Stain matters

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I built some bookshelves and stained them (finishing is my least favorite part) with some Minwax I bought at Home Depot. The stain was blotchy. I asked the guy at Rockler and he confidently handed me a can of General Finishes. Wow, what a difference. I'll never make that mistake again.
S.
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I don't like stain either; however, you may want to check out WoodKote gel stain.
It did a job for me.
Lew
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Instead of trying to select the perfect stain to your project, match the wood species to your project and avoid the stain.
No more stain for this dude in High Point who is quitely wishing he still had a Rockler in town like you! ('wipes away tear')
--
www.garagewoodworks.com



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Wed, Oct 10, 2007, 9:58pm .@. (GarageWoodworks) doth sayeth: Instead of trying to select the perfect stain to your project, match the wood species to your project and avoid the stain. No more stain for this dude in High Point who is quitely wishing he still had a Rockler in town like you! ('wipes away tear')
I've been speermenting with thinned latex as stain. Works fine, so far, haven't tried it much yet. Custom colors too. This from a guy who's never even been in a Rockler, and doesn't even know where there's a Rockler, 'less there's one in Raleigh. But I've got a Lee Valley catalog.
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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Actually General Finishes has a thinned paint/stain product. Put it on with a brush and it looks painted, wipe it off with a rag and you get a stained appearance. Its kinda cool to have some elements of a project with an opaque finish in the same color as the stained areas.
Custom colors too. This from a guy

FYI there is one in Houston~ ;~) No help huh? LOL
But I've got a Lee Valley

IIRC WoodCraft has General Finishes also.> .

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Thu, Oct 11, 2007, 12:59pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@swbell.net (Leon) hath posteded: Actually General Finishes has a thinned paint/stain product. <snip> FYI there is one in Houston~ ;~) No help huh? LOL IIRC WoodCraft has General Finishes also.> .
They obviously stole my idea. Not much help. I did enjoy my time in Ft Hood (mostly), but didn't leave a thing in Texas I want to retreive. Wish I'd stayed there instead of going to Turkey tho.
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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Thu, Oct 11, 2007, 12:59pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@swbell.net (Leon) <snip> IIRC WoodCraft has General Finishes also.> .
It struck me just as I hit the send button, I've never been in a WoodCraft either. LOL I think there IS one in Raleigh, so that may change one day. Maybe.
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 00:41:04 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Hey bro... Sort of on topic, I was wondering how your tests came out with coffee, tea, etc. for staining.. It was for rifle stocks, I think??
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Thu, Oct 11, 2007, 8:37am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@bajadavis.com (macdavis) waves and sayeth: Hey bro... Sort of on topic, I was wondering how your tests came out with coffee, tea, etc. for staining.. It was for rifle stocks, I think??
Ah, I believe I did do some on a rifle stock. Tea, not coffee. I liked it. But then got the idea about latex.
Pretty much gave up on the coffee. Gave some absolutely great color, but took way long to dry - like about 3 weeks. I'm thinking it needed thinning a bit, and more time drying between coats. I might well have done more on coffee, but quit drinking it about that time. LOL
The tea gave a nice finish. Coats dried quickly, and the more coats, the darker the finish. Never anywhere dark as the coffee got tho. Make a pot, pour some into a container to brush from, drink the rest. LOL Even brewed very strong it gave a light finish, but the more coats the darker it gets. I like the results, and will be using it again.
Get a few pieces of wood to speermint on, and you can do it in the house - no unpleasant smell. I only tried on one or two different woods, so may darken some wood more, or less. Hmm, just thought, be a great way to keep young kids busy, let 'em put on a finish for you.
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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For the most part, not all stains are created equal. Minwax stains are pretty much entry level. The General Finishes stain that the OP switched to is on the other end of the spectrum. That said, a natural finish is often better/much easier ;~), but some woods simply do not come in a color that is required. I know that I try my darndest to simply go with a clear varnish but because 80% of my work is sold, I don't have the luxury of using a natural wood color when matching existing customers cabinets or furniture.
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Thu, Oct 11, 2007, 12:54pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@swbell.net (Leon) hath said: <snip> That said, a natural finish is often better/much easier ;~), <snip>
My hallway is line on one side with knockapart bookshelves. No finish at all. Except some dust. Every time I go buy I reach out and touch the bare wood as I pass by. Still looks just as good as the day they were made. I'm prety sure tho that other people would consider them "unfinish", and paint 'em or something. Some of my personal stuff is jleft as is. Because it makes me happy.
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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Wed, Oct 10, 2007, 6:48pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@samson.net (samson) doth sayeth: <snip> I'll never make that mistake again.
Shopping at Home Depot?
JOAT "I'm an Igor, thur. We don't athk quethtionth." "Really? Why not?" "I don't know, thur. I didn't athk."
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Just for the sake of argument . . . read Flenner's article in the latest issue of 'Popular Woodworking' . . .
Regards, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
SNIP Minwax I bought at Home Depot. The stain was blotchy. . . .Rockler and General

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http://www.popularwoodworking.com/articledisplay?id=14849
Here's what he writes:
"So there?s nothing at all inferior about the finishing products available at home centers. There?s only a limitation of what?s available. From these limited choices, however, you have many possibilities for achieving the results you want."
I'm sure he knows what he's talking about, but in my experience the General Finishes stain was amazinginly better than the Minwax.
S.
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Here's what he writes:
"So there?s nothing at all inferior about the finishing products available at home centers. There?s only a limitation of what?s available. From these limited choices, however, you have many possibilities for achieving the results you want."
You know, that sounds like politition double talk.
There is nothing wrong with the finishing products available at home centers. There is only a limitation of what's available.
Many of those products do indeed do the job, not as well as others. With the new faux, and distressed finishes that some people are going for these days, Miniwaz products are probably the better choice in that the finish is inconsistant in many cases.
I'm sure he knows what he's talking about, but in my experience the General Finishes stain was amazinginly better than the Minwax.
True.
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Leon, Samson, et al . . .
I mentioned this article because, heretic that I am, the stains that I use are primarily Minwax, a few other 'commonly available' brands, and a aniline dyes. Granted, I don't make 'Fine Furniture', nor do I have the wherewithal to use expensive woods like Cherry, etc.
That being said, my 'production' is more toward the 'functional', yet Joanne has very specific demands for what I build for her. The latest was to 'refinish' a window shelf that was previously painted an ugly deep Brown/Maroon {over about two layers of white}. Bottom line . . . it now looks like an age-darkened piece of Maple. The surface is flat, high gloss, and HARD. I had to sand it off and re-do the staining to get her satisfaction - REVERSING the 'schedule' of light-light-dark to DARK-light-light. The 'dark' was MAHOGANY, followed by the Maple. All over-coated with water-based poly . . . all Minwax products.
From my background in shooting, boatbuilding, and 'life' - and as an acknowledged experts 'examples' illustrates - it's not the tools or materials that are the most important, it's the skill {or dedication} of the person doing the work.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
SNIP>

is
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I have no question that you are much more skilled and a much harder worker than I am, but I'm telling you, General Finishes was not just better than Minwax, it was amazingly better in terms of depth of stain, uniformity of color, and ease of use -- in my experience. Your mileage may vary.
In terms of price, the General Finishes was the same price as a can of Minwax (10 dollars), but the GF can was smaller. It seemed to me, though, that I used less GF than Minwax.
S.
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LOL, I'll not argue with that. Basically the better the product, the easier it is to get the results. While you can build equal quality furniture with a hand saw as with a cabinet saw, the later does in deed make it easier to get more consistent results. This holds true with a lot of "stuff". ;~)
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Leon, Sampson, et al . . . I can't comment about GF's '. . . depth of stain, uniformity of color . . .' because I've never used the stuff. However, what method is simpler, or easier, then 'slop it on with a rag or foam brush, smooth it out, wait about 3 minutes, then wipe it off '. The hardiest part, for me, is the THROUGH wiping. I use paper towels - and toss them. Also Latex gloves for full dexterity, because the trick is to work quickly. What could be thought of as 'blotch' may actually be a thin layer of dried stain that wasn't completely wiped off.
Either way, if I get a chance to acquire some GF Stain - in a color I need AND at a price that is 'attractive', I'll try a few 'experiments'.
Regards, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
SNIP

easier
"Sampson" wrote . .

much harder worker than I am, but I'm telling you, General Finishes was not just better than Minwax, it was amazingly better in terms of depth of stain, uniformity of color, and ease of use -- in my experience. Your mileage may vary.
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I have done this with a piece that I built for a customer. The customer happened to choose a Miiwax color that I had on hand. I stained the 4 tables and two of the tables had a leg that had "light" spots where I applied the Miniwax stain. The "light" spots would not take a deep color/rich as with the rest of the leg. I completely sanded the leg bare again, reapplied, and got the same result. Resanded "again" and applied a different brand stain and had no problem. Resanded again, reapplied the Miniwax for a 3rd time and got the light spot in exactly the same places again. I eventually dabbed on more stain on the light spots and did not wipe it off. I was very careful applying/dabbing a varnish to those spots. Very strange but not unexpected.
This was not the first time I had problems with Miniwax stains but the first time that I ruled out adequate preparation with the use of anoither stain on the same wood, Oak.
Having said that I do NOT care for General Finishes "Gel" Varnish.

I have ben using General Finishes since 1978, their pretty good. Lately I have started using Lawrence McFadden gel products and will order a case of their varnish the next time I order. IIRC they are only mail/internet order but case lots are almost half price when compaired to single quart and pint pricing. They mostly deal with the trades.
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