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Old 08-25-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Staining pine

So I like to do different designs and I posted a picture of an example (it is about 6.5" high so some of the holes are pretty small). I am really new but I also really enjoy my new hobby! I have browsed the forum and have a slow computer so I am sorry if this has been covered in another thread. If so, post a link and I will read it all up.
A local store here has General Finishes stains which I would like to use, and I want to use danish oil as well. So is there a way to stain pine a little or a lot darker without my work coming out splotchy? I was looking at the prairie wheat, the link to it is below in case you were wondering about the color. Info about if I should use gel vs. water based, dipping vs. brushing, pre-stain conditioner, how to hang after dipping would be a huge help! Its ok to post links to other parts of the forum if you want too, that is totally fine. If my computer were faster I would keep browsing but it is taking time away from other priorities unfortunately.

Buy General Finishes, Prairie Wheat Gel Stain, Pint at Woodcraft.com
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:57 PM   #2
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Softwoods like pine will blotch if you just apply stain directly. You can apply a conditioner first to prepare the surface and then stain them. Another option is to use a gel stain. Either way, try one out on a test board before trusting it to a piece you care about.

I don't have my copy handy, but Bob Flexner's Understanding Wood Finishing is a great resource. Edit: my library had Flexner's Wood Finishing 101 ebook available. In it he recommends gel stains for novices as conditioners are tricky and can give poor results if misused.

Last edited by Arcy; 08-25-2014 at 08:07 PM. Reason: +Flexner's reco for gel stain rather than conditioner
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:25 PM   #3
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I always use pre-stain on soft woods like pine.
Arcy's advice is spot on.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:57 PM   #4
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Prestain is the answer.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:43 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for the quick responses! I really appreciate it. I was figuring I would try to do a gel just because I haven't had experience in staining wood before, just finishing it. I do have a couple questions about going that route. Do you have any advice with using a gel stain (like if I brush it on and use a detail brush for the holes, then wipe and blow out the holes with a compressor)? And when I use danish oil (I will probably use minwax antique oil) I hear people talk about hanging it. I imagine there is a certain way to hang it and am curious to hear how you do it. Again, feel free to point me to other threads if it helps and thank you for pointing me to that book.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:25 AM   #6
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You got great response above. That is the only way to get even stain on pine. If you want to try a different but still soft wood that satins very well you can try poplar.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:43 PM   #7
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I definitely agree. Thank you all for pointing me in a good direction! I look forward to staining my work here soon! I think aside from that maybe just looking for some tips with the staining process. I figured instead of hang drying I would just set my stuff on pyramid domes. I just don't know how you would hang something with out leaving lines on your work so I was just hoping for some direction with that instead of trial and error. I keep trying to search the forum for directions in that, I just cant seem to find directions for that. I plan on buying some intro to scroll saw type books, I am just on a super tight budget right now and will get some of those eventually (with the money from selling my work ha). So just some direction with info like if I hang my stuff with fishing line and how to avoid lines, what is the best way to get gel stain in the small holes? That would be helpful as well
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:24 AM   #8
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You asked several questions. Let see if I can cover a few. Fret work like that I hang on a peg board rack. I have several long straight peg board hangers and I would slip the piece over one. My rack also has a few exposed nail along the top edge where I would hang pieces where the holes are to small for the peg board hangers.

As far as staining and finishing I use an old disposable lasagna pan and dip the piece. I think the stain or finish with mineral spirits to make it easier. If the pieces is too large to dip I put the piece over the pan and brush on with a small brush letting the excess drip in the pan. The small brush is the kind you paint models with.
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