change light wood to darker color?

gunterJuly 30, 2009

I've got a natural maple color tv stand and I would like to make it a med. cherry stain.

How do I do this? There would be a shellac or clear varnish on it already. Is there some gel stain product I can buy and just brush on that would work without my having to strip and scrape, etc.?

thank you,

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aidan_m

Is it from Ikea? Your maple color furniture may be nothing more than plastic contact paper over particle board.

If it is real wood you can change the color. Start with a coat of shellac. After the shellac dries, test some stains on inconspicuous areas. Try a heavy pigment stain like Watco danish oil stain.

Another option is to get an alcohol-based stain and mix it right in with the shellac. More coats will achieve a darker result.

Either way you go, after you get the color you like, coat the piece with clear shellac, followed by varnish.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:18PM
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gunter

Thank you--no it's real wood from a Scandinavian Design store.
There's some type of top coat (shellac or varnish)on it but it's natural maple under that.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:37PM
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bobismyuncle

I would take a different route. For small shifts, you can use a glaze that is a heavily pigmented product that you apply between coats of finish. But you can do moderate, not extreme shifts with a glaze. Some people use a gel stain as a glaze. Once the glaze has thoroughly dried, apply a top coat compatible with the glaze and under coat.

You can also use a toner, that is a finish with color in it. The real issue with this is it almost has to be sprayed to be even. You also need some decent experience with a spray gun. You can also effect smaller color shifts but a large shift might leave you looking at an opaque layer that looks like paint. I consider the all-in-one products like Polyshades (r) technically a toner, but it is very difficult to brush on without streaking.

But your first thing is to find out what kind of finish is on there now. Chances are it is a lacquer of some type if it is a factory finish. Shellac hasn't been used much commercially for sixty years, and varnish is a slow and craftsman-applied finish and would be quite rare for a production piece.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 10:46PM
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lindac

And....if you use a colored shellac or gel stain followed by shellac, any scratch or chip will take you back to light wood. So if that's the route you take....treat the finished piece gently.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 6:59PM
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gunter

With all these suggestions do I still have to sand the factory coating (lacquer) off first?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 1:10AM
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gunter

What I mean to ask is will shellac or gel glaze bond with whatever lacquer finish the factory put on it without my having to first sand it?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 1:16AM
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bobismyuncle

It's hard to say. Most finishes will stick to anything that is clean and dull. So it never hurts to do a good cleaning and a light scuff sanding. There are some exceptions because of incompatible finishes (polyurethane has some adhesion problems with other finishes, and lacquers are too "hot" to apply to varnish finishes, for example.) There are also some finishes, generally billed as "indestructible" (which they are not), that won't take anything on top of them, not even themselves outside a very specific re-coat window.

Shellac is generally one of the more agreeable finishes as far as sticking to things and things sticking to it, but like I said, there are some exceptions.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:27PM
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