Author Topic: Staining Baltic Birch  (Read 848 times)

Offline Toneman

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Staining Baltic Birch
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:08:39 PM »
I admit to know hardly anything about finishing wood. I have made some crosses out of 3/4" Baltic Birch and was wanting to stain them with dark walnut stain. (oil based). It looked terrible, with blotches and areas that hardly stained and areas that were too dark. I thought I had read where you should sand and seal the wood before staining. I use a spray shellac and a polyurathane spray for finishing. Should I spray a light coat of shellac before staining? I usually just finish with lemon oil and shellac, but a customer wants them stained with walnut. HELP PLEASE!

Tony,aka,Toneman
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 09:11:07 PM by Toneman »

Offline geneVG

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 09:18:23 PM »
Hi Tony,
I alwaay finish sanding BB with 400 grit sand paper before I stain.  When I put the stain on a piece of BB I wipe it down with a lint free cloth and Let it dry.  Than I spray it with Laqure(sp) and let it dry again.  It alway come out the way I wanted it to.  I hope this helps a little.

gene
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Offline BilltheDiver

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 11:42:49 PM »
If you want to limit blotching, try cutting shellac (dewaxed like Zinzer Bullseye) in half with denatured alcohol, then wiping it on.  It will soak into the pores, and dry quickly.  After it dries you can apply your stain and it should go on much more smoothly.
"Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

Offline king310

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 06:06:50 AM »
Toneman I always coat my material with a sanding sealer and sand before I cut out the pattern.
This will help with the blotching when it is time to stain. A water base will dry in about a half hour. After I cut the pattern I just sand lightly to remove any fuzzies.

The sanding sealer will raise the grain and when you sand it you end up with a niece smooth surface. It does help make the piece look so much nicer.
If you stain it without the sealer you will raise the grain also. It is a pain trying to sand after you stain and cut the pattern.

But that is my opinion
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Offline Marcellarius

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 06:14:17 AM »
doesn't the stain interact with the shellac?

I had some boo-boo's in the past with using stains and lacker that didn't worked together.
or when oil isn't dry enough and you finish it with lacker it will give all kind of cracks in it....

to color the wood the stain has to get into the wood.
I would think the shellac would seal/close the wood so the stain can't penetrate in to the wood.

I use some old ammoniac based stain.
it's made for staining furniture and it's penetrating real deep in the wood.
really thin stuff.
Or I use a water based stain

for both applies: I let it dry and the wood feels just like before. only the color is different.
so I can use any kind of lacker on top of it.

next to that I have a wax-stain. this can only be used if you finish the product with wax or oil,
so no lacker there afterwards!!
I don't know if your oil based stain is a bit the same as my wax based stain...
I noticed that living in an other country (Holland) some products are really different, so I try to use my commonsense in how thing would work.

that's my 2 cents, hope it helps.

Marcel

sometimes I make designer firewood....

Offline Dan26

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 08:48:21 AM »
+1 on the sanding sealer. I used it on two pine cabinets. When I stained them, the stain went on very evenly and the cabinets look great.
Dan

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Offline Scroll Down

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 12:00:48 PM »
Yep, sanding sealer or anything with a name like pre stain conditioner has always helped get a more even stain on anything.
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Offline BilltheDiver

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 01:50:04 PM »
sanding sealer can be shellac based or lacquer based.  I like shellac because the thinner is alcohol while the thinner for lacquer is lacquer thinner.  In either case sanding sealer is just a thinned out version of the normal product.  I don't personally care for latex (water based) because of the grain raising issue and longer drying time.  Yes, the sealer does limit the amount of stain absorbed, but you can just apply more coats.  Also by thinning the product it tends to fill the pores rather than coat the entire surface.

Another option is to use a gel stain instead of a traditional one.
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Offline Marcellarius

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 05:01:26 AM »
I think this discussion shows there are several different kind of stains.
for me maybe the language barrier has something to do with it as well.
in Dutch stain is called 'beits' and we have two or tree kinds of it.
the one type I mentioned earlier (both water and ammoniac based) are a purely a wood dye that gives the wood a darker color but it doesn't protect or seals the wood in any way.
the other product they sell here is also called stain (beits) and it's in many colors but that stain has the main feature of protecting the wood.
most stains like that are used for outdoor wood protection.
these stains are sold in transparent and full color variants.

about the use of water based stain. (not latex!)
it's true that it dries longer but, that the grain is raising is no problem for me.
in-fact, it's an old technique to use steam to let the grains raise a bit and then sand it again for the smoothest result.
Marcel

sometimes I make designer firewood....

Offline Toneman

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Re: Staining Baltic Birch
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 07:29:34 AM »
Just want to thank ya'll for your advice and suggestions. I purchased a qt. of pre-stain and really like the results. I did not like the dark walnut, so I added a qt. of red mahogany and now the color "pops" out. The walnut just seemed too "boring".

 

SMF

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