Water based stain?

I have never used water based stain, but I have a new bay window that needs to be finished. The top and bottom of the bay are birch ply. The rest is southern pine.
I can always paint it. But before I resort to that I would like to see how it stains up.
Is water based stains more resistant to fading in the sun? Do you get deeper colors once top coated?
Can I apply alcohol based shellac over the water based finish? Or do I need a water based product? I noticed that Target Coatings sells a water based shellac, do I need that, or will alc based shellac do as a sealer?
I am planning on using the general finishes water based.
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tiredofspam wrote:

Actually yes. Water based stains tend to be more resistant to fading (lightfast) than oil or alcohol stains.

Deeper colors? If you use a pigment stain the colors lodge in the pores. If you use a dye the wood is stained. Deeper then would really only apply to dye stain since once a pigment (which contains a binder - a finish) onces applied won't seep in - only way to darken it is to wipe of less.

Yes. But unless you are using a pigment stain the stain is not a finish (ie pigment stains contain a finish as a binder though you would want to still finish it).

You will need to lightly sand once you have applied the water based - whatever. This will help smooth out the raised grain. You can reduce some of it by sponging the wood first with water and let dry - then lightly sand.
--

Michael Joel



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On 3/30/2012 3:34 PM, Michael Joel wrote:

Thanks, that's what I was hoping as this is a south east facing bay. And it gets a load of sunlight. I thought I heard one was better than the other. But could not remember.

I should explain. When I look at water stained surfaces that have not been topcoated they look really painted not rich. Oil still has a richer look. So does it come up and have (water based stain) depth once topcoated?

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tiredofspam wrote:

Pigment stains are basically a very low pigment % paint (paint is basically a pigment stain with tons of pigment so the painted surface is not seen). Pigment stain sits on the surface of the wood (lodging in the pores and any areas that allow the tiny pigments to catch hold). So this means it usually will highlight pores and wood damage more than the rest of the surface (though you will get staining overall of course). The only way to darken this is to wipe less off. Being pigment it will obscure the wood in some amount depending on how heavy it is allowed to remain in it. (just a note, pigment stains are suspended in a finish - to "glue" the pigments to the wood).
Dye stains seep into the wood and actual color it - not just sitting on top. This gives much more even highlight - but of course damaged wood would allow more seepage so more color. You can keep applying these stains until you get the shade you want because each application adds more dye. There is no binder in these stains because they dye the wood itself and they don't obscure the wood - no matter how many coats.
I would think if you want deeper appearance to the wood you would use the dye type. Not to mention you can add some compatible solvent (in your case water - there is probably a limit though to how much you can add) and then keep applying it until you obtain the shade you want.
The way it looks wet (any stain) is basically how it is going to look finished. A paste wood filler can be used to add "depth" but with birch and pine I don't think the pores are big enough to bother with.
You probably know the dangers of staining (blotching) so no need to mention it. That is what gel stains are best for - being a gel the stains don't work in deep so they show up the differences in the wood less - but this also means less "depth" look.
You may want to test your stain on a piece of pine to be sure your going to get the look you expect.
I don't know why an oil stain would give more depth than water - unless you compare a oil dye stain to a water pigment stain - OR - the oil stain has a finish/binder and the water stain didn't. This would mean the oil would continue to have a "wet" look (or at least somewhat) while the water would go flat once dry. But this isn't a difference in the stain - just the fact that the water stain hasn't been top coated yet.

I am confused because you say "water based finish". If we are talking about a dye stain, it isn't a finish. That is why it looks bland and flattish once dry. It needs a finish on it make it look good.
You shouldn't have any problems applying an alcohol based shellac since it won't redissolve the stain. - lacquer or a water based could.

If you use a water based finish over a water based stain you take a chance of having some of the stain redissolve as you rub over it.
I like shellac. It is not a lot weaker than lacquer to water, heat, chemicals, and solvents. It is actually better at blocking water vapor. It is easy to fix when damaged.
On top of that - if you decide to paint shellac isn't going to pose a problem.
Dewaxed will give a clearer finish than the waxed - it also helps it resist water a little more.
Hope all this was of some help - it rambles on forever.
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Michael Joel



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Yep, much of this I already understood, I work with Shellac all the time, dewaxed primarily. I've ruffled quite a few feathers here over my feelings that Shellac is highly under rated. But to each his own.
I guess I am going to have to bite the bullet and get a quart and play with it. The info was helpful.
I am hoping to get the colorfastness, nothing else matters since this sees so much sunlight.
Thanks.
On 3/31/2012 9:29 PM, Michael Joel wrote:

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On 3/31/2012 9:30 PM, tiredofspam wrote:

I used shellac when I was in 8th grade wood shop. Didn't use it again for over 50 years, for no particular reason. Well perhaps because of the white ring you get on a table with a wet glass.
I bought a can a few years ago because people in here where saying you couldn't spray it or something and I wanted to see what the fuss was about... Well, club me with a feather, I sprayed it on a small walnut box with a maple top I built from firewood to hold some pool cue maintenance supplies. Wow, really made the wood pop and begs to be touched. I'll never again not have some shellac on hand. Really good stuff. I use it on turnings all the time now, it dries fast, finishes great, particularly on hard woods.
I don't know whose feathers you may have ruffled, but they are mistaken. I still won't use it on a table that will get water and booze spilt on it.
Anyway, I never used water based stains, but seems Michael Joel did a great job explaining it. Thanks Michael.
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Jack
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On 3/31/2012 9:29 PM, Michael Joel wrote:

<snipped for brevity>
Nicely done Michael! Well written and thoroughly covered. Nice to see that kind of informed interest in helping someone with an intelligent response as well as patience, these days.
I would only add that shellac is not sunscreen. But, neither is lacquer nor even conventional varnishes...
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