Looking for a wood stain recommendation

I don't know if the EPA has taken all the effective pigments and carriers off the market or what but I can't find wood stain that, well, stains. Minwax is really awful and Valspar doesn't seem much better. I need to touch up scratches in a cherry/rosewood finish and I swear crushing raspberries on the wood would do more than the commercial stains I've worked with recently. Am I missing a great product out there somewhere?
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Just my 2 cents. Some years back I had a rifle stock made of birch that wouldn't take stain well. I recall using "Zar" stain, but it took 4 coats to look decent.
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Christopher Nelson wrote:

try asking in rec.woodworking. there are lots of other stain manufacturers but you need to go somewhere else besides a bigbox.
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Try a gell stain, but first go to a Professional , Real paint store, dont do HD or Menards Special problem-special store
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I'd say Sherwin-Williams was a "real" paint store and they had Minwax to offer. :-(
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Most of the time when they come out with "Go to a real paint/hardware/lumber store" it's just sour grapes because the big box stores have wiped out their preferred businesses but in this case, at least in principle, the suggestion has merit. The "real" paint store in this case is one catering to the furniture trade, not the house painters. If they carry Behlen or Master alcohol stains that's the store you want. They'll also have a whole lot of professional retouching products many of which will be marked "For Industrial Use Only". Your problem will be getting them to sell you a tiny quantity. Oh, yeah the other problem will be getting a mortgage on the house to pay for it <g>. If you live in or around NYC one such place is Janovic Plaza's industrial division in Queens. I imagine, given the industry, you'll probably find some retailers in NC. Try Behlen's web site if you like but they're noticeably unfriendly and no one seems to sell this sort of stuff by mail order due probably to shipping difficulties.
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On Apr 12, 10:59pm, snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.gov wrote:

Most of the time? Name any department or product in Home Depot that is superior to that found in a specialty store. There's that old chestnut, "Jack of all trades, master of none." That's Home Depot, but in many cases it's more like apprentice of all trades as most of the people working there are not very well informed. And as far as the preferred businesses, yeah, I prefer businesses that have a wide selection of quality stuff and have people working there that know what they're talking about. I'm funny that way.

It's doubtful the OP's furniture is stained with no finish. He's asking about touching up scratches so he could use a number of products - burn-in sticks if they're deep, touch up pens, etc., and then blend things with a toned finish, as it's doubtful he'll find a perfect match straight out of a can.
R
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Sequence changed due to argumentation from RJ.

What part of "professional retouching products" didn't you understand, RJ. Doesn't that cover fillers, finishes, french polishing supplies, resurfacers, etc?
On reflection if the OP is smart and the object is worth more than a couple of hundred dollars he'd be better off taking it to a professional furniture restorer (presuming that the professional finisher doesn't cost more than the item is worth) otherwise it's time for the old belt sander and then... well, doesn't he still need a good stain that actually penetrates? Repairing finishes sounds simple but it's actually beyond the ability of most do-it-yourself-ers.
OTOH if we're talking about something like a shellac-coated baseboard a reasonable camouflage can be achieved with the appropriate stain and a couple of orange shellac coats.

I'm currently looking for a window air conditioner of particular dimensions. My local Lowes has their full summer assortment now on display. The specialty store ... frankly I wouldn't know where else to go except maybe Home Depot. Last time I went to an appliance store (between the hours of 10 and 4 except on alternate Tuesdays or days that don't happen to be Jewish holidays...closed Saturday of course) they had a very poor selection of whatever I wanted (washing machine I think) and I wasn't permitted to touch, prod, poke, etc. ... nor was the price clearly marked... but I was attacked by some salesman who knew absolutely nothing about the products they did have. I asked about a soak cycle and after he peered at the washing machine for some minutes and consulted the internet he told me that I didn't need it. Oh yeah, a great experience that. Since we're talking about furniture finishes let's try shellac. As you probably know shellac has a shelf life of about two years from the date of manufacturer so to maximize the time you (i.e. the customer) can have it on your shelf you buy cans that were manufactured not more than a few months ago. Local paint store you'll be lucky to get it within 18 months of manufacture. One told me "You still have a couple of months to go". That's why I always buy shellac at the big box store where I've never seen anything more than three months old.
Oh, yeah did I mention returns? Whenever I'm repairing or adding to plumbing I always buy an assortment like 10 nipples, close to say 12 inches, and half a dozen elbows, and a couple of T's... basically what I think I'll need maybe doubled. Then I return what I don't use. No hassles at the big box store. Try doing that at your plumbing supply store. Oh yeah and I'm not insulted by signs saying "We serve the trade first" or kept from touching the item before I buy and the price is actually marked on or near the object.

Who gives a shit. Well, obviously you but personally I depend on the manufacturer's instructions or web site where I can get information about all the products, not just the ones that the retailer is pushing (or unloading) and I can do so at any time of the day or night.

You certainly are, and deluded too.
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On 4/12/2011 7:56 PM, Christopher Nelson wrote:

If a stain hasn't colored the flaws sufficiently, you probably need a stain/varnish combo. My local Ace Hdw. has oodles...I've mixed my own, as well. Make nice at the paint store and they may let you try one and return it if it doesn't match. I just used Minwax to refinish some bentwood chairs and it worked beautifully...different woods,though, so they don't exactly match. $8 chairs don't need to match :o)
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