Color stain on chestnut vanity

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Forum topic by Capeytime posted 12-06-2018 02:25 AM 350 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 579 days

12-06-2018 02:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: chestnut vanity stain furniture

Hi, I’d love some opinions on my refinishing project please.
10 years ago we made a new bathroom in our c1900 cape colonial house in MA. Bought a c18C vanity that I think is chestnut. I’m posting a photo from that time. The finish has now deteriorated and I’m in the process of regrouting tiles, sanding the floor, and refinishing the vanity unit.
I’m partway through sanding the vanity and the original natural color is coming through. (Photos posted). Through online searches chestnut furniture seems mostly natural colored, but my intention had been to stain it fairly dark brown, so it would contrast with the white vessel sink and the white oak floors.
What would you experienced wood guys suggest for a stain or finish on the vanity?
Would it be a terrible idea to stain it dark?
The top will have to be sealed for water damage. I’m a DIYer with no special equipment.
Thank you for any help and suggestions!

-- Sam, MA

1 reply so far

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2647 posts in 2762 days

#1 posted 12-06-2018 03:43 AM

The color is purely up to you – you own it and will be living with it, what we think shouldnt matter at all (I would go more medium brown just to smooth the staining from previous finish). As for the finish schedule, since it is a wood top vanity, start with determining the type of final topcoat to apply due to the application, then work backwards to develop the full finish schedule based on compatibility with the top coat. I might just use a high quality oil based marine varnish on the top only, then match it with probably a plain old poly for the rest of it. Both can be applied by wiping, tho others can chime in on how best to do marine varnish finishes. I would use dye not stain to achieve more even coloration across the stained parts and negative grain, providing a more natural look vs a pigmented stain which will accent the negative grain, but that may be what you want. Not sure how chestnut responds to wb dye – dont know if the ph repels wb in the pores like oak. There are easy ways around it but I dont have experience with chestnut. Oil based dyes in browns work very well and dont have the surface tension issue. They can be mixed directly into the oil based finish and applied like a danish oil. There are numerous options.

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