Stain on Baltic birch - diyAudio
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Old 2nd November 2006, 04:01 PM   #1
flaevor is offline flaevor  United States
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Default Stain on Baltic birch

I have already perused a number of threads, but none of them really answered my questions directly so I have to throw them out here. I am planning on starting the final cabinets for a project and am considering using Baltic birch as the material. I'd like to have the front baffles have a light honey tone to them that enhances the grain. I'd like to then give the sides a dark red tone which also reveals the natural grain. In the end I'd like at the very least a semi golss finish. So how do I go about this. Stain and then some kind of polyurethane? I will do a test piece, but I' really like to avoid as much trial and error as possible.

P.S. - thanks to Vikash's thread I bought a scraper, we'll see how well I can use it.
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Old 2nd November 2006, 05:34 PM   #2
widman is offline widman  United States
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I've used tung oil to get a deep satin finish on Baltic birch. Just keep adding coats until you are satisfied with the finish. It looks more blond than honey, but does darken over time.

You could use an oil stain for the sides and then finish it with the tung oil so that the entire surface has a similar gloss. I'd stain some test pieces first and see how you like the results. Dark stains can end up looking blotchy on the plywood.

pete
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Old 2nd November 2006, 07:36 PM   #3
kro5998 is offline kro5998  Netherlands
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Hallo Flaevor. I used Wasserbeize der marke CLOU for my birdseye mapple.It's a waterbased stain that comes in a lot of different colours.If it's to dark you can always dillute it with extra water.It brings up the grain very well. Apply on well sanded veneer until the whole surface is equally coated,let dry and sand very lightly to remove the fibers that have swollen from the moisture. After staining i used 3 coats of solvent based Polyurethane semi gloss laquer.(AVIS)
This clear coat is very durable,dries quickly on the surface but hardens slowly.This means applying the second coat within 1-2 hours or waiting at least a week before sanding and applying the next coat.

When using stain you should avoid having glue on the surface of the veneer because this will prevent colouring.Small patches of PVA glue can be removed with aceton.

kro 5998
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Old 3rd November 2006, 08:55 AM   #4
flaevor is offline flaevor  United States
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KRO5998 your my hero, the Clou (beize) stain is the stuff I had been looking at here in Germany. You have now given me the answer I was looking for.
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Old 11th November 2006, 08:41 AM   #5
flaevor is offline flaevor  United States
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Hi Kro,
when you said light sanding you weren't kidding (trial lead to error). Could you be more specific?. Or could anyone else chime in?
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Old 11th November 2006, 09:24 AM   #6
vuki is offline vuki  Croatia
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Before applying the stain I wet the ply (or veener) with water using sponge and sand it after dryng to remove fibers. This way I avoid sanding the stain away. As already said, birch can get blotchy if dark stained so start with very light stain to saturate fibers.
Water based polyurethane floor varnish looks very nice even when applied with a brush.
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Old 11th November 2006, 12:07 PM   #7
flaevor is offline flaevor  United States
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Thanks vuki the process I used was sand, wet, sand, stain, sand (unfortunately too much), stained again. The result is way more visible grain with roughly the same color and roughness. So I am back where I started and would just like to know where to go from here. Should I apply the laquer and try to sand that afterwards until I get the finish I want or should I sand the stain very lightly and then laquer?
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Old 11th November 2006, 12:16 PM   #8
vuki is offline vuki  Croatia
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I send it very lightly (grit 300 or so) before aplying the varnish.
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Old 11th November 2006, 05:29 PM   #9
kro5998 is offline kro5998  Netherlands
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Fleavor, i sanded with 220 paper before staining.I dilluted the stain to be able to let the veneer soak it up for 15 minutes.I applied enough stain to get the whole surface wet in order to get an even colouring.After drying i used 400 paper to flatten the fibers that had loosened from the surface.Then i removed all dust with a vacuum cleaner and a sticky cloth before applying the laquer.(the sticky cloth is available at your paint store).

As i said. after staining you should sand only lightly and not with a machine.

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Old 11th November 2006, 06:34 PM   #10
flaevor is offline flaevor  United States
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Okay guys I think I may have found something that works fairly well. Like I said I sanded (240grit) wetted it with water. Sanded with 240. Stained it. Unfortunatly I made a mistake. so sanded it with 240 again and then restained. While I was sanding I decided to do sand the other end of the test piece with 240 and apply the stain ther as well. The result is that I have one end with little visible grain and one end with tons of grain.

Then I just gambled and tried sanding lightly with 240, 400, 600. I did this in overlapping intervals so that later an differences will reveal what method was best. I have now applied the laquer to see what that gives me. Thanks for all of the feedback. I have decided that doing these test pieces is kind of fun and gets me really excited for the real thing.
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