Staining pine HELP!

Old 05-20-04, 02:19 PM
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Staining pine HELP!

Hi! I have been trying to find a suitable stain for my pine coffee table and have tried 2 minwax stains that are very dark. (i'm trying to get a chocolatey brown). I have tested these 2 colors (dark walnut and Jacobean) that show on the store sample to be very dark brown. The problem I have run into is that the dark grain does stain dark, but the lighter grain stays VERY light. The jacobean stains a strange greenish brown in the light areas.

Basically I have desperately trying to find out how to get the stain to darken in the light areas. What I have done is sanded at 150 grit to open the wood a bit. And, I have applied up to 4 coats. All that does is make the darker grain turn basically black.

Any ideas on how to get a more even stain between the dark and light grain? I would like to see the grain just a little and have an overall dark brown look.

Thanks for any help!!
Old 05-21-04, 01:24 PM
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i'm not a pro in this area, but i've heard that pine is the hardest wood to stain, and to take a stain evenly. have you used the pre-staining wood conditioner stuff? it's supposed to help. i think the trouble you're having is just inherent to the type of wood you've got.

if you don't succeed with the staining route, maybe you should consider painting it. there are lots of neat faux techniques you could use, like crackle finishes and distressing and color washing, to name a few.

personally, i tried to stain a pine toybox that was built by a friend for my son. even used the conditioner. it never did look good. i finally gave up & painted it bright red & applied painted blue wood letters spelling out his name on the front. it looks adorable.

but i've learned i'll never even attempt to stain anything made of pine again. oak is great to stain, but pine is a nightmare!

i hope you figure something out! good luck!
Old 05-21-04, 04:58 PM
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Generally, it is folly to stain pine and expect even results, especially dark results. Pine is difficult to work. There are many other woods so much easier to use, such as: birch and poplar. I have used the stain conditioner on pine and am of the opinion that it is a waste of time and money.

You may have better luck trying to get chocolate brown on the table by using some of the faux techniques with paint.

Hope this helps.

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