LumberJocks

Make pine plywood look nice?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Logan Craig posted 01-13-2019 01:24 AM 1111 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Logan Craig's profile

Logan Craig

42 posts in 2894 days


01-13-2019 01:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: varnish tint stain finish aniline dye

I have an entertainment center project commission that I am having trouble staining. The customer is not happy with examples of how A-C pine plywood takes a stain due to the large contrast in lights to darks. Obvious advice like not having made it out of plywood or at least not spiral cut plywood aside, what would fellow lumberjocks recommend in a finishing procedure? I have been researching tinted varnish but have little experience on the subject.

The customer wants something like a ‘dark walnut’ stain. I don’t particularly care what products are used, but typically use oil-based stain and poly. I also do not think he is very particular about grain definition.

Thoughts and advice? I already tried to talk him into painting it :)

Thanks,
Logan

To clarify, I have not stained it yet, but he wasn’t happy with examples of stained scrap materials.

-- Logan


31 replies so far

View jutsFL's profile

jutsFL

167 posts in 229 days


#1 posted 01-13-2019 02:01 AM

I’m hoping for an answer as well. I have never had any sort of stain or color look well on any pine ply because of the massive resinous areas vs the thirsty portions. Even with the “best” pine ply… It still looks like Crap. The only thing that has ever looked “ok” in my book with it is many coats of BLO. Ive even tried multiple coats of BLO before adding tint to the BLO and finishing – just turned the “acceptable” BLO finish into complete trash…

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1602 days


#2 posted 01-13-2019 02:36 AM


I hope you post your results and finished project

-- Desert_Woodworker

View BFamous's profile

BFamous

316 posts in 508 days


#3 posted 01-13-2019 04:12 AM

Have you tried a gel stain? They sit more on top of the wood than regular oil or water based stains and therefore may provide a more consistent color.

I’d take my scraps and test different combinations, but you should be able to get something decent.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5278 posts in 2697 days


#4 posted 01-13-2019 04:29 AM

Walnut veneer plywood will save you so much time and frustration it would be worth every penny and would look good when you done.

I don’t understand why people buy the lightest colored woods when they want it dark. If this is a commission and you have to spend hours and hours trying get pine to look dark and good somebody is going to lose enough time or money to buy dark wood in the first place. Just MHO.

It take experience and talent to turn a sows ear into a silk purse

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8646 posts in 2965 days


#5 posted 01-13-2019 04:33 AM

Test on scraps and use blotch control first, best of luck.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1602 days


#6 posted 01-13-2019 04:36 AM



Walnut veneer plywood will save you so much time and frustration it would be worth every penny and would look good when you done.

I don t understand why people buy the lightest woods when they want it dark. If this is a commission and you have to spend hour and hour trying get pine to look dark and good somebody is going to lose enough time or money to but dark wood in the first place. Just MHO.

- AlaskaGuy

May I add, ALDER…

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1602 days


#7 posted 01-13-2019 04:37 AM



Test on scraps and use blotch control first, best of luck.

- waho6o9

+1

-- Desert_Woodworker

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5278 posts in 2697 days


#8 posted 01-13-2019 04:40 AM

Test on scraps and use blotch control first, best of luck.

- waho6o9

+1

- Desert_Woodworker


I’ve use that product and it worked well for blotch but it makes it harder to get a dark color.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5278 posts in 2697 days


#9 posted 01-13-2019 04:53 AM

Desert_WoodWorker

This is what Alder stained dark looks like if you don’t know what you are doing.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1602 days


#10 posted 01-13-2019 04:59 AM


Test on scraps and use blotch control first, best of luck.

- waho6o9

+1

- Desert_Woodworker

I ve use that product and it worked well for blotch but it makes it harder to get a dark color.

- AlaskaGuy

Thanks for the advice-
————————————————————————————
Anyone recall “pickled white…..”

-- Desert_Woodworker

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5278 posts in 2697 days


#11 posted 01-13-2019 05:11 AM


Test on scraps and use blotch control first, best of luck.

- waho6o9

+1

- DesertWoodworker

I ve use that product and it worked well for blotch but it makes it harder to get a dark color.

- AlaskaGuy

Thanks for the advice-
————————————————————————————
Anyone recall “pickled white…..”

- DesertWoodworker


I’m I missing something. How does that fit in with “The customer wants something like a ‘dark walnut’ stain.”

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View SMP's profile

SMP

1034 posts in 293 days


#12 posted 01-14-2019 06:08 PM



Walnut veneer plywood will save you so much time and frustration it would be worth every penny and would look good when you done.

Agree on the walnut veneer. Otherwise if that’s not an option, 3 coats of GF Antique Walnut gel stain will make it look “decent”(assume using a conditioner). Make sure the 2nd coat dries a couple days, and use a very light coat for the 3rd and don’t wipe it off. Its kind of like limo tinting the plywood.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5398 posts in 2739 days


#13 posted 01-14-2019 06:25 PM

The only way to make pine plywood look good is to paint it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MartiTx's profile

MartiTx

12 posts in 2716 days


#14 posted 01-14-2019 07:04 PM

Zinsser makes a wood bleach product which takes the yellow/orange tint out of pine and afterward it takes the stain evenly. It’s more work but makes a nice finish.

View steve104c's profile

steve104c

52 posts in 1626 days


#15 posted 01-14-2019 07:22 PM

Minwax has a conditioner for pine. It helps to keep from getting those dark splotchy areas. I have used it before and works. But test first. Pine is really hard to stain dark. Lighter stains work better.

showing 1 through 15 of 31 replies

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

HomeRefurbers.com