Want to deepen my baseboards and doors.

dazzlemewithcolorNovember 28, 2010

Hope someone can point me in the right direction. We have wood trim work throughout the house. It is not a grainy oak or wood with a high grain. The grain is visible but you can't feel it when you run your hands over it. It does not seem to have a varnish or shellac finish. There is no shine. To me, it looks simply stained. I would like to darken the stain a little. I do not want to use gel stains as I know that gives more of a paint like finish. I like being able to see the knots and grain, just want to darken it. I also like the finish on it as it is...no glossy shellac look.

I was thinking maybe glazing, but don't want the antique look. Can I just stain over it with stain?

Thanks in advance.

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Despite what you may read on yellow cans that say "Wood Finish," a stain is not meant to be a final finish. If it has pigment in it, it has just enough binder (oil, varnish, lacquer or acrylic) to hold the pigment in place.

First, I would wet rag with mineral spirits and wipe it over an area. This will simulate what adding a finish will do. Finish generally darkens and intensifies the color in a stain.

If this is pleasing you can simply top coat with a satin varnish or oil-varnish blend (aka Danish Oil, antique oil, etc.) You can also get tinted danish oils that will darken the color.

The problem with oil only or oil-varnish blends is that in a few years they tend to oxidize and dull. But it's simple enough to freshen up by cleaning and re-applying a new coat of the same. (This also may be what is on there now). Oil-varnish blends tend to be "in the wood" finishes and have a low luster (sheen) and minimal film build. You apply them, let sit for a few minutes and wipe off all the excess before it starts to get tacky. The actual time will vary based on ambient conditions and the relative proportions of oil and varnish.

Gel stains should not look "painted" if you do them right.

So there's some options. But remember the first rule of finishing : run some trials on scrap (or an obscure area) before starting your project.

Here is a link that might be useful: oil and oil-varnish finishes

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 6:33PM
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bobsmyuncle, Thanks for the reply and the great information. I will certainly look into the satin varnish or oil-varnish blend products. That sounds like it may just do what I would like. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:38PM
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