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Old March 14, 2011, 09:29 AM
ultimatedesk ultimatedesk is offline
Top Prospect
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 63
Default First Staining Attempt

Originally Posted by Relevant Wing View Post
Nice design, signed up just to see the finished product
Thanks Relevant Wing

Originally Posted by martin_metal_88 View Post should get paid to make plan for those desk! Can't wait to see the final result!
Thanks martin_metal_88, you and me both. I figure another 3 weeks or so and it'll be setup upstairs awaiting hardware. I'd love to build these for a living!

So - it's been some time since my last update (What has it been.. 2 weeks? Geez!) but I haven't been idle at home, it's just that I was really busy (There are kittens running around now!) and I've been working with some staining techniques, which has been a long, learning process.

I did a bit of research and came across a good video over here: Link and I opted to give it a shot, because there apparently, is a tendency for maple to come out a little blotchy due to the tight grain, or something or other like that.

So I picked up some supplies:

Made up a test board - some wood filler, some real maple trim, and one side sanded to 120 and the other sanded to 220:

And, apparently, I was supposed to cut the shellac with some denatured alcohol. Something I was not able to find, and subsequently, I found out that it is actually quite difficult to obtain here in Ottawa. I did not realize at the time, that I could have cut it with methyl hydrate, which is something quite commonly available at the local Canadian Tire.

And, this is where things start to go wrong. Here is the shellac applied:

Ok, not bad. Full strength. Ended up closing the grain structure completely, most likely. Here is the gel stain I chose:

And, onto the wood:

Wait 5 minutes, wipe off...

Gross. Seriously? This is why you test on samples first. Look at that colour - it's practically pink!

How about a second coat.

And why the heck not, we'll stain the back as well, where it hasn't been shellac'd.


Now really. That was not quite what I was expecting. Time to get a new sample piece - no shellac, but sanded properly to 120.

What's going on here? This is not really the expected "richness" of a dark gel stain like this, is it? Hmm..

Doh! Looks like keeping the gel stain in the basement, where it is freezing, separated the contents. There is a visible layer of clear liquid on top of the stain - that shouldn't be there.

Staining attempt number 1? Failure.

1. If you're using shellac to seal, to avoid streaking and blotching - you MUST cut it
2. If you're going to use a gel stain, don't keep it in a cold environment before you're about to use it.

Well, time to put the stain upstairs for a little while, and maybe another trip to the hardware store... And just an fyi, this took me about a week just to do the 2 samples, since it's so cold, I can only do 1 coat per day, as it takes a long time to dry.

And here's a little something else:

Cute, no? A litter of 5 - the first one was stillborn, so we've got 4 kittens, pretty exciting stuff. ;)
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