staining red oak with lots of sapwood

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Forum topic by trsnider posted 05-14-2016 09:37 PM 1290 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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236 posts in 2922 days

05-14-2016 09:37 PM

The oak I’m using to build a bed has large portions of sapwood along with the heartwood. In order to even out the stain between both should I use a sealer (.5 to 1 shellac) prior to staining or grain filler? Having an even stain coat is more important than a glossy smooth suface. If grain filler is the answer I probably have to add the stain to it before applying it to the wood.

4 replies so far

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1660 days

#1 posted 05-14-2016 09:51 PM

That’s going to be tricky, or at least it would be for me. I suppose I’d drag out all my transtint dies and some distilled water and try to mix up a water based dye that would color the sapwood to the shade I wanted. I’d go with a light shade and darken as needed. For that sort of work I prefer water based over alcohol based, even though it’ll raise the grain. Good luck.

View tomd's profile


2218 posts in 4682 days

#2 posted 05-14-2016 10:02 PM

Your fighting mother nature, may I suggest instead make the sap standout as a feature of you project to actually enhance the difference. Just a suggestion, may not suit your tastes.

-- Tom D

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4489 days

#3 posted 05-14-2016 10:34 PM

One way is to use dye,if used in a thin mixture you can apply continual coats on the sap wood only until it’s very close to the color of the rest of the wood and then put a coat on both the sap wood and heart wood. If you haven’t used dye before unlike stain it will continue getting darker with each coat you apply,it’s best to practice on a scrap first.


View conifur's profile


954 posts in 2063 days

#4 posted 05-14-2016 11:27 PM

Ditto on the dye, you dye to get color/shade, then stain to get depth. I us Alcohol with my Trans Tint liquid dye, does not raise the grain, with the powdered can only us water.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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