Help identifying the natural wood on this banister

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Old 06-06-14, 10:42 AM
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Help identifying the natural wood on this banister

Hi everyone,
I'm thinking of re finishing an old banister (huge undertaking I know) and preferably re staining so I'm trying to work out the best way to go about it, what stain to go for etc.
I just wondered if anyone could confirm what kind of wood this is? Be good to better have an idea what I'm dealing with.

After a quick google I'm thinking perhaps mahogany or red oak? But I know very little about wood so any confirmation would be much appreciated.
Many thanks!

I hope its ok to post links as I couldn't get the pictures to work as attachments...
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Image codes: IMG 3636
 
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Old 06-06-14, 12:32 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Looks like pine to me, wait and see what the others say.
 
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Old 06-06-14, 01:19 PM
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Definitely pine. Definitely not oak of any kind. I'll switch you back to Marksr for the technicalities of doing a restain. I build 'em, I don't paint
 
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Old 06-06-14, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for your replies! I see, I'm guessing the previous varnish or stain must have soaked in a fair bit making it look very orangey/pink. Do you know if I should be using a Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner for this type of wood/job before applying the new stain?

A couple of questions if either of you know... that patch I did there was just sanding by hand, is this the best way to go about it despite it being very hard work? I've been reading up about people using chemicals to strip the varnish though I would probably avoid this if possible.
With the sanding itself do you need to be very careful about sanding evenly or as long as you are sanding it all down to the natural wood will the new stain generally come out fairly even? I'm going for a slightly rustic look with the stain, a greyish or muted brown tone so I'm not too bothered with every nook looking perfect but would like it to overall be clean looking and not too patchy.

I came across a product called Minwax Wood Finish as they had a shade that was perfect, am I on the right lines with this type of stain? Was thinking one coat of that followed by polyurethane.

Sorry for the many question but thanks again for any help!
 
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Old 06-06-14, 03:22 PM
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Generally it's best to first use a chemical stripper and then sand. If you sand only, it will take longer and there is a distinct danger that you won't remove all of the existing finish. Stain should only be applied to raw wood! If you think you have it sanded down to raw wood but some finish is still on it - the stain won't take right. Any wood that is to be finished with a stain or natural must be sanded with the direction of the grain. Cross sanding will show up in the finish, worse with stain.

Minwax stains are one of the more popular stains on the market. I've used a lot of it. Generally a wood conditioner is recommended for soft wood like pine. It slightly seals the wood so the softer areas of the pine don't suck up more of the stain. IMO it isn't needed on wood that has had a previous finish stripped.

Stain should have the excess removed within 5 minutes or so. I usually wipe off the excess stain about a minute after it's applied. Stains dry more by absorption than with driers in the stain [like paint or poly] so excess stain usually just lays on top and never dries completely. For the best finish it takes 3 coats of poly/varnish, sanding lightly between coats.
 
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Old 06-07-14, 08:55 AM
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Thanks for all the info! I will look into chemical strippers unless you have any suggestions for one that is good but on the safer side for indoor use?
Yes fair enough on the sanding, while some areas were fine to sand with the grain there are some that are literally impossible such as the detailing round the posts or areas at an awkward angle. Hopefully I haven't messed it up too much.
One question, if I use a chemical stripper and then sand (albeit lighter).. how do I avoid cross-sanding in these impossible areas?
 
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Old 06-07-14, 10:17 AM
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It's ok to cross sand BUT you must then resand those areas with the direction of the grain to eliminate the cross grain sanding scratches.

I don't use strippers often enough to have a favorite or know which works best for what. I normally ask the paint rep at the paint store [not a paint dept] which stripper would work best for the job at hand.
 
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Old 06-07-14, 11:18 AM
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Alright, thanks again for your help! Will do a bit of research on the chemical stripper and fingers crossed the finished result will turn out not to be a total disaster! haha
 
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