I bought a home a year ago and I do not like the wood mantle that the
builder put in the house. It is like a light oak color and I want to
stain it something darker like a mahogony color. Do I have to strip
the mantle first or just stain over the top? I'm not sure if there is
some type of sealer on it. I have a picture of the mantle that I could
post, but I don't know how to post photos!
Any help/suggestions would be appreciated!
Is it oak or just an oak color on pine or poplar? If it has a poly or any
type of varnish finish, stain will not do much at all. It must be stripped,
then sanded to expose fresh clean wood cells. You can use a poly that has
stain in it, but it probably won't get very dark. Stripping the oak mantle
will help, but oak may not get dark enough for you anyway. Before you go to
the trouble of stripping it, get a small piece of oak and try different
stains on it to see if you can get where you want to go.
Oak can be darkened by ammonia fuming also. That will require removing the
Many report success in doing this by using a gel stain instead of the
traditional stain. Traditional soaks into the wood but when a finish
is applied the wood fibers aren't available. Gel stains lay on the
surface and don't need bare wood fibers. Scuff sand the mantle with
#320 sandpaper working with the grain, clean and wipe on gel stain. If
unsat wipe off before it dries. It would be a great help if there is
an area that is hidden for testing the steps. If not stain and
topcoat a scrap piece of wood to use for testing. Ensure the topcoat
has cured prior to testing. Visit www.refinishwizard.com forum and
ask there. If possible add a picture of what you're working with.
Minwax makes some colored urethane. I used some on windowsills, and they
came out fine when I spread it over the old sills after scuff-sanding. I
was trying to match a color and got pretty lucky, but I'm sure I could have
darkened a lighter wood. The grain still shows through.
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.