For Omar: Staining pine woodwork

A few days ago, Omar of El Paso Foursquare asked, "The woodwork in my home is also pine (fir?). I've had one project already dealing with refinishing and had quite a time getting it to look right. Blotchiness being a major factor. Has the technique you describe to avoid that worked for you?"

The short answer is "yes", but there are some caveats. First, let me describe the technique that I use a bit more thoroughly. I'd like to qualify this by saying that this has worked for me. I'm not an expert (I'd never even done this before last week!), and you may have different results with your project.

I've sanded my woodwork to remove all traces of the original finish, which wasn't in great shape, and to remove all of the stuck-on bits of paint. I finish with 240 grit, then wipe down the boards using a rag dampened with denatured alcohol. I let the boards dry for 30 - 60 minutes, then apply a 1 lb coat of dewaxed clear shellac with a foam applicator. For the first two boards tried to wipe on the shellac, but I couldn't coat it evenly that way, and I ended up with some blotches. In order to prevent that, the shellac must be even. Using the foam brush, I felt that I was putting on too thick of a coat, but it still stained beautifully. I let the shellac dry for at least an hour, then apply the stain. I'm using Varathane golden mohogany and applying it with an old t-shirt. I folded up a section, then dip about .75" into the stain. I sort of "paint" it on, then wipe off the excess with another bit of t-shirt. I let dry for at least another hour, then apply a 3 lb cut of clear shellac over the top.

The result?

I dunno about you, but I think it looks damn good! I'll have to touch up some areas where the paint stuck inside nail holes with some color-matched paint before the final shellacking, but the overall effect is perfect.


Omar said...

Lookin good! I think I've also heard of putting on a wood conditioner on pine so as to give it a uniform finish. I wonder if this has similar results?

Di said...

I have no idea about the wood conditioner. I have more shellac than I know what to do with, though, so that's one of the reasons I chose it!