Darkening stain

niamariaJuly 17, 2009

Hi all. I'm pretty new to refinishing work but my in-laws recently passed down a number of great pieces in need of some TLC, so I've got a lot of it ahead of me.

One of my first projects is stripping and refinishing a pecan table that belonged to my husband's grandmother. I stripped it with no problem (using an orange stripper) sanded and applied a pre-stain application because I wasn't sure how evenly the wood would take the stain. I used an oil based stain from Minwax - Red Oak - but it's not as dark as I would like. Too much oak, not enough red. I have two applications of stain on now and it's still not where I want it. Do I have to strip and start again using a different stain or are there other options? I've been told to try Polyshades, but that scares me.

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Try Bartley's Gel Stain. Two colors I would recommend are Pennsylvania Cherry and Dark Red Mahogany. They can go over minwax, and you can add as many coats as needed to get it dark.
Apply to one area or part at a time, and wipe to even out the tone. You have to work fast, don't go back over areas, and recoat after one day.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Another approach is to apply a coat or two of finish, then apply a glaze. You can use the gel stain as a glaze. I use glazes about 95% of the time I (re-)finish to adjust the color to get it just where I want it.

A glaze is simply a color applied between coats of finish, compared to a stain that is applied to bare wood.

Forget the finishing advice to use Polyshades. I also recommend you do not apply more coats of Minwax stain. It is not penetrating any more and can only cause problems such as not curing.

Here is a link that might be useful: glazing techniques

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 6:40PM
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