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Thread: Staining a Carved Piece

  1. #1

    Staining a Carved Piece

    I have a carved piece (think onlay) and its acted like end grain for the staining. It can't be sanded much or I would lose details, so how can I stop it from acting like end grain so it will match better to the piece its on, which is face grain sanded smooth.

    The wood is red oak so that isn't helping since it seems to have very open pores after the carving, so what I can use on it that it will match more closely the piece is laying on, doesn't have to be perfect match just want to get it closer.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Staining carved pieces is tricky. You have one of two choices - neither of which will raise the grain.

    1. Apply a 1-2 pound cut dewaxed shellac and when dry rub lightly with a gary scotchbrite pad to knock down the whiskers. Then apply an oil based gel stain.

    2. Spray apply an NGR stain. This would be my preference and it allows you to sneak up on the color and doesn't overdarken the end grain. You may have to do the carving separately or isolate it with tape.

    Jeff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    New Orleans LA
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    My Experience

    I had the same problem when I tried to stain (actually, dye) the cabriole legs I had made for a chair. Luckily I had a practice piece I'd started with and discovered the problem before I got to the final pieces. Jeff Jewitt suggested I give the pieces a coat of Fuhr's #155 prior to the dye. It is water white and very thin. After it has dried go over the piece with sand paper very lightly. Don't worry about loss of detail; you're not sanding that hard. In the endgrain the Fuhr's has penetrated deeply very little is on the surface. On the face grain there has been very little penetration. The Fuhrs sands off easily. When you go back with the dye or stain the penetration is much more even. I think I've heard you can do the same with a very dilute shellac, but the thing about this material is it sands so easily on the long grain and penetrates so deeply on the end grain. You can get it at Homestead Finishing as well as other places, but I can't say where. Good luck.
    18th century nut --- Carl

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Jewitt

    2. Spray apply an NGR stain. This would be my preference and it allows you to sneak up on the color and doesn't overdarken the end grain. You may have to do the carving separately or isolate it with tape.

    Jeff
    Sorry, not up on all my staining lingo, NGR?? The carving has yet to be glued to the other piece so both are being stained seperatly.

  5. #5
    NGR stands for "non-grain-raising" stain. It's a mix of dye and lacquer thinner type solvents. Behlen Solar Lux is one example and is available from most finishing mail order companies. Woodcraft carries it.

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