I'm getting ready to build some barrister's bookshelves. I would like to
have the final color very dark, possibly with a dark red tint. I usually
work in red oak but would never be able to get the color dark using oak.
I'm looking for advice as to the wood that takes dark stain best -
walnut? maple? cherry?
Your advice would be appreciated.
> I'm getting ready to build some barrister's bookshelves. I would
> have the final color very dark, possibly with a dark red tint. I
> work in red oak but would never be able to get the color dark using
> I'm looking for advice as to the wood that takes dark stain best -
> walnut? maple? cherry?
Have you considered white oak with a BLO and bees wax finish?
Oak can be stained quite dark. Cherry is also very stainable but you can
hide the natural beauty of Cherry by going too dark. If dark is important
use Walnut - It is usually a natural dark wood and many finishes will
accentuate the grain without stain (pick your wood carefully because Walnut
can also be rather light).
You will not get there with Maple. It is a hard wood and doesn't take stain
all that well.
Use a dye. The one I use most often is made by Transtint. It comes in a
variety of colors and must be diluted with either water or isopropyl alcohol
(my choice) before use. The more dilute the lighter the color. You can go
as dark as you want!
Woodcraft sells it. You won't find it at Home Depot or Lowes.
I just finished a set of built-in bookshelves and also wanted to get a
dark finish (mission style in my case) with the red oak I was using. I
used a formula I found in one of the mags, but tweaked it a bit. It
called for 4 parts Miniwax red oak stain to one part non-fibered
roofing tar. That was a little too red for what I wanted, so after
experimenting a bit I did 3-to-1 golden oak/red oak, then took that and
mixed it 4 to 1 with the roofing tar. It was supposed to mimic ammonia
fuming with white oak, which I think it did pretty well without me
keeling over in the garage from ammonia poisoning.
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