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Staining wood, especially birch
Staining wood, especially birch
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Old 19th December 2004, 07:14 PM   #11
mp006ltk is offline mp006ltk  United States
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Default stain conditioner

I don't think you are suppsed to use a gel stain with stain conditioner, and just to let you know stain conditioner is just mineral spirits, or laquer thinner, I forgot which. Check the ingredients on the can. Analine dyes are mixed with denatured alchohol. I would say that dyes can be your best bet when used lightly and mixed thouroughly. They are also easy to topcoat by comparison.
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Old 19th December 2004, 11:59 PM   #12
Greg B is offline Greg B  United States
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Location: Los Angeles, California
Birch doesn't stain very well. So I guess I second the earlier post. Sure, conditioner will help, but it's never going to look natural. My general feeling is that if you want a darker wood with a closed pore grain akin to birch or maple, you should use cherry.

If you must darken birch, the best way is to use tinted lacquer, or garnet shellac if you're feeling adventurous.

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Old 20th December 2004, 12:27 AM   #13
mazeroth is offline mazeroth  United States
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In the last few hours I used the other side of the birch veneer and tested it out. Made a few sections to see how it would come out:

Conditioner + Oil Stain = Looks SOO much better than without a conditioner. I used a cherry stain this time and it looks remarkable.

Conditioner + Gel Stain = Looks better than the oil with no conditioner but not by much. The oil stain looks noticebly better.

Gel Stain only - Barely better than oil alone. Definately wouldn't use this with birch.

I used all Olympic products and followed the directions to a T. I haven't tried conditioner with the dark red oak oil stain yet but will do so tomorrow. Bought another sheet of 24x24 2-sided birch ply to give it a try.

Thanks for the advice so far!
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Old 20th December 2004, 12:57 AM   #14
mwmkravchenko is offline mwmkravchenko  Canada
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Staining wood, especially birch
Default Whats going ON???

Glad to hear that it is working out for you guys. I just thought that I would explain a bit what is happening when you use a pre-stain. You are really only colouring the pre-stain with your stain. That is the whole idea. The shellac that is in most of them(pre-stain sealers) forms a sealing layer and is (while it not thoroughly dry) still tintable with the stain pigments. That is what allows an even colour. The idea of using aniline dyes is the best way to go. But this is not for the faint of heart as they are best mixed with the sealer coats and usually sprayed ( but you can with the right brush and thin even coats do the same ) and built up untill you get the desired colour. They do however provide the greatest grain definition and clarity. Hope this helps.

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