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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to stain a maple bench to match my existing bedroom furniture, which is of course, cherry.

I have used some NGR Dye in the past, but I'm not seeing the same results. Some grain is coloring white, and I'm not really getting a good cover just yet.

Let me build a foundation here to let all know that I know abolutely nothing about staining or finishing wood. It's all trial and error so far, mostly errors.

The cherry furniture is store bought and looks store bought. I wanted to try to achieve the same results, but the wood is just not taking the stain. Have I over sanded?

Some good links or referrence material would be a great help.:cray:
 

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Google for cherry analine dye here. I've had good luck with analine dye on maple in the past, then topcoat with your desired finish, poly, shellac, etc.
 

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Marshall,

Hopefully Jerry Mayfield will pop in and give you some direct advice but if you're looking for an excellent book on finishing (including NGE dyes) I recommend two books. The first is Bob Flexner's "Understanding Wood Finishing". It is available on Amazon at

Amazon.com: Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish (9780762106219): Bob Flexner: Books

though I picked up mine while browsing at Barnes & Noble.

The second one is "Great Wood Finishes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Beautiful Results" by Jeff Jewitt, also at B&N or

Amazon.com: Great Wood Finishes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Beautiful Results (0094115582889): Jeff Jewitt: Books
 

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Both of those books are very good. Matching commercially cherry colored wood is not a one step operation. You can come reasonably close with one or two dyes,shellac,wiping or gel stain and top coat.

Regards
Jerry
 

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Maple stains blotchy. Especially soft maple. One way to even this out is to glue size the panel. This is basically taking wood glue watering it down like 3-4 to 1 with water and sealing the wood with it. I would highly recommend testing on sample boards sanded the same way as your project. Once this step is completed then get the stain color down. I have used a dye first to fix the back color and give depth, then stain over this with stain to get the color right on. Alot of steps but can end up very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maple stains blotchy. Especially soft maple. One way to even this out is to glue size the panel. This is basically taking wood glue watering it down like 3-4 to 1 with water and sealing the wood with it. I would highly recommend testing on sample boards sanded the same way as your project. Once this step is completed then get the stain color down. I have used a dye first to fix the back color and give depth, then stain over this with stain to get the color right on. Alot of steps but can end up very nice.
This seems to be where I'm headed. NGR first and then an oil base stain so far is getting fairly close. I'm trying what I have first (already into this about 40$ worth) then moving to another dye, it think. What does sealing the wood do?
 

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The books I recommended suggest a wash coat... of perhaps a diluted waxless shellac. They explain the process.
 

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This seems to be where I'm headed. NGR first and then an oil base stain so far is getting fairly close. I'm trying what I have first (already into this about 40$ worth) then moving to another dye, it think. What does sealing the wood do?
Wood is proned to blotching such as Maple and Birch or Cherry. The reason is the wood is not the same denisty all over. In plain english it comes down to the wood being softer in some places and harder in others. When you stain wood the stain or dye will penetrate the wood easier in some areas apposed to others. In the areas the stain or dye penetrate easier will mean the result will be a darker area then in an area where it is harder and consequently will not allow the dye to penetrate and hence be lighter.

After experimenting a little you will learn that certain species of woods react differently than others. What grit of sandpaper will also affect how dark a wood will stain or dye to.

So back to using wood sealers such as lacquer or wood conditioners. What these products do essentially is seal the wood to allow for an even surface of product absorption. What this does is help to minimize the blotchiness of wood. The sealer controls how the dye will penetrate the wood by coating the surface.

I hope this helps you understand this better because I have struggled with it as well and continue to. Wood finishing is an art form and takes years of trial an error. I do want to state the error part because it can be a nightmare when you expect an outcome and it falls short of your expectations.

Good luck and I highly recommend to safe some scarp wood to test the stain on to ensure you get the results you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bob, Jim, Jerry, Dan

Thanks for this information. I feel like I am sneaking into the garage every evening like some mad scientist staining 2" x 3" scrap pieces of maple. I'm making a pile of wrags out there.

I ordered the books today. I think I have always thought that you picked up a can of stain at Walmart and it would match perfectly. This will be my 1st piece that I am using a lacquer finish on as well. I bought the spray can stuff, though.
 

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Careful using spray lacquer indoors. Ensure you have adequate ventilation. I like to setup a temporary spray booth using plastic for the walls attached to 1x2 which are screwed into the ceiling.

If you do a search home made spray booths you will get some good ideas on what will suit your needs.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dan,
I've never used lacquer but have read and heard enough that sounds like outside is the way to go. Down here on the gulf of Texas doing this outside shouldn't be too bad. High tomorrow is probably close to 60F. Is this too cold?
 

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That should be ok but it may take longer to dry. Just be prepared for the odd insect to land on your project.

I like to have a small brush handy in case you have runs. If at all possible apply thin coats it will turn out better but it takes longer to apply.
 

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Dan,
I've never used lacquer but have read and heard enough that sounds like outside is the way to go. Down here on the gulf of Texas doing this outside shouldn't be too bad. High tomorrow is probably close to 60F. Is this too cold?
Marshall I was wondering if you could take some picture are you go along with your finishing?:yes4:
Thanks
 
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