Staining/finishing white oak


I have a raw 12 ft x 15" bar top for my new media/wine room. I need to lightly stain and then finish this.
I have not worked with white oak but only red oak. This absorbs the stain very strongly into the soft grain areas but hardly any into the hard areas. The result is very unattractive.
After staining I will finish with a marine grade, solvent borne, clear, semi gloss (or satin) polyurethane.
Does white oak stain like red oak? If so, what is the best method to obtain an EVEN stain on white oak? Also, is my approach for finishing the counter top OK? I don't want to use a non-marine urethane because of its age yellowing.
Peter.
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(1)Apply a light coat of 1 lb. cut shellac to the oak. After it dries, take a fine synthetic pad and rub it out. This will help seal the grain and allow it to take the stain more evenly. (2)Test on some scrap first! Tom
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I'm having the same issue with white oak right now. I've tried a gel stain, and also pre-coating with 1lb shellac, with the same results you described. Hopefully that can save you some trial-and-error time. My next idea (based on Flexner's finishing book) is to test a dye-based stain (instead of pigment-based as most stains are), which should theoretically dye the early wood and late wood more evenly. In the meantime, I'd appreciate others' experiences as well. Andy
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I don't have any experience with white oak, but using a toner, rather than a stain, will give you much better results if the wood tends to absorb stain unevenly. The basic difference is that a stain penetrates (often unevenly), while a toner is simply a pigment which resides in your polyurethane. It's kind of like translucent paint. The color depth is controlled simply by how thick you apply it. Minwax Polyshades is an example, though it doesn't meet your criterion for a marine grade poly. You can accomplish the same thing by mixing an oil-based stain with your solvent borne poly, but experiment on scraps first.
The other way to do this is to spray on dye (such as water soluble aniline dye) to color the wood before applying the polyurethane. Like toners, dyes don't get absorbed into the wood so the color depth is more consistent. You can get practically any color dye you can imagine. Unfortunately, I think you really need spray equipment to do it this way. If anybody knows otherwise, please speak up.
Given that you're building a permanent bar out of a pretty expensive piece of lumber, I'd recommend spending $20 or so to get a good book on finishing techniques, like Flexner's.
Josh
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Hi Peter, Suggest you ask your question at the site below. It is all about finishing. You need to register but it does not generate any spam. Cheers, JG
http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/phpBB2/portal.php
PVR wrote:

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Reversal of the color pattern. Softer and formerly lighter in color comes up dark. White oak is going to be the same, with those darker ray figure splashes on quartered wood absorbing next to nothing, and becoming lighter than the background.
You pretty much have to fume it or paint it (glaze) to have it look like it did when you built it.
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PVR wrote:

What makes you think "marine" oil based polyurethane doesn't yellow? If you don't want yellowing use water poly.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Interesting question! Here's the answer.
Run of the mill urethane coatings are based on aromatic diisocyanates such as TDI, MDI etc. In coatings many types of aromaticity lead to various kinds of performance problems, including UV induced yellowing. In order to obtain a urethane coating which does not yellow an aliphatic diisocynate (IPDI, HDI etc) must be used in the synthesis of the binder.
There seems to be some confusion in the use of the terms "solvent borne" and "oil based." "Solvent borne" means that the binder and subsequent coating is carried in solvent rather than water or even with no diluent at all. "Oil based"means the binder is formulated including a vegetable oil such as soya, linseed tung, etc. However, urethanes can easily be formulated without oils and carried in solvent, water or solventless (powder coatings, etc). Many of these are the two component catalyzed types or even ambient moisture cured.
Some oils, those that contain much linoleic or linolenic acids (linseed oil) will confer severe yellowing properties under various conditions. Oils which contain minor amounts of these acids (Soya) will deliver acceptable yellowing properties.
Most if not all these variables can be formulated into individual coatings independently of each other.
Well, that is why I think a marine urethane coating can be very resistant to yellowing.
Sorry for the length of this reply; I was carried away.
Peter.

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PVR wrote:

NP, it was interesting. However, just because something is labled "marine" doesn't mean it lacks linseed oil. "Marine" has come to be sort of a marketing tool to convey an impression of superiority. Same with "spar"...
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Agreed. You have to read the label and if necessary call the manufacturer.
Peter.

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I'm using a dye water based stain. Its great because I can mix it as strong or weak as I wish. I used transtint dark vintage maple with a very weak solution (about 1/2oz per quart of alcohol. You can use water but the alcohol prevents further grain raising.) Then I lightly sanded with 320 grit by hand to knock back the color a bit more. I then applied 6 coats of General finishes wiping satin urethane. I experimented with shellac sealer first but there was no discernable difference in the end product so did away with the sealer. The result was magnificent. I'll post pics if your interested. Rich

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Hi Rich.
Yes I would be very interested to see your pics. Your approach sounds great.

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Peter, Sorry for taking so long. Something is wrong with my Verizon email... got to work on it when I get the time. Pics are posted at http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/harrisfam1988/my_photos As far as your question on the wiping varnish from your email, I get mine from Woodcraft. They are on the net too. I'm sure There are more places that carry General Finishes products though. Rich

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