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how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Posted by feisty68 (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 16:44

Stunning right?

How would you get this stain effect DIY?

What would you ask a cabinet front manufacturer for if you wanted this effect?

What species of wood would you need?

Just to be complicated, I would want a custom colour shown below (paint chip) - but I would expect the wood colour and grain to be distinctly showing through as above in my inspiration photo. I need the green undertone because a blueish gray would clash with the River White granite counters.

I am very confused after talking to a cabinet door finisher so I need some vocabulary here. Advice would be appreciated!

Here is a link that might be useful: A Downton Abbey-Worthy Kitchen


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I don't know what wood has that kind of grain pattern, but the finish might be some sort of weathered or whitewashed stain, perhaps with some glazing.

I saw a Plain & Fancy door sample in "Walnut Driftscape" finish the other day. When I held the sample flat above the countertop under bright daylight, it had a warm creamy gray look. When I held it vertically under the countertop, there was not as much direct daylight and it turned into a colder gray, like the kitchen you posted above.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

What you're looking at is a weathered or driftwood type finish. That will give you grey, and often subtle green undertones. It will be influenced by the color undertones of the specie of wood it is applied to, so, for example, yellowish undertones if yellow pine, etc.

You can get this using a stain such as minwax "driftwood" or by treating the wood with other aging techniques such as the steel wool/vinegar mixture.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Washed gray oak?

Here is a link that might be useful: welcoming gray oak


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Funny a gorgeous driftwood kitchen was just shared on the other thread, the one about painting cathedral arched doors!

That is a fabulous look, feisty. Hope you can pull it off!


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

It's the kitchen I linked to above (welcoming gray oak). There are two more pictures.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

they did this sort of thing on the Cambridge house ceiling on This Old House (episode 11, 2012). They did it with pine boards, oil based paint painted on and wiped off with a rag.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Could be a white oak with a hardwax oil finish. Looks like some cool flooring I've seen like the attached Rubio Monocoat finished with fuming and white precoloring. Ciranova (another hardwax vendor) makes a really nice range of colorants too.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

This is very achievable and durable with dilute latex paint of your choosing and a satin polyurethane top coat. Have him dummy up some boards for you.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Thanks for the input ILoveCookie, Beautybutdebt, Greenhaven, Nosoccermom, Detroit_burb, and Zeitgast!

I also thought it was a weathered/driftwood stain at first. I tried Varathane Wood Stain in "sunbleached" colour - similar to the Mixwax driftwood. It didn't create that effect at all - it was much more transparent than what I was looking for and wasn't adding enough opaque pigment to be a colour. I had to use wiped off latex paint to get even close to the opacity I was looking for. But that was obviously just fooling around, not how you do things properly.

Beautybutdebtfree, I've seen the steel wool stains in internet photos - they are much darker than I am looking for, and again there is no control over the actual colour. Unless they are used in a multi-step process?

ILoveCookie, I just looked at the Plain and Fancy finishes - I see what you mean about the Walnut Driftscape being similar. They also had other gray stains.

Greenhaven and Nosoccermom, that "Welcoming Gray" kitchen does look like a similar finish, doesn't it? It definitely looks like there is white in the grain (limed/pickled effect). Not sure what "washed" means?

Detroit_burb, that makes sense to me because the best effect I could get was wiping off latex paint - oil-based paint would penetrate and behave properly I'm guessing. Pine, huh? I wonder why they picked that species (since it is so soft).

Very interesting Zeitgast! It looks like some of the coloured hardwax oils may create similar effects.

The world of finishes is complicated. The guy at the cabinet front fabricator told me that he recently took a training course at a university to learn about the latest and greatest in that realm. It concerned me though, that he didn't seem to understand what I meant when I described it over the phone...I guess most customers aren't looking for that kind of thing.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Wood looks like old pine to me.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

It's oak, IMHO. After stripping so many antique doors, I've gotten pretty good with wood grain! You can easily DIY this, but it's not a one step process if you want it to look authentic.

The vinegar idea is great, but it completely reacts to the tannins in the wood. Pine and cedar react and become one color, whereas maple goes dark gray.

If you had a hardwood, such as mahogany, you'd need to put some tannins into the wood. This can be done by painting the wood with several coats of dark, strong tea. Let it soak in and dry, then vinegar it.

Be careful with a polyurethane, because it'll yellow. Polyacrylic will not.

Another thing to look at is that this is a matte finish. If you look at sealers, the lowest sheen they go is satin. After much reading for a couple of years, I've learned that a gorgeous matte finish can be had using FLAT, latex DARK paint base. It's a 4 or 5. I also chose exterior because it would be more durable. It goes on white and dries ... nothing. It's so matte it looks like nothing. I'm currently using it on 2 of my antique doors I've stripped to keep the raw wood look. But had to seal them somehow!

Anyway, this definitely looks like oak with a nice, wipe-on-wipe-off treatment. I have use the Varathane 'Sunbleached' and I've used several coats of very watered gray paint.

On my oak kitchen cabinets, I used the Varathane, wiped it off and sanded lightly. This exposed more wood. I vinegared it. Oak doesn't react much, but it did give the wood another gray color. I then a layer some very watered down (with mineral spirits) 'Jacobean' Minwax stain and wiped it down. One more light sanding and another coat of the Varathane. Sealed them with the Behr, flat, exterior dark paint base. I just stare at them I love them so much!

All a kind of ceruse finish. Very gorgeous! Love these pictures.

(Thanks again, writersblock! Love this editing feature.)

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Mon, May 5, 14 at 15:37


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I could just go out and strip the barns. ;) There is a little cabinet place three minutes down the road that has been advertising barn cabinets, and they look just like this.

I do really like the look. Driftwood or barn wood cabinets would be nice but seems like a matte finish would be needed.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Now I soooo want to do this on the cabinet/hutch I am envisioning for my microwave and various and sundry other things.

Where do you think they got that chandelier? I am totally diggin' that, too!


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

So the jury is out on what species :) . Seems like pine or oak are the most likely candidates. Thanks for weighing in Rocogurl.

CEFreeman, great information. I will re-read your post until it sinks in!

I get a bit frustrated with trying different things because the "testing" adds up! For example, Benjamin Moore would make me a custom stain...for CAN$90! It would be a gallon, and a wasted gallon if I wasn't happy with it. And both the BM custom stain and the cabinet finishing guy said that I have to show them what I want, and they will match it. How am I supposed to create a custom stain to make a sample for them to copy? I'm missing something here. I think my next step might be a pint of oil paint in Hardwick White - to try the wipe off technique.

CEFreeman, and Iowacommute - I totally agree that a matte finish is critical to the look. Something shiny or waxy would take the look in a different direction.

Iowacommute - they did rip off barn boards in the kitchen linked to below!

Greenhaven, you have the DIY skills to pull it off!

Here is a link that might be useful: A Napa Valley Kitchen Makeover, Ikea Cabinets Included


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Feisty, don't forget about artists' paints in tubes. No need to invest in tons of stuff.

Paint: There is NO reason not to go to Sherwin Williams and get their samples. Their's is 3x as much paint for very little money! You're going to seal it, so it doesn't matter about it's durability.

For the matte finish, I've used the Behr, Flat, exterior, dark base and the Olympic. Again, it goes on white causing a panic, but dries invisible. Incredible.

The trick to these finishes is multi color layers. It's not hard, just time intensive.

Guys, don't forget that you can dismantle a pallet or old fence panels much easier than tearing apart someone's barn. Chances are, they'll notice.

I did my Tansu in my MBR with pallets. Gorgeous 34/" oak, actually. Some boards I bleached first, some I just sealed, some I put some stain on and wiped it off, some I grayed.

Edited to attach photo.

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 11:07


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

OK CEFreeman, you've encouraged me to try more. I need to find oil paint custom colour testers - not sure if they're available locally here in Canada. I need to work with bigger sample boards too.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I do like the barn wood, but I would probably walk past expecting a crazy farm cat to jump out at me.

Feisty68 have you looked at the semi-transparent stains like Cabot and Minwax? There are lots of companies now that have semi-transparent pre-made stains for the driftwood look. Most of the DIY's I've found just use the pre-made driftwood look stains.

There is also a link below that looks great from Woodweb.

Here is a link that might be useful: Weathered finish


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Oops! I forgot to agree with CEFreeman on the species. It looks like oak to me, too. :o)


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

There are a couple of barns on our farm that could come down by the time we build and the Amish place next door just lost their big barn so lots of wood to go around. ;)

The pallets we get on the farm (and the ones I would get while I worked at a big grocery store) are just not great. Most of them are made of the crappiest wood with huge knots and half falling apart. Believe I look for the good ones for my gardening boxes.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Iowacommute, I guess I should try some of the other translucent stains. I thought the Varathane sunbleached would nail it, but it was too transparent so I gave up on that type of product.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

IowaCommute, those driftwood stains are only good, IMHO, as another layer. If you use just that, you've got a stained board, not something aged or authentic.

Woodweb is only one of about a million sites I've read on different finishes. I still read everything I come across in case there's a new, great method. I can tell you the ones that least appeal to me are those that are painted and sanded. Thick paint and fake distressing.

To each his own, of course, but I'm willing to invest the time (and go do something else while it dries/cures) to get something you can't tell isn't right out of the dirt off a farm. And my 36" drawer front in my MBR is a board out of the mud from my friend's farm!

Edited to add photo of 36" drawer front.

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 11:09


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

CEFreeman, I agree about the stain as a layer which is why I didn't post any actual pictures. The ones I found looked nice in a picture, but I bet you would be able to tell it just wasn't right.

I too am willing to invest the time which is why I have been trying to pin down a specific period of American architecture for our next home. DH would laugh at me if I said I wanted to bring in the sliding door barn hardware from the barn when it comes down for inside. I see barn or farm related things being put into suburb houses as kitsch if it's done in a certain way. I think the pics above are done well and transcend the specific look of barn or beach 'junk.'

Now that I live on a farm I couldn't have farm related things inside unless it was really special like a big sign from DH's great grandfather when he sold seeds. I'm an archivist though, and my love for old things is really because of the story they tell.

Euphemisms. Eh.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I agree with both of you...you have to walk a fine line with aged/distressed looks. Fabulous...or tacky - both are possible. And one's home architecture matters a lot. Which why I'm not quite going the barn board look. My "soft modern" condo kitchen doesn't really allow that. But I still think it's possible to combine colour (Hardwick White) with the organic feeling of a bit of grain and wood colour showing through. I just think that could relate really well to the honest materials of steel, granite, and oak flooring. We tried a painted slab front, and with no mouldings it does look quite dull.

This was another photo that inspired me:


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Took a look through that page for the top picture you posted. Can I just have that whole house? Please and thank you.


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that finish!

Gorgeous picture!

I admit, I don't know what "soft modern" is, but there are so many gorgeous modern places with aged or raw wood accents or pieces.

Lots of them turn out to look somewhat Gustavian in their colors, but with a clean, modern edge.

I also admit, this thread has gotten me all excited because I've been working on these finishes for a long time. Next, ask me how I create and keep an actual, authentic chippy finish. No milk paint, no obvious sanding, just me being totally cool.

That was my inner voice.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

That is a great kitchen and really brings it full circle for me. Its elegant but with an earthiness that makes it feel like it really belongs instead of being forced.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Be careful with old barns. Back when I was making a lot of specials for a new house, architect bought an old barn, had me build a door from it. First it had to be run through joiner and planer which removed the lovely surface patina, could have done it better for less starting with new wood, went through six sets of planer blades due to grit in the wood.
Part way through started to run into pockets of dust- powder post beetles!! They had also put down a couple thousand feet as floor to be sanded in place. Found the dust and beetles when they did. Had to rip it all out and have house fumigated, not good.
As to the finish - there are some lovely grey stains being used lately by mfg; semi- cat varnish is available in matte (check Campbell) ; when I worked on boats knew a guy who aged woods with an assortment of chemicals and learned to control it;

finally Zeitgast mentioned Rubio, good choice and matte finish. QCCI does cabinets with something like it, about to put in a white oak done in silver gray. Have been putting in Engrain wood counters with similar oil for a fe years. Stuff holds up really well. Both have a proprietary mix though. May drip up a pic or two later.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

The Atlanta Lifestyle magazine article says:
"Washed grey oak cabinetry by Block & Chisel renders the kitchen coolly Belgian. The counters are Calcutta gold and the tixle backsplash is Ann Sacks."
No source for the chandelier.

However, if you go to the full article and click on each picture separately, maybe you can find more info. For the LR it's by Dessin Fournir

Here is a link that might be useful: Atlanta Home with gray oak kitchen


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Could either be PS white oak or PS white ash, I am leaning towards ash based on the wide grain pattern....

I would probably start with a scrap piece of each, sand with 120, give a quick wire brush to clean out the grain, apply a thinned down gray latex paint, once completely dry put on a thinned down coat of monocoat, again let totally dry, light scuff with 320, then use a heavy body liming paste or even a non-thinned latex paint, let that sit for a few hours and rub it off, then another coat of monocoat

That will give you the cerused look as in the picture "welcoming grey oak", obviously you would have to play with the strength of colors in both the base coat and the liming coat to get what you want


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

If you go down further to the comments section of the kitchen site, they tell you what the cabinets are. They are limed oak. They used liming wax on the oak. A poster there also said you could use white eggshell paint rubbed onto the wood to get the effect. NancyLouise


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Here's a step-by-step procedure used to achieve similar look that might be helpful to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Sofa Table


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

So, CEFreeman, how do you create and keep an actual, authentic chippy finish with no milk paint, no obvious sanding, just you being totally cool?

:o) I am giggling. But I really want to know!

Regarding using old barn wood in ANYthing, (I know feisty is not planning this) it can be kiln-dried to remove all the necessary moisture and kill off any unwanted critters. It is absolutely recommended that this happens, for exactly the reasons jakuvall shared. The trick is to find someone local to you who can do it, or you have to source already-treated lumber from a reputable source.

I have a huuuge old barn beam with the mortises still intact that I got as part of a load of old wood in trade for my beater pickup. You can bet your sweet bippy it will get treated in the kiln before it gets used. I am fortunate to have a local guy who specializes in this stuff.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Try looking at Rubio Monocoat. It is an oil based hard wax finish that apparently works great on countertops and cabinets as well as floors. I haven't tried it yet but did tons of research on it when I was redoing my bathrooms a few years back. It is completely non toxic and can be reapplied as needed. Google Rubio monocoat and cabinets if you are interested because the website mostly shows pictures of floors. Houzz has some Rubio kitchens too. The colors are amazing or they do custom for you.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Greenhaven, you'll laugh at me more.
It's all about me being cool, picky, and having no life. (I believe I alluded to that once or twice! :) Get some coffee & sit down. You're going to be sorry you asked!

Here you go:

Chippy Paint Method #1. (Least labor intensive and most interesting):
Put your item in the yard, in the sun for a year or so.
Ignore it. Turn a deaf ear to it's whining and screaming about rain and sun. Ok, I had to glue a bunch of veneer back down, but that antique stuff is almost 1/8" thick and took a beating well. I have pictures. The expose wood on these doors grayed into the exact beautiful finish we've been discussing in this thread. You can't beat nature!

With this method, I actually decoupaged over the chips, because they were SO chippy. Then I used my el-cheapo yet brilliant matte finish which succeeded in gluing them down without being visible.

Chippy Paint Method #2.
Take that drywall tape that's a yellow adhesive mesh. Press it down firmly, smoothing with a credit card or something to adhere it WELL to the wood. (I left this outside in the heat for awhile, to ensure it was really stuck.)
Then, either paint it with a nice, thick paint. Homemade chalk paint or pour some latex paint into a bowl and let it thicken by drying. Stirring every so often so it doesn't get a skim on it. When the paint is almost dry, slowly peel off the drywall mesh. Whoooaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh (Picture below.)
or
Chippy Paint Method 2b.
Paint it with Citristrip. It'll bubble the paint then dry out. Once it's dry, carefully peel off the drywall mesh. Whoaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh..

Chippy Paint Method #3.
I took a wide bristle brush. The throw-away kind. I trimmed the bristles to look somewhat like a comb. (A comb didn't work.)

Thin Citristrip with some water and almost drybrush this onto a horizontal surface. Experiement with how thick to make the Citristrip, because humidity and heat will make it behave differently. If it's too thick, it'll go on like egg white (or the less P.C. term: snot.) Too thin and it'll dry before it does any work on the paint.

Chippy Paint Method #4.
Either using the original paint layer as a base or painting your own color first, put that same drywall mesh on your piece & press it down.
Carefully, so as not to move the mesh, smooth baby or mineral oil, Vaseline, or wax onto the tape. Blot it if you're using an oil or Vaseline. Wait until it looks like it's drying and pull the mesh off carefully. Paint it with anything you want. When dry, use a scraper to gently remove the resisted paint. You could sand, too, if you'd prefer.
I used my matte finish again.

This mesh is magic. You can stretch it diagonally to change the shape of the chips. You can use it over other paint methods. I also used it over Elmer's glue crackle, the Behr and Martha Stewart's crackle, and my own craqueleur concoction. (For the latter, read pennies vs., $$$.) IOW, you can layer the heck out of this as is, or with different resists and stains, and it continues to look great!
I told you I've been playing with this for a long while!

Oh - my matte finish also dries in a manner that you can't see what topcoat is on the chips. i.e. you can't see some satin sealer gummed up on them. They look like they're ready to fall off. But NOT! [waving arms wildly] BRILLIANT!

Are you sorry you asked yet?


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

A fairly known blogger, Brooke Giannetti, gave her garage a gray weathered look by using Superdeck Stain in Weathered Gray. I love the color that she did on cedar. Have been meaning to try this on some samples, along with the liming that others mentioned. I love the cerused oak look too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Weathered Gray Stain


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Glad to say I read that one, too. :) She does some lovely work.

Interestingly enough, had she actually power washed her cedar, then sprayed it with Baking soda and water, it would have grayed naturally, without stain. If it weren't stained red, of course.

That's one of the elements I think a lot of DIYers don't take into consideration. Some wood (with the nice tannins) grays beautifully with vinegar, baking soda, or anything acidic. I've seen lemon juice used on elm. Why put yourself through all the finishing work when all it takes is a little bit 'o pickle juice!?

I'm going to use fencing for my kitchen floor I think. I can get raw, 1" oak at the lumber yard (vs. home store) for about $10 for 16' x 6" pieces. I can vinegar it, then maybe stain checks on it with a darker stain. Perhaps using espresso grounds!

Just thinking out loud.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Thank you very much for all the ideas - I'm at camp with my children but I will definitely be looking into all of the links and techniques.

CEFreeman, love the chippy fabulousness. Looks like you have it down to a science!

So the Rubio Monocoat that Zeitgast and Cleo_2007 pointed me to (thanks!) sounds *quite* interesting. Check out the article linked to below where a floor refinishing company reviewed it in detail. It actually sounds like it may be a DIY-able product. And most importantly, it sounds like it has the delicious matte look that is so critical. And possibly enough colours that something might work. Very interesting reading for folks who want to learn more.

The basic oil samples are only US$8.55!
http://www.monocoat.us/Color-Samples/
That is very helpful.

Here's a cool table that shows various 2-colour combinations. So there are MANY effects possible. There are also various additional effects like fumed, smoked, etc.
http://www.monocoat.us/Precolor-Easy/

The manufacturer states it is water-resistant and suitable for kitchen/baths:
https://store-adb79.mybigcommerce.com/content/pdf/RM Furniture Data.2.14.pdf

Here is a link that might be useful: The Hardwax Oil Experiment - Part 2


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Feisty, one serious thought for you: Oil finishes yellow.
I don't care if it's moncoat, Cabot Australian Timber OIl, General Finishes urethane & oil, just plain vegetable oil.
Oil yellows!

If that's a non-issue, these finishes sound incredible!


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

''Water resistant'' industry code for will let water bead up for a bit, but you'd better hurry up and wipe up that puddle because it will get through the coating and damage the wood underneath if spills aren't immediately taken care of.

There are plenty of cabinet lines that offer a greyed finish on their products. Schuler/Medallion has Appaloosa, and Dynasty/Omega has Porch Swing.

Fininshing to a high quality consistent level is one of the most difficult of all DIY tasks. It's difficult to get the same reproducable results across a whole stretch of cabinets without a lot of experience with samples to develop your technique. For a specialty finish like this, you need to practice even more before you touch the real thing. Practice means same wood, with the same types of door profiles, with the same materials, and same action. What usually happens is that end grains and profiles take the process differently. So, you have to develop a different technique for them, even though you have to do them at the same time as the flat stock.

By the time you spend the money and time on the samples of wood and product, and tools to apply it, the factory finished ones with that tough factory top coat won't be a whole lot less expensive.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

As I noted earlier I have both a wood counter company and a cabinet company who offer a proprietary version of it, have run into kitchen floors done with it and about to use the exterior version on my deck. While not waterproof (no wood finish is), water is not an issue, neither is yellowing, it is not like tung oil. Not sure what the companies I deal have added, think it is wax.

I had sample blocks sent from mfg, took one home to abuse and passed two others out to a cabinetmaker and a custom furniture guy to do the same. Both are now using it.
You can get sample jars from monocote.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Thanks for the additional comments jakuvall, hollysprings, and CEFreeman! Jakuvall, so cool to hear that the Monocoat seems like a feasible cabinet finish product!

Further thoughts on Rubio Monocoat -

Another review -
A detailed review from a floor finisher who has used Rubio Monocoat on their store floor.

Yellowing -
"The vegetable oils used in the finish are claimed as being non-yellowing so you don’t have to worry about that ugly “old” look after a couple of years that you can get with polyurethane oil modified finishes.". Minor yellowing would not be an issue in my kitchen since I did want a slight green undertone.

Resistance to Water (and other) -
Manufacturer testing indicates that water left sitting on the finish (horizontal) for 24 h did no visible damage to the finish. Here is a chart explaining the testing process and how the finish performed with various substances - pretty impressive. Also, the review above discusses that many spills were not an issue in their testing.

DIY-ability -
This is the first finish I've seen that I think is feasible for us to DIY. Read the instructions here - they are very simple. Sample pots are inexpensive and we can obtain the exact wood material for testing purposes. Cloths and brushes or sponges should not cost much. It should be possible to figure out if our results are acceptable. Testing does cost money in materials, but I don't know how to get around this since even cabinet front manufacturers would expect samples for them to replicate if they do custom colours.

Other cabinet manufacturers
Thanks for the recommendations of cabinet manufacturers. I already have IKEA cabinets installed and we have already decided to do custom fronts. The only issue now is whether we DIY the fronts or have a custom cabinet front manufacturer do it. I am pretty convinced that standard grey stains will look too blue against my River White granite counters, which have a distinct greenish undertone to the predominately grey pattern.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Check. This. Out. It's just a little square, but the Rubio Monocoat effect of the Urban Grey precolor followed by the White Oil, looks *so* similar to my inspiration photo! Rubio does their samples on White Oak.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubio Monocoat Precolor Easy


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

That is lovely!
So....
What's in store for your kitchen?

I can't help thinking that some of those so ready to get rid of their Golden Oak should simply Citristrip 'em and use something as lovely as this finish.
Can you imagine that finish with something as interesting as navy?


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

CEFreeman, we definitely are thinking about DIYing the cabinet fronts at this point. I've got a separate thread called "take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?" where I just uploaded a new mood board if you're curious about the overall layout and look.

I agree that it would be really interesting to see older oak cabinets freshened up using hardwax-type finishes. Sounds like preparation would be pretty critical for success, but the steps involved are far fewer than many finish instructions I've seen.

This thread has been invaluable.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I'll take a look.
Feisty it was surprisingly easy to ceruse my oak cabinets. Someone here gave me the word, "ceruse' actually.

I stripped 5 Quakermaid 1992 beaded inset cabinets, in place, over the weekend. I didn't need to, but I lightly sanded then stained it with Varathane 'Sunbleached.' I got a case at h4H for about $30.
Then, to expose a little wood so a second layer would soak in, I sanded lightly and stained with Mixwax 'Provincal."
One more layer, Mixwax 'Jacobean.' I left the last on very briefly, because I didn't want it to darken them a lot.

That was it.
Oh - my now-favorite top coat of the Behr, Flat, exterior latex dark base. Dries absolutely and completely matte! :)

Those were the ones I posted a week or two ago.
Right now I'm working on some cherry cabs.

(Thanks Writerblock!)

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Mon, May 5, 14 at 15:31


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

>cerise

Just FYI, it's "ceruse". Cerise = cherry. Not being a spelling nazi, just wanted to make it easier for anyone reading this thread who wants to do a search.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

All fixed!


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I would caution on the use of exterior products indoors. They have noxious chemicals that can offgas. Not just paint but wood products too. They are intended for outdoor use.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

So I just talked to Rubio Monocoat customer service in Georgia and the man was very patient about answering my questions in his cute accent.

* Rubio Monocoat is recommended for kitchen cabinet fronts

* the oil is NOT expected to yellow (like polyurethane would), but the underlying wood may

* pH-neutral cleaners would be a necessity - acidic or caustic cleaners would be damaging. he recommended their proprietary soap or a pH-neutral hand or dish soap diluted.

* for vertical surfaces, he recommended against using the catalyst version of the oil - he said that without the catalyst I would have unlimited open time but the time to fully cure would be 21 days

* he says the oil is very easy to DIY and that the most common mistake is not removing excess oil from the wood surface (excess oil doesn't bond and just becomes gunk)

* he said that I could mix colours with either the precolor or the oil

* he said that application of the precolor is like applying the a water-based stain - care would need to be taken with overlap, etc - that would need practice for a beginner like me


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I tried to order samples from my local dealer in Canada, but they wanted me to pay for shipping and wait because they don't stock the precolor samples AND go to their store to pick up and buy the samples. Yeah right. And people wonder why retail is dying.

I called the nice Rubio man in Georgia at (877) 928-9663 and he will ship the samples directly to me via Fedex. Hopefully the shipping charges won't be horrific.

These are the products that I hope will accomplish the look of my inspiration photo:

Natural Oil Finish
Size: 100 m​l Sam​ple
Color​: White
US$16

Precolor Easy
Color​: Urban​ Grey
Size: 100 m​l
US$19

I find it a bit painful to pay and wait for these, not knowing whether the colours will work. And overwhelming because they have SO many colours in both the oil and precolor (which also can be mixed within product). But I think that once I see how the products behave on red oak, I'll have an idea how to tweak. The counters should be installed in about a week so I will have a better sense of the colour/pattern vibe that the granite will be contributing to the kitchen. That will definitely be something to work around in terms of cabinet finishes.

I'm a bit concerned because we've decided to go with solid oak - in spite of the well known warping issues. I know that the cabinet front fabricator has generously padded prices in case pieces need to be replaced due to warping. My concern is that with solid oak, the grain has to follow the length of the piece so I'll have a mix of horizontal and vertical. It will mostly be horizontal because of so many drawers, but it sounds like bookend horizontal grain matching that I found so appealing may only be realistic with veneer. I think that our "rough on things" family will do better with solid wood given the many drawers. We actually did have a maple shaker drawer front break in our former kitchen.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

below: Rubio Monocoat Urban Grey "Pre-color Easy" + White Oil (without accelerator). Easy stuff to work with. IMO quite similar look to my inspiration photo. You can use this stuff on floors and counters and furniture! So many colours and effects. There was some seriously awesome advice shared in this thread :)

I might tweak the precolor to be lighter and more green.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Wed, Jun 11, 14 at 22:17


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

"Stunning right?"

Yeahhhh, I'm Stunned, alright.

Here in Calif, (and probably elsewhere), all the newer cars are Grey~~~~now Kitchens to match~~~~~~szzzzzzzz.

The best name for the "Current Generation" is the
"Grey Generation"~~~~~~~

Too bad they are all color Blind!!!!!

Gary


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Woah!!! What's wrong?


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I think I'd ignore that hooo-ha.

I think it is Gorgeous
Do you mind a suggestion? Wipe it back with a clean rag a little sooner. IMHO, it's getting a little shiny.

Isn't it just the best when someone works not only like it should, but like we want it to?

Oh - I swear people in champagne colored cars are following me. Every. Single. Time. I look out the window and actually pay attention, there's one beside me. Passing me. Following me. Parking next to me. And what goes through my mind? What if I'm the only one who can see them?

So I'll think about finishes. :)


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Love it, nice work….and yes I agree it is stunning, love the grey with cerused effect!

CEFreeman….not sure what you are seeing that is shiny, and what do you mean by "wipe it back with a clean rag a little sooner"?…wipe which part of the process sooner?


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

@CEFreeman
Thanks for the laugh!

@feisty:
What does it feel like when you touch the wood? Also, is this something that soaks in like a stain/oil or is it on the surface?

This post was edited by nosoccermom on Sat, May 24, 14 at 8:45


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Happened upon this while surfing GW this morning, LOVE the inspiration pic and all the knowledge in this thread. I can't wait to see your new kitchen!

CEFreeman--you mention that cedar would age naturally if acidity was added--we have a cedar sided house that was restained typical brown (cape cod style) last year before we bought it. I don't like brown houses, but do love weathered gray houses. ;) I think if I just leave it, it will naturally age over time but will doing the baking soda+water help it along? I love the weathered gray stains and if we ever re-did it we planned to do a gray stain so that we could achieve a more uniform look. If this baking soda+water is an option, please advise. I'll be outside spraying it on this wkd!

And apologies to the original poster for the threadjack. ;)


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

In the comments on the kitchen, Julie 'Remodelista' answered a question on the cabinets, saying 'The cabinets are limed oak; you can use liming wax or white eggshell paint, rubbed into the grain, to achieve the same look.'

I've put a link to Briwax liming wax below, if anyone would like to try that method.

Here is a link that might be useful: Briwax Liming Wax, 8 ounce


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Portia, you have nothing to lose with the bakingsoda and water thing. Brown will fade to gray, but not as quickly as the wood itself. I doubt it's going to have much effect, since the stain is in the wood pores. Now, if you cared to lightly sand a section then baking soda and water it, you could see if that would make a quicker change.

I've never understood staining cedar (or cherry) red. Plus, you're using a wood that's meant to weather, why incur maintenance by staining it? Rhetorical, I guess.

AJC71, when you apply a stain, you leave it on a bit, then wipe it off. Believe me, you don't want to leave it on to dry. I'm dealing with a messed up mahogany front door because I didn't know better and my passive aggressive, POC-now-ex-GC-DC didn't bother simply say, "You gotta wipe it off." The longer you leave it on, the more it soaks in.

Stain is a much nicer finish if you do it in light coats, I believe. You can always apply more to get the depth of color you want, but it's hell to try to get it back out of the wood. I don't believe in sanding. Or I avoid it at all costs. Whichever.

I'm not hip to liming wax because it's white. I prefer gray, which you can make yourself or use stain as Feisty is doing. I used a different stain with a light sand and Provencal overtop. I can't stop staring at how good it looks.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Sorry I neglected this thread! Sometimes I get notifications, and sometimes I don't...not sure why.

CEFreeman - "Do you mind a suggestion? Wipe it back with a clean rag a little sooner. IMHO, it's getting a little shiny."

IRL, it's not shiny at all. Actually, I don't think you can control that with Rubio Monocoat.

Nosoccermom - "What does it feel like when you touch the wood? Also, is this something that soaks in like a stain/oil or is it on the surface? "

The finish feels quite similar to the bare part of the wood. But water beads up and it is definitely finished. I don't really get the sense that it soaks in, but it also doesn't come across as a separate plasticky finish like a lacquer or urethane.

My3dogs - "In the comments on the kitchen, Julie 'Remodelista' answered a question on the cabinets, saying 'The cabinets are limed oak; you can use liming wax or white eggshell paint, rubbed into the grain, to achieve the same look.'"

Not sure how that could be the whole story, as oak is not gray :)

I still need to order more samples. I'd like something lighter and greener. Looking at the Mint White Precolor.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

feisty- I think the rubio MC turned out great on your oak. You might try the Smoke also.
Since the conversation took a turn in that direction I thought I'd put in my experience. I ordered several samples of RMC from the GA distributor in search for a finish for pine floors and I was disappointed. They were horrid on pine!! Just for kicks I grabbed a piece of oak and it was a different story, looked great. Doesn't help me, but just a word of advice, if you're considering a species other than oak, you may not get what you expect.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Sweet-tea, I'm interested in the Smoke colour as well.

Thanks for the warning about the species of wood. I am definitely going with red oak for durability and also because we want the interest of a strong grain showing.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Driving myself crazy with this. Dh says I'm OCDing, but as the daughter of an artist I suffer extreme opinions about colours! Ordering the following to experiment more:

100 ml ALPACA WHITE Monocoat Precolor Easy

100 ml MINT WHITE Monocoat Precolor Easy

100 ml STONE Natural Oil Finish 2C Part A (no accelerator B)

It's really hard to know what the colours actually look like - especially the precolor/oil combinations. All the online photos are with white oak, whereas I'm using red oak. Also, the degree of sanding and water popping affect how much pigment goes into the grain so there is an infinite range of effects even within a single product. I am convinced that this system could give me an awesome look, but ordering samples is getting expensive! Ordering two 100 ml samples from Georgia cost me CAN$81 including shipping :( . I'm telling myself that this is part of the cost of saving money to DIY this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubio Monocoat Precolor & Oil Colours

This post was edited by feisty68 on Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 14:31


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Just dealt with the annoying local dealer. I have to wait for 3 weeks to get samples in if I don't want to get gouged for shipping for these *tiny* samples, I have to scan and send him my actual credit card and driver's license (both sides), and I have pay double the US price for the oil sample. Then he went on to explain to me how he finds it very inconvenient to deal with members of the public. Sigh.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

This is a long shot, but I came across this paint a few months ago at a local shop that happens to be a dealer. I was surprised at how it changed the wood in the samples displayed. It may be worth a look if you have a dealer nearby (check the "Retailer" link at the Web site).

Here is a link that might be useful: Amy Howard Paint


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Cool product peony4! I believe that's a form of chalk paint, and work considering for another project. I decided that chalk paint isn't durable enough for my purposes, even with waxing. I like that Rubio Monocoat is durable enough for flooring - that tells me that it will do well on cabinetry in a small, busy kitchen.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I've been playing around with more Rubio samples. I made some progress today. I bought some red oak architectural veneer to mock up a cabinet door. It's too hard to judge with tiny pieces.

This is Rubio Oil in "Stone" over Rubio Precolor Easy in "Alpaca White". I think it works really well with the River White granite because it is light in colour but has the distinct greenish beige cast that the stone seems to have.

This time I applied the Precolor with a brush and didn't wipe afterwards. That is giving me a more opaque, paint-like finish which allows me to control the colour more. Before I was having trouble with too much of the oak pink coming through. The oil is not much darker than the Precolor so the grain is not contrasting much here. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.

What do you think?


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

I think the color works with your granite but it looks more opaque and less gray than your inspiration pics. I'm seeing more of a whitewash effect rather than a grayed finish with a prominent grain.

I really like the finish you posted on May 23rd.


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RE: how to get this to-die-for gray-stained effect?

Thanks for letting me know what you think juddgirl :) . Yes, the grain is definitely more prominent/contrasty in the Urban Gray/White (May 23) version. The problem with that was that the grey undertones of that version didn't work well with the granite (too blue/cold) - it was easier to see IRL than in the photo.

I wish I could just play around with a bunch of samples. The problem is that the cost really adds up and they take a long time to get here. So I'm having to guess what colours will work and how the colours of the oil and precolor will work in combination.

The current Alpaca White/Stone version definitely is straying from my inspiration photo. Dh likes it, but maybe he is just done with the whole issue ;)


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