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hurtlocker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to stain and finish some pine millwork and doors in my basement:sad:
I will not be spraying anything
how do i get the best finish in a timely fashion
any tips would be greatly appreciated
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Use a professional staining system, ML Campbell, Sherwin Williams, Mohawk, Valspar or the such. I use ML Campbell. Pine is a blotchy wood. So you will need to condition it. The two main ways to do that are using a clear stain base or a wash coat. I usually use the clear stain base, also known as a conditioner. A wash coat is best done with a spray gun. So I guess that leaves the stain base. If for some reason you want to use MinWax, it will be their natural stain. Put the stain base on and wait for about 30 minutes, then apply the stain. Be very consistent, try to leave a wet edge while you are doing large areas. Apply the stain with a rag, not a brush. If you do it with a brush you will apply to much into the area and promote blotching. Wipe it off with a rag that has been wetted with the stain and squeezed as dry as you can. After you apply the stain and wipe it down (while evening it off) with the damp rag, you will want to wipe it down with a dry rag. Most pro stains will allow you to top coat within and hour. MinWax will have to dry overnight or longer.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Use a professional staining system, ML Campbell, Sherwin Williams, Mohawk, Valspar or the such. I use ML Campbell. Pine is a blotchy wood. So you will need to condition it. The two main ways to do that are using a clear stain base or a wash coat. I usually use the clear stain base, also known as a conditioner. A wash coat is best done with a spray gun. So I guess that leaves the stain base. If for some reason you want to use MinWax, it will be their natural stain. Put the stain base on and wait for about 30 minutes, then apply the stain. Be very consistent, try to leave a wet edge while you are doing large areas. Apply the stain with a rag, not a brush. If you do it with a brush you will apply to much into the area and promote blotching. Wipe it off with a rag that has been wetted with the stain and squeezed as dry as you can. After you apply the stain and wipe it down (while evening it off) with the damp rag, you will want to wipe it down with a dry rag. Most pro stains will allow you to top coat within and hour. MinWax will have to dry overnight or longer.
Youse could write a book! :notworthy:clap:
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
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I've been doing finishing for a couple of years now. I have learned a lot and screwed up a lot too. Staining is pretty easy, getting it even is pretty hard on some woods. Pine, birch, maple, poplar and cherry are tougher because they blotch. I find using pigmented lacquers more challenging than stain and clear.
 

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hurtlocker
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555 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
how about top coat
what should i apply it with without spraying and avoid brush marks?
1-2 coats?
sand between coats?

thanks again good advice
 

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For brushing I would use ZAR poly. Use a quality brush, Purdy, Wooster or other brand. Keep a wet edge. A few thin coats are better than thicker coats. Sand between coats using 400-600.
 

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Leo,
have you ever tried shellac on pine? this is a good way to seal the pine before you stain, also you listed Birch, Maple, Poplarand Cherry has hard to stain. I have always found these woods to take stain very easy. But back to the pine if you shellac it then give it a sand with some 320 black sandpaper then allpy your stain it will go one even for you. I just finished stripping a door and then restained it. With this door I used Peel Away to remove all the paint, then I used varnish and stain remover, then I sanded it down. I then used mini wax stain I laid the door flat on some horses then I like to pour the stain on and I used a foam brush to spread the stain out, I let it soak in, cause this door was painted and there was some paint in the grain were the door had weathered, but I let it sit over night then gave it a light sand with the 320 then I applied two coats of clear shellac sand in between coats then I applied two coats of satin varnish and I like to use 000 steel wool in between coats of varnish. I'll try and post some pictures of the door, I did the garage door last years I have pictures on my site of that job. I posted pictures of the door in the Photo Gallery.

www.frankawitz.net
 

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I rarely use Shellac anymore. What cut are you using for your washcoat, 1 lb ?

If you use Minwax or other oil ase slow dry stains you will have less of a problem with blotching. But I work to make money and there is no way I can use these slow stains, I'd go broke
 

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I looked at the door. I can't see the grain in the finished door, is it the picture or is it muted that much by the stain?

Shellac is not an outdoor coating. Even though you have covered it with varnish it shouldn't be used for an exterior finish. If the door is well protected you'll probably get away with it. Bit if it gets the full brunt of the weather you might have to redo it sooner than you thought.

How was that stripping system? Did you like it?
 

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Youngster
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Walked through a house last week completely trimmed out in stained pine. They specifically (or maybe accidentally) didn't use a conditioner, and got a really interesting blotchy appearance with a dark walnut oil stain. Very rustic looking.

For pine, maple, cherry, etc I use dyes only. Applied with HVLP. I've never liked the results from wiping a pigment on these woods. Plus the dry time is incredibly long. For me....

Dye Stain light coats with HVLP
1 or 2 coats precat Vinyl sealer with airless
Scuff Sand
Glaze if needed wiped with terry rag
2 coats precat lacquer topcoat with HVLP

Start to finish for something like a mantle or box newel is 50 minutes and I can finish other pieces during the 10-15 minute dry times of the lacquers.
 

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Boy, you are really pushing the dry times on those lacquers. I push mine too, but not that much. You are putting 4 or 5 coats on in 50 minutes. Most of my lacquers say to wait 1 hour between coats, I usually wait about 20-30 minutes depending on the temps. Sounds like you are just waiting for it to flash, which is not dry, just dry to the touch.
 

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Youngster
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493 Posts
Boy, you are really pushing the dry times on those lacquers. I push mine too, but not that much. You are putting 4 or 5 coats on in 50 minutes. Most of my lacquers say to wait 1 hour between coats, I usually wait about 20-30 minutes depending on the temps. Sounds like you are just waiting for it to flash, which is not dry, just dry to the touch.

Nah, mine flash in under 5 minutes. Dry to the touch in about 7min. Wasn't counting the second top coat dry time which is 15 minutes to handle. Also, you should note that I use all pre-catylized finishes which dry much faster and harder. Dye stains go on dry. No waiting there. In this environment pre-cat vinyl sealer sand/re-coat time is 15 minutes. If the wood was prepped well I usually only need one coat. I clean with microfiber rags, which do a really good job of indicating end grain issues which would require a second coat. If I'm not glazing then I really don't ever do a second sealer coat. The second coat for me is really only to prevent excess absorption of the glaze and the manufacturer recommends against it anyway.

Top coats have a longer re-coat time at 30m. Timeline depends on dedicated sprayers. I have a Devillbiss HVLP for both the dye and the topcoat. Spraytech airless for the sealer. Mantle or box newel for example:

Dye application -- 2-4 minutes
Sealer application -- 1 min
Sealer dry time -- 10-15 min
Scuff Sand -- 1-2min
Glaze (optional) -- 1-2 min
1st topcoat -- 2 min
Dry time -- 25-30 min
2nd topcoat -- 2 min
Dry to handle -- 15 min
 

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Cache, what brand products are you using and what specific products in that line?

I use ML Campbell, mostly MagnaMax Pre-cat. Usually WoodSong II stains and Microton Dyes. Using dyes is a quick way to do things but they generally lack depth as they are a surface coating. Which is also why they don't blotch, they don't interact with the grain. The MagnaMax doesn't sand that well until about an hour of dry time after flash. I always push it as my time is worth more than the sandpaper I corn up. I think you are rushing things a bit myself. But your circumstances may warrant it.
 

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Youngster
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493 Posts
Cache, what brand products are you using and what specific products in that line?

I use ML Campbell, mostly MagnaMax Pre-cat. Usually WoodSong II stains and Microton Dyes. Using dyes is a quick way to do things but they generally lack depth as they are a surface coating. Which is also why they don't blotch, they don't interact with the grain. The MagnaMax doesn't sand that well until about an hour of dry time after flash. I always push it as my time is worth more than the sandpaper I corn up. I think you are rushing things a bit myself. But your circumstances may warrant it.
I use the SherWood system. A bit pricey, but I've found it is faster than others I've tried. Specifically, the T67F6 sealer, the P63W9 and W2 if paint grade, and the T77F57 topcoat. If the customer really wants the tougher finish I will use the V84F82 Conversion Varnish topcoat. Not as user friendly as the lacquers though and tends to chip when struck and then I have to switch my gun over to the F7 sealer. Are you in a temp controlled spray booth?

My feeling on dyes and stains is a bit different than most. Most of my customers don't want a light wood with dark grain. These days they want a rich color with even grain. As such, I rarely get calls for strong grained woods like oak anymore. It is always cherry, walnut, etc... Many times these are best finished without much tinting, but most customers are looking for an even, deep, rich color. Frequently they also want a premium cherry rail without paying for premium cherry. Consequently there is a lot of blond that needs to be blended.

Anyway, since the dyes result in a muted grain and lack depth, I have to enhance the grain if the customer wants to see it. For me, this is best done with a matching glaze. Black, Vandyk Brown, Mahogany, etc.. rubbed in after the dye has been sealed in with vinyl sealer. That will bring the grain back out and give the wood the depth it was lacking, but I still get the nice working characteristics of the dyes.
 
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