here are a couple pics of pine tables stained with MLC stains

        Last edited by Paul O in Paris; 04-13-2019, 10:50 AM.
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