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Finishing ash

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Forum topic by SaepuruGuru posted 07-23-2019 12:25 AM 334 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SaepuruGuru

2 posts in 28 days


07-23-2019 12:25 AM

We are building a staircase as a commission and all parts are done already. Now the client sent a photo how they want the ash staircase to look. We were not expecting having to alter the natural look so much and I am not an expert on finishing. Our glued-up stock varies heavily in color. Can anybody suggest how to get a finish similar as per photo?

Many thanks ahead


9 replies so far

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Rich

4689 posts in 1039 days


#1 posted 07-23-2019 12:57 AM

What does yours look like now? Can you post a photo?

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

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TungOil

1300 posts in 945 days


#2 posted 07-23-2019 02:31 AM

From the photo it looks to have a very clear finish, so I would guess it’s some sort of water borne product that does not have the amber of a solvent finish.

It also looks like all lighter ash was used. If your material has a lot of the darker ash, I’m not sure what you are going to do to lighten it up. I usually just roll with it, I kind of like the color variations of ash.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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LeeRoyMan

211 posts in 176 days


#3 posted 07-23-2019 03:06 AM

Looks like they used a limed oak (whitewash) stain.
I like to use this finish for what you’re doing. Keeps the wood light. (Works especially great on white oak.)

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Lazyman

3677 posts in 1837 days


#4 posted 07-23-2019 03:18 AM

Looks like a water based polyurethane to me. It will keep the color about as close to the original color as you can get.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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SMP

1308 posts in 355 days


#5 posted 07-23-2019 03:42 AM

I’m confused. Are you comparing unfinished ash to one with a clear coat? You can rub some denatured alcohol on your unfinished ash to get a feel for what it will look like with clearcoat. Some finishes like an oil based poly will add a little amber compared to say a water based polycrylic.

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Rich

4689 posts in 1039 days


#6 posted 07-23-2019 04:14 AM


Looks like they used a limed oak (whitewash) stain.

- LeeRoyMan

Yes, it looks like a whitewash finish. We still need to see what the OP is starting with.

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

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LesB

2151 posts in 3893 days


#7 posted 07-23-2019 07:53 PM

Try bleaching a scrap piece of the Ash that is dark and see if that will reduce the dark areas. Either deck brightener or regular household bleach, or oxalic acid (many deck brighteners have this). Stronger would be swimming pool chlorine bleach…sodium hypochlorite. If that works they you can add back a color if necessary before applying a top coat such as a whitewash others have suggested.

-- Les B, Oregon

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SaepuruGuru

2 posts in 28 days


#8 posted 07-23-2019 08:09 PM

Thanks to all! I’ll try to find some finish that will do the job – options are limited in Estonia though.

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DrDirt

4588 posts in 4192 days


#9 posted 07-25-2019 09:44 PM

Instead of dye to even the color to a ‘darker’ but uniform color.
You may need to do a course of bleaching of the wood, to make it uniformly light.
Seen some folks bleach walnut almost to a sap wood cream color before using dye and stain to get the desired coloring.

I use Zinzler 2 part system to bleach… but have only done a few pieces this way. Usually I am just finishing clear, or applying dye to sapwood to “even things out”

you apply part A with a sponge for ~10 minutes… then apply part B with a sponge and allow to dry overnight.
then you need to do a little sanding to defuzz the raised grain,

repeat if you want lighter… if you like the color, neutralize with vinegar.

Dry, sand and finish.
https://www.amazon.com/Zinsser-300451-Wood-Bleach/dp/B01MXDS72Z/ref=asc_df_B01MXDS72Z/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583795260275194&psc=1

I think this is close to the result you are shooting for – getting rid of the amber color… but not my picture/project
I suspect there was a ‘Pickling’ process involved, as it looks like there is white pigment in the pores.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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