Using proper stain question

I'm ready to stain my first project. I understand that it is good to clean it with a solvent such as mineral spirits to remove dirt and oils. (please correct me if I'm wrong or if there is a better solvent to use).
I want to do this right and I've studied all the finishes and yet I still am not sure of the best one to use. The project is a tray for SWMBO. She intends to use it to throw keys, change, etc. in it. I would like a satin finish but it really doesn't matter.
I have a polyurethane clear finish spray that I was going to apply over the stain. Is this a decent type of finish or is there a better one to use?
FWIW, I went to a staining class but I learned too much. I understand the application process pretty well but deciding on the best stain I still find confusing.
Richard A.
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It will work OK. I never use it, but you can.

What kind of wood? Maybe it would look better with no stain. Maybe just some tung oil followed by a coat of wax for a satin finish. Polyurethane is durable though and will stand up to the tossed keys.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

It's a white pine which makes me think I need the harder finish. I gave my wife a selection of different woods with various stains and this is the wood she picked.
RA
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In that case, the mineral spirits will also help get the stain applied more evenly. Put the stain on within about 15 minutes of the wipe down.
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A mineral spirits wash, or the natural stain Barry suggested are a few ways of reducing the blotching tendency of pine, where some areas do not take the stain evenly. However, I'd suggest getting one of Jewitt's finishing books and look through that first. You can look at various samples and look through the finishing schedule needed. Also test a scrap piece first to see how it looks. Depending on the wood, the type of stain and what you're looking for, you may need to try several methods to get the look you want.
Items you might miss: nobody asked what type of stain. Oil or water base, and dye or pigment. Mix the wrong ones together, and it's rather mucky.
Edwin: On poly, other than Rockhard poly, I haven't seen much that'll tolerate tossed keys, unless you keep it satin with little if any surface film. I think that would work okay here, although the pine's rather soft.
Richard: A soft wood is a soft wood. Other than a thick coat of epoxy, no finish on the surface will offer much protection. From very light surface scratches, yes; but anything more depends mostly on the wood.
GerryG

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Thanks. I've been tossing my keys (and my hat) on the same poly coated pine board by the door in my family room for that past 23 years. I'd better come up with an alternative so it won't get damaged.
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On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 23:39:54 -0600, "Richard A."

Try "Staining" the wood with "Natural" colored stain first, following the can directions. Let dry overnight. This coat will soak deeply into the more porous areas, making the darker color less blotchy and more even, but slightly lighter.
Use scrap!
Barry
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On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 20:24:30 -0600, "Richard A."

Practice on scrap until you understand, even if you have to buy wood!
Do every step from sanding to final finish to the test board, write down detailed descriptions of how you did each step. If something goes wrong, stop there and diagnose the problem, help is available here.
DO NOT try the project if you're not comfortable! <G>
Barry
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Ba r r y wrote:

RA
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wrote:

Bob Villa, national spokesman for beet juice stain.
See, that just doesn't work!
Barry
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Sun, Jan 2, 2005, 6:43am (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@snet.net (EdwinPawlowski) says: Holy beet juice Batman, you will put an enitre industry out of business if you keep it up.
Yeah, but the food industry's gonna be booming.
JOAT People without "things" are just intelligent animals.
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Sun, Jan 2, 2005, 7:49pm snipped-for-privacy@voNGicenet.com (Baron) asks: What has your experience been with the permanance of the Rit dyes? I am thinking of trying some for a particular Customer need and the Rit Dye Company Tech Services has no information, especially with respect to light fastness.
I haven't tried the Rit directly on wood - yet. I probably will one of these days. However, I have heard of it being done, but no followup on color fastness. The guy didn't pain it on tho, he boiled the small pieces in the dye. I would have thought that was overkill. I mixed some up with vegetable (cooking) oil - I think it was safflower oil - and put it on a rocker. The rocker design turned out to be terribly ugly, in my opinion, but I rather liked the finish. It didn't come out quite as dark as I had hoped, but then again I only put on about 2 coats. I'm pretty sure it would have darkened up with more coats, as it did a bit after the first. I used red and black, and maybe something other also, trying for a deep reddish color.
It's been maybe 5 or so years since I finished it, and it hasn't been in direct sunlight, but I can't notice any fading.
For those who say vegetable oil will go rancid - I've been experimenting with vegetable/cooking oils as a finish for years. If it hasn't been heated, as cooked with, it doesn't go rancid. I even directly communicated with a food scientist. It's all in the archives.
JOAT People without "things" are just intelligent animals.
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On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 20:24:30 -0600, "Richard A."

for a newbie wanting a poly finish, I'd really, really recommend minwax rubbing poly (at all borgs for about $7 a can) over your stained pine..
i use it a lot and love it.. comes in gloss and satin, I'd think that you'd want satin.. the nice thing about it is that instead of brushing on a coat or 2 of poly and coming out with something plastic coated with brush marks, you hand (gloves help!) wipe it like a natural oil and it builds up a warm satin finish that's very durable.. My 1st use of it was about a year ago on a small redwood table out by the pool.. it survived a summer of 100+ degree days and most of a rainy winter and looks fine.. YMMV
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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mac davis wrote:

Thanks for the response. The finish you described sounds beautiful. I'm looking forward to giving it a try.
RA
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On Mon, 03 Jan 2005 14:57:33 GMT, mac davis

He could also thin the brush-on stuff with mineral spirits 25-40% if he's already got some.
Keep the wiping cloth in a jar or Ziploc and use the same cloth for a week.
Barry
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