Painting wood black and showing woodgrain?

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Old 07-01-09, 04:33 AM
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Painting wood black and showing woodgrain?

Hey there everyone!

I've got a piece of furniture that is already stained and varnished. I am going to strip it and sand it, and paint it black.

But I would like to have some of the woodgrain show through as well and not just have a black "cover" of paint.

So, any suggestions? Water vs oil based? I don't guess I should primer it, but then, if I don't primer it, how much of the wood is going to soak up the paint, resulting in more coats? If I do primer it, I don't think I will see the woodgrain.

Any help? Thanks!
 
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Old 07-01-09, 04:53 AM
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If it's oak, oil base should let the grains show thru the paint. Applying multiple thin coats will help.
 
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Old 07-01-09, 04:56 AM
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Thanks! I am really unsure what type of wood it is. One of those yard sale items, ya know? Its a high quality piece that I am sure retailed for $150+ when it was new.

So you think I should use oil based, rather than water based?
 
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Old 07-01-09, 05:07 AM
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Solvent based coatings are almost always preferred on furniture. They dry to a harder film than latex does which means it should wear better than the softer latex.

Not all woods have an open grain like oak does so I don't know how successfull you'll be keeping the grain prominent. Another option would be to use a black/ebony stain.
 
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Old 07-01-09, 07:09 AM
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What I would do here is buy a pint of oil base black, and some thinner. Thin some of the paint 25% with the thinner, brush it on, let it sit 5 minutes and wipe it off. If you are getting the desired effect, just clear coat it a couple times and you're done. If not, scuff it down and repeat the procedure until you're happy. Another technique is to stain it more solidly, and then scuff through the stain to give a worn effect. Practice on the bottom, or another piece of wood to get your system down.

Bill
 
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Old 07-01-09, 08:05 AM
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I seem to remember doing that at one point and it not being as dark as I had hoped. But not recently. I might give it another try.

I have had success with pine painting pine with a latex black and it soaked right in and showed the grain. I know this furniture is not pine though, most likely oak.

I have plenty of black water based on hand, and no oil based (and a tad of mineral spirits). So water based is definitely bad then? Even if I give it a few coats of poly for durability?
 
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Old 07-01-09, 12:59 PM
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Latex is ground coarser than solvent based paints which allows it to fill the grain better than oil base paint. Latex covered by oil base poly should wear ok, I'm just not sure it will give the look you desire.
 
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Old 07-01-09, 08:17 PM
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A homemade stain made from paint will be more opaque than a penetrating stain (like Minwax oil stain). which use dye as well as finely ground pigment to color the stain.

Try the Minwax ebony stain and see if that gives you the look you are trying to achieve.
 
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Old 07-02-09, 04:54 AM
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I have read bad review after bad review after bad review with that minwax ebony. It doesnt penetrate well enough and doesn't really turned out a deep dark black. More like a grey after 6 coats.
 
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Old 07-02-09, 12:12 PM
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The water based black (paints or stains) will be a bit more of a "gray" because the latex paint vehicle is whitish to start with. That should not be true with oil based stains.

You will need to stay away from waterbased clear coats too, as they will add a white cast to the black stain over the top.

BTW: Were the reviews describing original staining or refinishing with the stain. You may find that you don't get great penetration after striping off the old finish anyway, because the previous finish(es) will have sealed the pores of the wood tightly.

You can make your own stain by mixing lamp black universal colorant into a clear (oil) stain base.

Note: You can solve the "is it black enough" dilemma by buying a pint of the ebony (oil) stain and testing it out on a scrap piece of wood.
 
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Old 07-02-09, 01:59 PM
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Hmm you make a good point.

I AM doing a refinishing project, which makes me worry about the stain not penetrating enough.

Well, how about this, I will strip it down first and see what I have to deal with. Then make a decision based on that.

Thanks for the help everyone! I REALLY appreciate it.
 
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Old 07-02-09, 02:51 PM
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It's always best to know what you have to work with before making the final decision
 
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