Total wood working noob here with a question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by 12secondnova posted 10-19-2016 01:44 PM 776 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 12secondnova's profile


1 post in 1036 days

10-19-2016 01:44 PM

Hi everyone. I’m not even sure if this is the right forum to put this question in thats how little I know about this stuff. So if this is the wrong place please delete.
I have a 1970 chevy pickup with a wood bed that is completely rotted out gone and I will be replacing it soon with either a pine or oak kit. My question is can either of these types of wood be finished with a stain or something that will give it a kind of RED tint to it? My truck is white with red interior and I think the inside of the bed mirroring a white over the red theme would look cool. Its not going to see hard work like throwing rocks in it(it might haul a motor or two but I plan on having a rubber mat over it IF that ever happens) BUT it will be parked outside in direct sunlight most of the time, So I would be nice if its a durable finish so I don’t have to refinish it very often. Any help is appreciated! Thanks, Chris

13 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile


1169 posts in 2012 days

#1 posted 10-19-2016 01:58 PM

Oak is a better choice for durability and it can be stained with a red toned stain. Oak is a hardwood where pine is a softwood.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5216 posts in 4411 days

#2 posted 10-19-2016 02:00 PM

Outside, sun, stain finish??? Ain’t gonna last too long. You certainly can stain wood to whatever color ya might want, but the conditions are just not going to allow long term success. Probably have to refinish or touch up the top coat pretty often.
I would suggest that oak (white oak to be exact) would be the best wood choice.
Welcome to LJs.

-- [email protected]

View HokieKen's profile


10278 posts in 1589 days

#3 posted 10-19-2016 02:02 PM

Oak is a better choice for durability and it can be stained with a red toned stain. Oak is a hardwood where pine is a softwood.

- WhyMe

+1. I’ll also add that oak is naturally decay resistant (at least moreso than most woods). Cedar may also be a good choice. It’s decay-resistant and is naturally red. It is soft though.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View nkawtg's profile


289 posts in 1702 days

#4 posted 10-19-2016 02:07 PM

+1 to all of that, and stay away from Pine.

View Robert's profile


3474 posts in 1931 days

#5 posted 10-19-2016 02:11 PM

Oak. Pine & Cedar too soft.

You can use a color dye to tint the wood prior to finishing.

If outside all the time, don’t expect any finish on a horizontal surface to last long. UV light and severe weather changes are the issue.

I would probably be taking a look at at an epoxy.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View WhyMe's profile


1169 posts in 2012 days

#6 posted 10-19-2016 03:06 PM

White oak is the best of the oaks to use. After staining use a finish coat of marine spar varnish.

View Madmark2's profile


475 posts in 1039 days

#7 posted 10-19-2016 03:14 PM

Redwood won’t rot and has a natural red finish. Several coats of a UV protected polyurethane are in order before installing.


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16162 posts in 3069 days

#8 posted 10-19-2016 03:19 PM

+4 or +5 to white oak as the better option, and yes it can take a red stain easily. For durability comments, I’ll echo RWE’s sentiments.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Woodknack's profile


12870 posts in 2831 days

#9 posted 10-19-2016 04:41 PM

Use padauk. It’s red, rot resistant, harder than oak, and not very expensive.

-- Rick M,

View Kirk650's profile


656 posts in 1199 days

#10 posted 10-19-2016 05:28 PM

If you use Oak, do not use Red Oak. Use White Oak.

View MrUnix's profile


7446 posts in 2650 days

#11 posted 10-19-2016 05:43 PM

I have no idea what was used in later models (70’s), but I had a ‘52 Chevy long bed pickup that I replaced the wood on many years ago. According to Chevy and several other sources, the wood used originally on the truck was Southern Yellow Pine. Early models were treated with linseed oil and lampblack, while later year models got painted to match the color of the vehicle. I used SYP and treated with a water sealer… I guess it could have been stained any color first, but I just left it natural.


PS: The truck was never garaged… it sat out in the hot Florida sun 24×7x365. I sold the truck a few years after replacing the wood, but have seen it since (almost 20 years after I sold it). The guy never did restore it like he said he was going to do, and it’s sat in his back yard for years and now has a tree growing through it! But the wood, while obviously has taken on an weathered look, is still holding up great despite it’s mistreatment.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View splintergroup's profile


2776 posts in 1673 days

#12 posted 10-19-2016 06:30 PM

Since you mention a “kit” I assume that you don’t plan on cutting the wood yourself. In that case, the best of the two would be Oak, stained with whatever color you like.

Cutting your own wood really opens up options. It sounds like you plan on protecting the wood from mechanical damage and this makes softwoods a reasonable alternative. Redwood will handle the weathering better than most stuff and the color is built in 8^). Exotics like padauk or jatoba will also serve nicely and are available for not much money.

View splintergroup's profile


2776 posts in 1673 days

#13 posted 10-19-2016 06:42 PM

Sorry! double post.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics