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Old 07-12-2009, 01:00 PM   #1
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


I removed the varnish off of our natural Red Oak Mantel and want to stain it a Dark Walnut. I am not having much luck with the stain going very dark. I am using Masters Stain - Natural Walnut which is almost a gel consistency. After waiting up to 45 minutes there is still not much of a color change to the wood.


Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do ?


Thank you.

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Old 07-12-2009, 06:08 PM   #2
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


My guess is the varnish has soaked into the wood making it impossible for the stain the soak in.As far as I know the only remedy is to sand it down hard.Not what you wanted to hear but maybe someone else will have a better suggestion.

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Old 07-13-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


Thanks. I did not realize varnish would soak into the wood. Your right I don't want to sand it, but will try it with very fine sand paper. The mantle has a lot of detail work, with grooves and curves carved into it so sanding will be a challenge.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


You could use a gel stain. It should work fine. After staining, clearcoat.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


Use an analine (sp) dye. Lee Valley carries a a decent selection. It works much better than stain.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


Thanks. I will give it a try. This has been frustrating since nothing so far is working.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:24 AM   #7
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


I was wondering how you made out staining your mantle. I am in the same situation. I want to stain my golden oak mantle but am unsure of what will work... I was thinking black or dark walnut, but based on these threads, it sounds like I will have a difficult time getting it that dark color. I called about analine dyes and I am not sure if they would be better than, let's say,a czar stain. And what about these gels? who makes them and are they commonly used? Are they even better than an analine stain? Also, how hard do I have to sand? I also have intricate detail work on my firelplace...thanks
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:44 AM   #8
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


There is a gel stain called Old Masters that has very dark colors such as Dark Mahogany. It is very easy to use. Just practice on a sample piece of wood. Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:44 PM   #9
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


I also want to stain my golden oak mantel. Did you stain yours? How did it go? I'm currently sanding mine. It has a lot of small cut areas so I'll be sanding for a while. I want to stain it a very dark mahogony. This is my first staining project and I'm nervous that I bit off more than I can chew. The mantel is beautiful, but the color is all wrong. If I blow this, I'll never forgive myself. I want to do it right the first time. Any tips would be helpful.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #10
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Darken stain on Red Oak Mantel??


Hey all, most dark stains like "mahogany" and "dark walnut" require several applications of the stain in order to arrive at the desired depth of color. It's important to let each progressive layer dry about 4-5 hours or until the stain no longer feels "tacky" and doesn't leave any residue on a clean rag. As far as gel stains go, they are just stains with a little more body, Minwax has a line of these, but it's use is really for vertical surfaces (doors, cabinets, etc.) to reduce running and dripping onto surfaces you don't really want the stain on. Its gel characteristics don't normally assist on coverage. Sometimes, although rarely, a topcoat (varnish) can soak in through a previous stain, just as crisn said. This has to be removed with sanding, starting with about a 60 or 80 grit, and moving to a 120. For a really great finish you should end with a 220 grit. Finish with 2-3 coats of a quality semi gloss polyurethane. Same rule between coats as the stain, but make sure to sand with a 600 sand wet sand paper in between coats. Hope this helps all you mantle refinishers!

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