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What’s your guys favorite finishing ways. Examples like using weather wash to make wood look old, putting different stains together to make a look, favorite stain and top coats etc. , what you like to put on certain woods, making it look rustic, distressed. Etc.
 

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IMHO - Distressed, or white washed is not a proper wood finish. It is a style of painting, that is the horror of interior decorators and "ar-tists" run amuck.
A monkey with tire iron and some chain can distress wood.

Woodworkers finish wood to embellish the natural beauty of wood, and to complement the purpose of the project.
There are as many finishing schedules as there are wood workers in world.

For example: Mexican rustic wood workers use shoe polish and diesel fuel as its cheap. Some woods beg for touch-able hardening oil/wax finish. House full of kids usually dictates durable scuff/stain resistant polyurethane. Fine furniture deserves a light weight, non-plastic film finish; usually french polish shellac, or spray lacquer. Kitchen/bath cabinets need a durable and KCMA rated finish, for which the commercial shops tend to use 2K conversion varnish, or newest water based polyurethanes.

The wood choice often dictates parameters to finishing schedule. Example: steamed walnut is often grayish and lacking depth. Adding a garnet shellac sealer to walnut before solvent based (amber) clear coat will often fix the problem. Oily exotic woods can be PITA to finish, as oil prevents penetration and can seep out during hot weather. Using a shellac sealer can be only way to tame the oil. Wood changes over time; so keeping wood the same color for decades is tough. Then there are all the fancy colored woods, that don't stay pretty over time. And the always annoying, issue of blotchy wood species. The list a mile long.....

You will find many, many past threads on Lumberjocks detailing different finish schedules for different woods; if you search.

Color? What color does the customer (wife) want...... :p
I prefer using dye stains to color wood, and oil based stains for glazing profile features. Can make most any color if you try.

If you are new to coloring wood, suggest you find a Mohawk distributor in your area, and take one their finishing or stain repair classes. They are color experts.
Without formal training, it takes most folks decades with hands on work, to learn the nuances of coloring wood; regardless of how many times you watch a boobtube video to apply a finish.

Last but not least:
Always test your entire finishing schedule (including sanding/prep) on scraps, before using it on project.
AND when you find something you like: Write it down for next project.

Cheers.
 

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....AND when you find something you like: Write it down for next project.
++++++++++++ for this. I can't tell you how many times I played around and found exactly what I wanted and then struggled to reproduce it because I didn't write the durn thing down.... That goes for recipes as well.
 
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Always depends on the wood. I have 3 species I typically work with, Cherry, Walnut, Maple. For just making the wood that you have look great, rubio monocoat pure is my go to. If I want to darken up the wood, I use rubio walnut. If I wan't to completely change the color, I've found that general finish gel stains work well for this but I don't use them anymore. My experience is limited to this. Wood finishing is a rabbit hole that takes decades to explore. I don't even know where to start, so I don't. I love the natural look and color of Cherry and Walnut, rubio gives it a very nice satin finish that doesn't change the color. I've tried different colors of rubio but it just doesn't look natural to me so I don't like it personally. I built a dresser and shelf for my daughter out of white oak and used rubio cotton white and it gave it a great white washed effect which she loved. I hated it because wood isn't white. Customer was happy though.
 
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