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Finish/wood selection for mid century console

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Forum topic by tcaz posted 02-04-2021 05:01 PM 399 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tcaz

28 posts in 916 days


02-04-2021 05:01 PM

I’m building a mid century console table and trying to decide on which wood/finish to use to satisfy the customer request to complement a new mirror that will go above it and/or the surrounding furniture.

My first suggestion was walnut veneer ply but customer says it’s darker than they prefer though like the grain characteristics. What’s the best approach to warm up/highlight the wood?

Second suggestion was white oak with dye to get a closer match the vintage teak, honey/golden chairs they have. This isn’t my ideal choice of wood due to the prominent/porous grain but I figure the lighter shade of brown would fit better. If I do go this route, how can I finish it to get that teak, honey/golden shade?

Any other advice is appreciated!

Photo below from customer-


8 replies so far

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LesB

2986 posts in 4526 days


#1 posted 02-04-2021 06:34 PM

I don’t see white oak as having a porous grain but it can be prominent depending on how it was cut. Red oak is the one with prominent pours.

Look at Alder as a option and stain it to match. A satin water base poly is the top coat I would use. Alder is often used as a trade off for cherry (with some stain). I think a stain like golden oak might get what you are looking for. As with all stain you need to run some tests.

-- Les B, Oregon

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CaptainKlutz

4450 posts in 2577 days


#2 posted 02-04-2021 07:04 PM

+1 alder (poor man’s cherry) would be a good 21st century dyed/stained lumber look alike for mid-century modern.

Mahogany veneered plywood/particle board with simple spray lacquer finish was commercial solution for the light colored versions of that style when it was produced in 60-70’s. Walnut versions where usually same wood with dark walnut stain. Some cherry veneer was sold on high end, and Luan veneer on lowest cost furniture. Craftsmen versions of mid-century modern often used ribbon sapele for gain accents on front panels. That style tended to use only fine grain woods. Not that you can’t use Oak, just that the original style leans towards a refined elegant, or smooth grain appearance (almost boring)?

Hippies of that generation wanted to ‘save the trees’ and veneered engineered wood products were ‘cool’ and more affordable. Personally I view Mid-Century Modern as beginning of the end. Was single most influential style that created today’s IKEA/Walmart disposable furniture appetite; where quality wood working with solid woods was left to antiques and rough looking craftsmen styles. sigh… sorry for the rant.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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SMP

3981 posts in 988 days


#3 posted 02-04-2021 07:33 PM

General Finishes “Danish Teak” stain on poplar looks pretty good. Or maybe some rift sawn white oak. On maple it looks on the plain side but nice color.

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Scallywags

24 posts in 100 days


#4 posted 02-05-2021 02:17 PM

Have you ever looked at Rubio Monocoat? By combining their precolor with tinted oil finish you have about a million combinations to dial in color. Also it’s a game changer on finish since it’s a highly durable single coat finish. Used to be a pain to source but now Amazon carries the entire line.

-- You can trust me, I have a festool sander and a woodpecker ruler.

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tcaz

28 posts in 916 days


#5 posted 02-05-2021 04:38 PM



I don t see white oak as having a porous grain but it can be prominent depending on how it was cut. Red oak is the one with prominent pours.

Look at Alder as a option and stain it to match. A satin water base poly is the top coat I would use. Alder is often used as a trade off for cherry (with some stain). I think a stain like golden oak might get what you are looking for. As with all stain you need to run some tests.

- LesB

I think I’ll go the alder route after the recommendations and a little further googling. I tend to stay away from stains/altering the natural wood colors, so this addition to finishing is new to me. Thanks for your input.

View tcaz's profile

tcaz

28 posts in 916 days


#6 posted 02-05-2021 04:40 PM



Have you ever looked at Rubio Monocoat? By combining their precolor with tinted oil finish you have about a million combinations to dial in color. Also it’s a game changer on finish since it’s a highly durable single coat finish. Used to be a pain to source but now Amazon carries the entire line.

- Scallywags

Yes, and have used RMC Pure on a handful of projects as well as the White. It’s great stuff and makes finishing a breeze. I haven’t messed with any precolors though.

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Scallywags

24 posts in 100 days


#7 posted 02-09-2021 07:50 PM


Yes, and have used RMC Pure on a handful of projects as well as the White. It s great stuff and makes finishing a breeze. I haven t messed with any precolors though.

- tcaz

Precolor is easy, just keep a wet edge and it’s simple to use. More even finish than stain in my limited experience.

-- You can trust me, I have a festool sander and a woodpecker ruler.

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tcaz

28 posts in 916 days


#8 posted 02-10-2021 12:31 AM

Update- I picked up my materials today (superior alder VC ply) and did a quick sample with the only stain I could find in my shop – ZAR oil based stain in Modern Walnut.

I applied a shellac washcoat, sanded once dry and wiped on/off the stain. To my surprise, it turned out better than expected and is in the realm of I was looking for. Not splotchy at all but on the dull/boring side. I’m hoping the topcoat will bring more life to it. I typically spray GF High Perf satin or for smaller projects, wipe on Arm r Seal to bring out the grain.

Anything I’m missing here or should change up? Again, I’m not well versed in stains/dyeing. Though I’m pleased with my initial test piece, I’d hate to settle on the first stain I use (that’s been in my garage a few years) and feel like there are better options I’m uniformed on.

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