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Designer asked for a stain to be done at 50%, what did I just agree too?

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Forum topic by PaulLL posted 07-31-2019 06:46 AM 1276 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PaulLL

163 posts in 2519 days


07-31-2019 06:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finish stain 50 application oak plywood finishing staining designer table console

Hi everyone! Been a long time, I’ve gotten way more into metalwork so I’ve dropped the ball on being a contributing member! I’m hoping someone can still help me out though?! Please?

So I’m builidng a steel console table, it’s going to have a oak plywood top inserted into angle iron. I showed the designer a couple sample boards I made with some stains I have. Whe chose dark walnut, but said “can you do this at 50%?” Of course I said yes! I’m thinking that just means to cut the stain with a thinner 1:1, but I was hoping someone could confirm that. Thank you in advance!
Paul


15 replies so far

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John Smith

2052 posts in 705 days


#1 posted 07-31-2019 11:34 AM

what kind of stain are you using ?
it may not be as simple as just adding more thinner to achieve
a lighter tone without “mudding it up”.

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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GrantA

1962 posts in 1950 days


#2 posted 07-31-2019 12:24 PM

Since it’s oak ply (not expensive) and assuming they can take a joke I’d stain half the board and give it to them :-D
You said designer, so there’s no telling what they mean.
It’s always better to say something like “sorry I’m not familiar with that but I’m sure I can do it if I know exactly what you’re asking for” up front, now you have to go back and say something like “just to be sure did you mean you wanted the stain half as dark as before?”

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Fred Hargis

5809 posts in 3036 days


#3 posted 07-31-2019 12:38 PM

You will need to try it out to create a sample board (be sure to get approval), so that will give you your answer. For the record I don’t think thinning it out (by itself) will do what you want.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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RobHannon

321 posts in 1073 days


#4 posted 07-31-2019 12:56 PM

Fred and John are right, thinning it may just make a different color. Not necessarily a pleasant one. Make some sample chips out of the cut-offs from the top and try some different techniques to lighten it. Closing the wood pores with a prefinish or sealer may slow absorption and give you a lighter shade in the same color family.

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GR8HUNTER

6602 posts in 1255 days


#5 posted 07-31-2019 01:33 PM



You will need to try it out to create a sample board (be sure to get approval), so that will give you your answer. For the record I don t think thinning it out (by itself) will do what you want.

- Fred Hargis

DITTO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :<))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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SMP

1428 posts in 448 days


#6 posted 07-31-2019 01:53 PM

Give them a sample that has 2 coats on one half, and 1 coat on the other half, and explain that 1 coat is 50%.

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

886 posts in 1645 days


#7 posted 07-31-2019 02:18 PM

50% of previously agreed to cost ??? I hope not !

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PaulLL

163 posts in 2519 days


#8 posted 07-31-2019 02:25 PM

John, I’m using minwax wood finish, dark walnut#2716

Rob, I didn’t use a sealer on my original sample, I’ll definitely give that a try

Thanks guys

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4104 posts in 1930 days


#9 posted 07-31-2019 02:59 PM

Watco has 3 shades of walnut finish (light, medium and dark). If the thinning doesn’t work out I would give them a test board with each shade of the Watco on it and let them choose which one they want. Another option would be to mix your own using General finishes stains. They actually have a display in my local Woodcraft that demonstrates some of the possibilities for mixing your own custom colors. I have also adjusted some with Transtint dyes as well where I added a little walnut brown to tone down a reddish hue.

-- 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

1428 posts in 448 days


#10 posted 07-31-2019 03:40 PM



John, I’m using minwax wood finish, dark walnut#2716

Rob, I didn’t use a sealer on my original sample, I’ll definitely give that a try

Thanks guys

- PaulLL

If you do the Charles Neil white glue and water sealer, that will lighten it quite a bit.

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PaulLL

163 posts in 2519 days


#11 posted 07-31-2019 03:49 PM

Thanks Nathan I’ll look into that!

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1955 posts in 2037 days


#12 posted 07-31-2019 04:01 PM

+1 Make some practice runs, Give sample, Get approval first. Don’t forget to add 25% to cost to cover the custom color work. LOL

+1 Thinning stains may not be the right answer! May need a different color stain!
Thinning oil based pigmented stains doesn’t reduce the color, it only changes how much you apply each time. With dark stains that contain black pigments, you don’t make really them lighter, you get a ‘washed out’ look, with black and random red/yellow/brown shades.
Thinning a dye stain is completely different matter. Sometimes you get same color only lighter, other times you get a weird shifted color due red/yellow/black levels.
Testing is only way to know.

PS – If the designer customer wants a custom color, get a sample and take it your local industrial wood finish supplier. All my Mohawk & Sherwin Williams distributors in town can custom blend colors on demand.

Best Luck!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View DS's profile

DS

3325 posts in 2963 days


#13 posted 08-03-2019 08:14 PM

This usually means 50 percent less dark, however that is achieved.

However, these are really subjective terms, even if it sounds numerically specific. Only the designer can tell you what she meant by it.

You have to ask these questions and still make a sample and get signatures approving it.

I once had a designer that insisted on using Macassar Ebony, but she asked could I tone down the yellow/orange stripes.
I said no, they would take away my wood worker card if I did that. She went with Gunmetal Ebony – it suited her perfectly.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Andybb

2171 posts in 1146 days


#14 posted 08-03-2019 09:38 PM

Just ask. “What do you mean by 50%?” Are they trying to match something? Do they have a sample of what they want?

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Kazooman

1380 posts in 2495 days


#15 posted 08-03-2019 10:21 PM

I didn’t see it mentioned in the replies and it probably goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. You should apply at least one coat of the final finish to the samples before you show them to the client. The finish coat can really change the appearance of the piece.

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