wood staining

Old 07-25-02, 08:19 PM
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wood staining

I have a pressed back chair of various woods that was finished with a thick, red mahogany finish of some sort that leaves the wood a bright, unnatural purplish-red when stripped. I assume this finish was used to cover the fact that is was not all one wood type. What is the best way to neutralize the color: stain (what color/brand do you suggest?), stain/finish combo like polyshades (what color do you suggest?) or is there some way of extracting this awful red color from the wood?
Old 07-26-02, 05:11 PM
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You're right on the money for teh reason for the color - like many pieces of the 20's and 30's, the color was designed to hide the fact of mis-matched species of wood.

As far as color change is concerned, let me invite your attention to the link posted below. Near the bottom of the page is an article entitled "color Theory for the woodworker & Furniture Refinisher."

Download and read. You'll need an Acrobat Reader to view this file, but it's free and can be downloaded from the same page.

Without seeing your piece I can'tr give you specific suggestions as to technique, but here are a few generalities that will apply.

Do NOT use polyshades. You're going to have to settle for a dark color to hide the present color. Polyshades isn't too hard to handle in light shades, but dark ones can lead you to grief. It's better to stain, THEN finish.

A gel type stain is easier to apply ( and control ) than the liquids. Carver Trip, Zar, Minwax, all make good products. After reading the article on colors, pick what you think you'll need to neutralize the red.

If, after all this, you have specific questions, feel free to come on back.

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