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How to darken pine after it's been polyurethaned

Posted by marytw (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 10, 09 at 13:06

I hired a young carpenter to make some pine cabinet doors for the kitchen of my circa 1950s cabin, sand and refinish some counter and floor areas in the kitchen, and cover a couple of areas of unfinished interior walls with pine because the wood was waterstained and looked unsightly.

I very foolishly failed to tell him that I wanted the new pine additions to approximate the color of the existing pine in the kitchen. Given the nature of the project as I'd explained it to him, which was principally to make things look better -- I assumed he'd know that. My error.

And then I went on a trip.

Before I returned, he did the work, and finishing all the new and newly-sanded pine with a wipe-on polyurethane. Since the rest of the pine in the room is up to 60 years old, the new wood looks glaringly pale.

I really want to bring the new work closer to the color of the surrounding wood. So my question is this: does it all need to be sanded down and then stained and refinished, or is this something that could be a good project for something like Polyshade, in the hands of an experienced finish carpenter? I know a lot of people have had bad results with Polyshade, but I'm hoping this may be one of those times when using Polyshade is a good compromise, since, as you can see from the attached photos, this is such a casual place.

Here is a link that might be useful: white pine additions to kitchen


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to darken pine after it's been polyurethaned

I love your piney woodsey cabin!! Very like one my DHa nd I spent many happy times at...belonged to a relative who sold it without even giving su a chance to bid on it!
If that were mine, I would wait a month or 2 for all the stuff in the poly to evaporate, then coat it with a coat or more of orange or garnet shellac...whatever will give you the color you want.
Then perhaps apply another coat of poly, as the new stiff in in the kitchen.
I don't know about poly shades....but what I suggested is easily wiped off with thinner if you don't like it.
Linda C


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RE: How to darken pine after it's been polyurethaned

It is very hard to get anything approaching a uniform color over larger areas with polyshades.

It requires repeated stirring and mixing to keep the pigment in suspension during application, but you have to not stir to vigorously or you will end up with bubbles in the finish coat.

Coloring separately from the finish coat is actually easier to do, and easier to reverse or alter before applying the finish coats.


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RE: How to darken pine after it's been polyurethaned

Just wanted to share the advice I got from the folks at General Finishes: they told me that I can mix one of their colors with their polyurethane and it should work. That's what I'm going to try, though it won't be until next spring that I can do it.


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