Finish for pine.

The only transparent finish I've ever used on pine is "natural" (Watco Danish, then a couple coats of poly) Now I have a lady customer who wants a large bookcase in pine and she says she wants a "pecan" colored finish. She has some shelves that someone did a long time ago and she insists they used a "pecan" stain of some sort. What's the best way to go with this? Polyshades? gel? Help!!
Max
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I've used Minwax Pecan stain with good results. The other piece has probably darkened with age so you won't get a perfect match. Show her the can of pecan stain and she is more likely to accept whatever it looks like. The can says pecan so it must be the right stuff.
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Now there's a good idea. <G>
Max
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The best way is take a piece from the existing shelves along with a sample of the new pine to your paint store and ask them to match the color. We happen to like (and use) Benjamin Moore products. The downside to that approach is that Southwestern Paint here in Houston only matches stain at their West Gray location and when matching will only do a gallon minimum and that was $36 and tax.
--
NuWave Dave in Houston



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I would have to take a whole shelf but that's not impossible. I have enough profit in the job to be *somewhat* unconcerned about material cost. Finding a place to do the matching is what will be a challenge.
Max
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Max wrote:

No matter what you do, unless you either give her a sample/s first for approval, or get a piece of her material, IME it will not be good enough for her; it won't match because you'll have no idea how dark or anything else.
HTH Pop`
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I feel reasonably confident that she will settle for "close" since she has several other projects that are only "close". But your idea is a good one. I'll make up a sample for her to approve.
Max
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"Max" t> wrote

I had a customer who would approve of a finish and change her story afterwards. So I insisted she sign a document. She would still object, but she still signed. And bitched and moaned anyway. It was a family thing that I couldn't get out of.
After years of not having to deal with this crap, I was suddenly placed into the position of dealing with this monster person all over again. I did two things.
I charged, in advance, for finish and samples. After much complaining she paid. I prepared the boards with the various finishes and presented them to her.
Then I told her that she would have to sign the back of the board with the finish she selected. She refused and I never had to work for the witch again.
Not that I am complaining or anything.
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I'm using Minwax prestain conditioner and Minwax pecan oil stain. Looks acceptable but it's not anything I would want in my house. She says it's great. Whatever floats your boat. <G>
Max
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One caution if you have the time. The Minwax pre-stain seems to indicate on the label that you can wash it on, wipe it off an immediately apply the stain. This is an OK way to work but I tested this directly along with other methods and found that the Minwax pre- stain was as good as any other material but gave much better results if you let it dry completly (12-24 hrs) before applying the stain.

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"SonomaProducts.com" wrote

I happened upon that solution by experiment. You're right. <G>
Max
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1. Make sure to use a pre-stain conditioner, sanding sealer or wash coat of shellac before applying stain to Pine, otherwise you will get big time blotchy.
2. Use Minwax Pecan oil stain.
3. It will be important to do a top coat of some sort to get the same luster to the finish if she really wants a match.
4. If the finish is a low sheen, AND if the Minwax Pecan comes in their Gel variety, you might get lucky and be able to use the Gel with no top coat.
5. The only way to be sure the client is happy (or at least to force them to take the piece) is to do the proposed finish completely as it will be delivered on a piece at least 4" x 12" and get them to sign it as aproved.
6. I say Minwax on all of this because you can get 1/2 pint cans for testing for only $5.

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On Sun, 17 Jun 2007 20:20:31 -0600, "Max"

Pine likes to blotch, so I like to use a sanding sealer before staining and use a gel stain. The end-grain tends to stain much darker otherwise. Finish a scrap pine piece then show it to the customer.
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