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  • Staining

    I'm doing a project and am planning on using birch plywood. I am thinking on using aspen for all the facing. Does it stain and finish well and does it work well with the birch?

  • #2
    Re: Staining

    yea they stain well but you should try a few scraps of both woods first to see how your color matches if they do not match well try a pre-stain wood conditioner prior to staining.

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    • #3
      Re: Staining

      I've recently done some staining/finishing and would highly recommend using the wood conditioner. I followed the steps on the minwax website and my project turned out great.

      I believe that Bruce Johnson does an excellent job of explaining the steps necessary to produce great results. The links under the "How To" and "Expert Tips" from the minwax website tell you all that you would need to know.

      http://minwax.com/
      Good luck with your project and post some pics when you are done.

      Chris

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      • #4
        Re: Staining

        When I was debating on if I should stain my new fence or not, it seems that many people thought Minwax wasn't as good as some of the alternatives such as Cabot's. Personally I don't see any difference between the two, and if your project isn't going to be exposed to the elements, it probably doesn't matter much either way. The shades of stain each manufacturer makes are slightly different, so go with the one that has a shade you like. That's what I did for a recent project of mine.

        After doing tests on wood scraps to see what the color will look like, make sure you keep your stain well mixed while you are applying it. If you're careful, you can do it with a mixing stick, though a small drill attachment for mixing at a speed that doesn't cause it to spill should work too. If it's a large piece you are working on requiring multiple cans of stain, use half a can, then mix in the next can with the remaining half to help keep the shade consistent.

        I've never stained a project that large, but it sounds like reasonable advice I found on some other websites.

        The main thing is to keep the stain well mixed, and apply it evenly. If you can get that down, the very first project you stain should look good.

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        • #5
          Re: Staining

          If you know you are going to need more than a single container of stain, then intermix the two (or more) containers of stain from the beginning. If you don't then you will have areas that vary in shade.

          Using the suggestion above to illustrate:

          Let's say I start with a single quart can of stain (can 'A'), but in reality the project will require more than one quart, I realize this after having applied half (one pint) of the stain, so I go buy a second quart of stain (can 'B'). I take the remaining pint and mix it with the second quart of stain so that their shade is consistent, and it will be for those three pints of stain. But the first pint of stain applied is composed of only stain from can 'A', whereas the other three pints are composed of 1 part from can 'A' and two parts from can 'B'. How will the 33%A/66%B ratio match the 100% 'A' stain? I think it might be close but it is not a sure thing.

          If you get into finishing a project and find you need more stain than estimated, I think your best bet is to look at the can you have and find the batch number on it. On MinWax cans I have found this most times located on the bottom of the can. Go back to the place where you bought the first can and try to locate another can from the same batch. Then so as suggested and mix your remaining stain from the first can with the second can. That is your best chance to get a match once the horse is out the gate so to speak.
          "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
          John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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          • #6
            Re: Staining

            Originally posted by Lucky View Post
            I'm doing a project and am planning on using birch plywood. I am thinking on using aspen for all the facing. Does it stain and finish well and does it work well with the birch?
            I have found that one way to get uniformity with different woods, and end grain with flat grain, is to mix the stain with finish material. I mixed some oak Minwax stain with polyurethane and wiped it on with a lint-free cloth. If you want it darker you can apply multiple layers. After the color is correct you can apply more coats of clear finish.

            I suspect that aspen will absorb more stain than birch with a tendency to make it darker or more intense.

            Ends will become almost black if you directly apply dark stains.

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