Help! Please -- grain is too contrasty.

saydeJanuary 31, 2011

When we put Waterlox (two coats so far) on gumwood, it made the grain pop -- but way too much. In addition the new gumwood that we used to makes some of the rails and stiles is darker than the old gumwood doors. We are surprised because we used to have poly on the old gumwood and the grain pattern had much less contrast.

Can we use a gel stain over the Waterlox to darken everything and subdue the contrast in the grain? Any particular kind or brand? If not, any suggestions for what we should do to decrease the grain contrast?

Don't really want to go darker but at this point highest priority is to improve the uniformity across the old and new wood and subdue some of the stripiness. Help, please.

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sombreuil_mongrel

The difference will diminish slightly as the waterlox cures; it's most profound when just applied, because the solvent has penetrated deeper into the wood. Look again after 24-48 hours.
You may be able to tone the lighter parts to better match the darker areas; that is a real specialty of pro finishers. It's an acquired skill.
There are so many variables that I couldn't begin to tell you what shades of stain to try. A pigment-rich gel stain may be the best way forward, but it could be that tinting the waterlox for the last two coats may be necessary. It's much harder to work with tinted waterlox than plain. The application becomes 100% crucial to avoid streaks.
Hopefully the disparity vanishes as it cures.
Casey

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 12:29PM
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sayde

Thanks so much Casey.

I'm afraid it's already been a few days so WYSIWYG. We are already considering remaking/replacing certain pieces where the contrast is worst. And maybe a bit of gel stain here and there. Hoping that the additional coats of Waterlox, especially the satin top coats, will help.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 7:39PM
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sayde

Thanks so much Casey.

I'm afraid it's already been a few days so WYSIWYG. We are already considering remaking/replacing certain pieces where the contrast is worst. And maybe a bit of gel stain here and there. Hoping that the additional coats of Waterlox, especially the satin top coats, will help.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 7:40PM
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