Gel Stain and Final Finish(?) for Rustic Bed - Ideas Needed

Page 1 of 2  
I hope to be ready by this weekend to start applying finish to the rustic bed I'm building for my daughter. Mostly quarter-sawn Douglas fir.
This is the first dry fit:
http://i.imgur.com/0uJlvUf.jpg
I think I want to use a gel stain and possible a gel final finish mainly because wiping something "thick" onto these big pieces sounds easier than any kind of brush on/runny finish. I'm really limited on space and spraying is not an option.
I'm not looking to change the color too much, maybe darken it just a little and bring out some of the red. Any and all suggestions are welcome, including comments on stain-sealers if required and what to use as a final finish. The simpler the better, I'm a real novice when it comes to finishing.
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/12/2016 10:31 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Well I will say that different gel stains work differently. Mostly you wipe them on and immediately wipe it off, and after wiping of, buff out, with a cleaner cloth, to get rid of smudges.
If you want to just darken a little the varnish might be enough and a lot less work.
TEST on scraps.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 8:52:18 AM UTC-4, Leon wrote:

Will varnish bring out any of the red? I sure wouldn't mind "a lot less work". ;-)
I have a sample board that I'll try to post an image of later, but I don't know how the color will come out via my cell phone then uploading. There was one stain that I had lying around that brought out the red and that my daughter liked.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/13/2016 9:47 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

It will enhance the natural color. Try on a scrap or dampen a spot with water to get an idea of how much it will darken/change.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It will if you add a bit of universal tint to it :)
Without it (tint), it will appear yellower and darker. The wood will also darken with or without varnish and/or stain over time and exposure to light; if you want to retard that, use a top coat with an UV inhibitor in it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 11:37:37 AM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:

I am hoping that the wood has already attained it's steady state as far as color.
The vast majority of this wood, as in *all* of the headboard board slats and uprights has been lying around in it's current condition (S4S) for about 20 years. It was originally reclaimed and then cut/surfaced to be used as door and window trim in a post and beam house. For various reasons it never got used and the owner put it on Craigslist at almost the exact same time as my daughter said "Dad, can you build me a rustic bed from reclaimed wood?" Can you say "serendipity"? ;-)
The rails were the only rough lumber that needed to be planed down. You can see the totally different grain pattern in the rails vs. the quartersawn pieces.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:39:48 -0700, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Not unless it's completely black - or very dark brown. But depending on the environment, the finish, and the wood species, that might take 100 years or more - or less :-).
--
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 12:43:45 PM UTC-4, Trenbidia wrote:

Well, it is black where the old spikes were pulled out. ;-)
Left headboard upright, right hand side of front rail. There are a few others. It's actually pretty cool to have the holes/discoloration.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/12/2016 10:31 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

On the fir you'll want to use a sanding sealer first (cut shellac) to avoid the otherwise inevitable blotching of the difference in takeup of any stain/finish Doug fir is bad about.
I'd probably just use a wiping varnish and protect the glue spaces with blue tape and finish at least first coat before assembly.
Just as a thought if you've not; I'd also strongly recommend either rounding over or (I think it'd look better with) chamfer those hard square edges--otherwise it's going to accumulate a lot of dents and dings and there will be many "ouches" I foresee in the future...
Nicely executed...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 9:18:18 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

Just to be clear: If I use a wiping varnish do I still use a sanding sealer or is that just for stain?

Yes, that is the plan. My daughter has requested a very light roundover as opposed to the 1/4" (?) I did on the bunk beds I built for her many years ago. I think I've settled on a light hand sanding vs. even a 1/8" round over bit. At least that's what SWMBO says to do. ;-)

Thanks. I was limited as to what I could do because the reclaimed wood was already "cut to size" for the most part. A couple of the uprights for the headboard had to be ripped down, which exposed a totally different side grain pattern than the face. I ripped very thin strips of side grain from other pieces and glued them on, creating a uniform look on the sides and faces.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/13/2016 9:47 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

If just using clear varnish you do not need a sanding sealer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Depends. Do you want to minimize or accent grain? Varnish will maximize ; if you want to minimize, use a water base sealer or clear coat, THEN varnish.
BTW, you can wipe any varnish. Just thin 50/50 or so with thinner, get a wad of cotton, wrap the cotton with a piece of old cotton sheet, dip in varnish and wipe away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 13 Sep 2016 11:44:15 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

I've found that the cosmetic pads women use to remove makeup work better than cotton. They don't compress like cotton. I use 2-4 wrapped in a piece of old t-shirt.
--
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and
carrying a cross.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/12/2016 10:31 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Personally, and with fir, I would indeed use a heavy gel stain if you must stain ... less likely to blotch and you won't need to use a washcoat, IME.
Nothing wrong with keeping it natural. If going that route, I would choose an oil based lacquer or varnish. Water based won't age as nicely as oil based film finishes.
Above all, do some tests on some scrap before you take any Internet advice ... there will be as many opinions as assholes on this. ;)
--
eWoodShop: www.eWoodShop.com
Wood Shop: www.e-WoodShop.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 10:26:39 AM UTC-4, Swingman wrote:

Thanks. I'll definitely do some testing. I like the thought of natural. There is already a lot of variation in the colors and I'd like to retain as much of that as possible. There is also exposed end grain, side grain, face grain, etc. There is no way it will ever be uniform, so I might as well take advantage of that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/13/2016 12:33 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

In that case, you may be well pleased w/o the sanding sealer/undercoat; I was presuming you'd want to even-up the overall piece rather than accentuate the differences.
I'd still be somewhat concerned w/ fir and the source of this that unless it's finish sanded uniformly that variations in surface texture of the material "as is" will lead to disparate reflectance and variation in individual pieces...
But, you'll have to judge that from being close up; as another noted, wiping it down with mineral spirits will give you a good idea of how similar/dissimilar the surface is going to be and will highlight any scratches or other defects that you can be the judge of as to desirability or no...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/12/16, DerbyDad03 wrote:

OMG|No offense intended but my daughter Brittany is a far more skilled woodworker than you r. In her first video tutorial she builds a cute functional end table <
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ENqg-jX-6s
she would never use splitted lumber as you did on the bottom horizontal headboard piece. Shoddy!
--- ---
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good for her. Lucky girl to have a daddy to buy her perfect boards, no matter that the split board will be behind a matress.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 12:49:25 PM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:

...and stealthily secured to prevent further splitting.
Maybe she missed the word "rustic".
(Thanks for the support.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/13/2016 11:04 AM, SWMBO wrote:

So show us what "you" do.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.