Fir Bannister and pine wainscott

Old 02-19-03, 09:52 AM
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Fir Bannister and pine wainscott

My wife stripped our stairwell bannister down to the beautiful old growth fir. I was impressed with the job she did! She worked very hard on it. My question is what is a good stain to use on this. It will be getting touched a lot, of course. I have tried Minwax in the past and wasn't impressed with the color results. I think the wax pervents the oil from pentrating properly. I don't mind a two or more step process. I am think of using a good oil stain first to penetrate the wood. But what would make a good finish coat that will last and not get dirty looking over time?
The wainscott being of pine concerns me that the same color stain will look like night and day compared to the fir, should I try different colors for different wood? It doesn't have to be a perfect match but a close tone would be great. Wax base? Oil base? Any good national brand names come to mind? Thanks
Old 02-19-03, 05:20 PM
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Minwax IS an oil based stain - no wax in anything except the name. However, I've found the amount of pigment in Minwax Stains to be inadequate for many jobs. I mix my own, so I can control the color and intensity.

Zar and Cabot are both better products in my opinion.

Yes, you'll undoubtedly have to use different stains on the different woods. Fir has a natural reddish cast, so you'll need to take that into consideration.

PURE tung oil (not the over the counter products saying the CONTAIN pure tung oil) is an excellent finish for durability and ease of application. It's not cheap (about $18 a quart last time I checked) but you'll get great results without having to worry about drips, runs, streaks, etc.

It's available from:

It's a wipe on wipe off finish - no need to finish all those ballusters with a brush!

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