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I've got some clear pine t&g I'm installing in lieu of drywall. I'd like to get the wood a nice professional dark hue, like antique mahogany with a deep rich color. I've used Lockwood's Antique Mahogany dye but it ends up just looking like pine that's been dyed. I've messed around with Potassium Dichromate but that's not really meant for pine (missing the tannic acid I'm guessing). Stains and non-traditional methods (like tea, coffee, kool-aid, etc) just make it look like an obvious attempt to mask cheap wood with something more regal.

I don't mind a lengthy, intricate process. Can anyone lay out a system to get clear pine looking like it belongs in some robber baron's 1920's mahogany lined library? I spent two months applying 23 coats of various finishes to a dining room table and am up for something as challenging for the walls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Very solid finishing scheme David. Thanks for lending your expertise.

I'm definitely asking a lot from the modest pine, but part of the process is to explore detailed finishing techniques and experiment. I've got a spray booth set up in the barn so I can really play around before installation.

I've cut six pieces to sample with and I'll try David's technique with varying shades of dye and gel stain and see what I can achieve.

I'll make sure to post photos of the samples, as I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to turn pine into something more regal with a little woodworking alchemy.
 
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