Staining distressed wood


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Old 03-30-08, 05:13 AM
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Staining distressed wood

Hi Folks,

I randomly caught the tail end of a random DIY show on TV, and they were distressing/staining wood. Basically they beat a piece of wood with a hammer, and then used a two-layer approach to staining. Can anyone provide any details for the staining? I believe they used something like shoe polish on the base coat, to sink into the depressions, and then a lighter stain on top?

Any ideas on making wood look like a rail-road truss or old beam?

I have a bulkhead in my basement (11x6) that I'm considering doing this to attempt a foax-beam look. Is that cheesy??

Cheers,
Jamie
 
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Old 03-31-08, 09:12 PM
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Not sure if it would look cheezy or not..but pretty easy to do.

You do have the basics for that type of destressing.

For something like a rail road truss which i would consider heavily destressed or an old beam I'd probably use a dark brown stain or a greyish dye stain first then go over that with a really dark gel stain probably tint it with a black pigment or utc. Then proceed to beat the hell out of it.

Most furniture destressing is done with keys or the like for your beam I'd go all out...hit it with a small malet, drop it once or twice to really give it a work out. I'd go at it with some sand paper as well just to bring out the brown stain.

I'd keep the sheen down for your top coat probably go for a garnet shellac and only use 000 for the buffing.

Actually that project is starting to sound damn cool. hmmmmmmm?!?!?!?!?
 
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Old 04-01-08, 02:17 AM
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Hi -

Thanks for the reply! It sounds like you're saying to do the distressing after the staining, and I do believe I've seen done before. However this one particular show was different in that (it's slowly coming back now) they:

1-applied the base/brown coat first
2-beat the crap out of it
3-applied black coat

There was something special about the black coat: it allowed the stain to fall into the depressions, and yet be wiped clean from the top-most surface (leaving the brown). For some reason I had shoe polish in my head. I have a feeling it was just two different types of stain that permitted this. Any idea?

Anyway when time permits (the walls are still going up) I'm going to try this out on some scrap pine. The only problem I foresee is that it is a very long run, about 25', so I'll have to have 2-3 joints. I'm thinking that if I can keep the mating ends together when administering their punishment, the overlapping distressing may very well disguise the seam.

Kind Regards,
Jamie

Originally Posted by manderson71
Not sure if it would look cheezy or not..but pretty easy to do.

You do have the basics for that type of destressing.

For something like a rail road truss which i would consider heavily destressed or an old beam I'd probably use a dark brown stain or a greyish dye stain first then go over that with a really dark gel stain probably tint it with a black pigment or utc. Then proceed to beat the hell out of it.

Most furniture destressing is done with keys or the like for your beam I'd go all out...hit it with a small malet, drop it once or twice to really give it a work out. I'd go at it with some sand paper as well just to bring out the brown stain.

I'd keep the sheen down for your top coat probably go for a garnet shellac and only use 000 for the buffing.

Actually that project is starting to sound damn cool. hmmmmmmm?!?!?!?!?
 
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Old 04-01-08, 04:38 AM
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For the depressions, a dark latex paint does it. Smear on with one rag, rub off with another. Alternately you can use a gel stain, let it build & dry in pockets, but this will also stain the rest of the wood a bit.

If you want the wood to look grainy and nature-weathered, scrub along the grain with wire brush. Only the softer grains are worn away.

The best effect in my experience is from trying various attacks, with various tools. Avoid repetition.
 
  #5  
Old 04-01-08, 05:22 AM
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Yes, "usually" distressing a piece happens after you apply a base color and secondary color before beating that crap out of it. That way if you have two layers of coloring you will WEAR or scuff away the top piec . This isn't a set rule just one that will help with antiquing and wear .pottery barn often has painted furniture of that type.

That's why you would usually

1-applied the base/brown coat first
3-applied black coat
2-beat the crap out of it

If you want to distress a piece before hand the pigment in the stain will lodge in the crevices and make them appear darker.

As for your shoe shine stain. No nothing special about shoe polish or any other stain. ALL stains like shoe polish contain pigments and/or dyes. Shoe polish contains both like the majority of commercial stains.

Pigments will settle in imperfections and grain and dyes they color the wood. So to sum it up shoe polish is a stain not one used every day but a stain none the less. One thing...before top coating it with anything seal-it with shellac. This will prevent you having issues.

Just to let you know shoe polishes usually contain…lamp black which is a black pigment found in many ebony/black stains.

So lets get back to topic at hand here. If your show went with the finishing schedule

1-applied the base/brown coat first
2-beat the crap out of it
3-applied black coat

In step 3 they probably applied the shoe polish let it haze over a little bit and then took it off with something like burlap to remove most of the pigment.

If the did…then they are using shoe polish as a pore filler.

If this is the case and you want to use shoe polish or a ready made pore filler use this schedule. Ready made pore filler can be tinted to your liking or you can purchase one in black. You can get them in oil or waterbourne. I like oil based (btw your shoe polish is oil based) because it gives you longer to take it off before it dries. However, a lot of people prefer water because you don’t have to wait very long before sealing and then top coating.

1 apply your base color – brown.
2 beat the hell out of it.
3 Seal it with a shellac 1 lb cut.
4 apply your pore filler (shoe polish). Let it dry to a haze then rub off using a burlap cloth ACROSS the grain..not with the grain.
5 seal that with shellac
6 top coat.

Reason for 3 is to make your life a lot easier when removing the majority of shoe polish.
Reason for step 5 is to make sure your pore filler doesn’t interfere with your top coat.

One last thing… Remember this is a piece of art you are creating…doesn’t have to be flawless and actually in your case it would be best not to be flawless.
 
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Old 04-01-08, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by slipnfall
Hi -

Thanks for the reply! It sounds like you're saying to do the distressing after the staining, and I do believe I've seen done before. However this one particular show was different in that (it's slowly coming back now) they:

1-applied the base/brown coat first
2-beat the crap out of it
3-applied black coat

There was something special about the black coat: it allowed the stain to fall into the depressions, and yet be wiped clean from the top-most surface (leaving the brown). For some reason I had shoe polish in my head. I have a feeling it was just two different types of stain that permitted this. Any idea?

Anyway when time permits (the walls are still going up) I'm going to try this out on some scrap pine. The only problem I foresee is that it is a very long run, about 25', so I'll have to have 2-3 joints. I'm thinking that if I can keep the mating ends together when administering their punishment, the overlapping distressing may very well disguise the seam.

Kind Regards,
Jamie
One other thing jamie...you'll get much better results with your pore filler if you don't use a close grain wood like pine...if you can get any open grain like oak or ash anything with a big pore. If you have to use pine...don't go beyond a course sand paper ...if you do...there is nothing for your pigment in your shoe polish /pore filler to fill.

When using pigments a good rule of thumb is if you want it dark don't sand to a high grit. from my experience MOST people sand way way way too high a grit when using pigments and then complain it isn't dark enough...well that's because there is nothing for the pigment to lodge in and they are basically whiping off all the stain they put on.

Kobuchi knows what he is talking about...use a wire brush create those pores along the grain. the deeper and more grain you have the darker your piece will be
 
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Old 04-02-08, 01:59 PM
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Wow - thanks for the great responses. I'll certainly post back with pictures when I have something to share!

Kindly,
Jamie
 
 

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