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  1. #1
    nickb275's Avatar
    nickb275 is offline Established Member
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    What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    I am looking to stain or varnish 6 large pieces of furniture varying from living room table set of three, a audio flex rack I posted about here before and a dining table and lastly a bedroom "armoire"

    I am limited in my wood knowledge, and want to know if there are specific stains or varnishes for pine or any old stuff will do?

  2. #2
    outdoors's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    personally-i like stain-comes in a variety of shades and colours-easy to apply and brings out the grain of the wood nicely


  3. #3
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    Stains tend to color or enhance the color of the woods. Varnishes, on the otherhand are more of a sealant or protectant.

    Most pine woods will take a stain very well due to their loose grainage - Versus an oak or maple for example. But you must remember that after staining and prior to sealcoating, you should lightly sand the piece again to "knock down" the grains. Because stains (oil or water based) will raise the grains a tad which can be felt when touched. A soft smooth finish is best aquired when the wood is sanded prior to adding a varnish or polycoat.

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  4. #4
    nickb275's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    I was at the hardware store today for other business, and prowling for nuts and bolts, I went through the paint aisle. I saw a combination stain and varnish. What are your feelings on this product. Has any one had success with it. The reason I want some form of varnish is for my tables, they will bet some wear and spill coffee from me and milk from my son for sure. I want a stain to unify all the pieces to get a similar color going across the board. This is the product from my local hardware store, they have different shades. Wanted some input as to this type of product.
    Stain - "Satin Finish" Varnish Stain POLYSHADES - Rona.ca

  5. #5
    The Possible Human's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    I would suggest an oil based stain. After staining the wood, you can protect the wood with a matte finish (Canuba wax) or a polymer based sealant.

  6. #6
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    If the furniture is going to be indoors then as TMOTS recommended I would use a stain. Oil based preferably. After the stain is applied and dry you can use a urethane to put a protective coat on the pieces.
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  7. #7
    James Huff's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    Yep, I agree with the above posters as to what to use. You'll want to do some matching to the rest of the furniture though, so consider the original color of the stain and how many coats it might take in order to darken it to taste. Personally, I have always found dark woods nice, and if really plan on staining all of that, then you have the freedom to set the tone throughout the house. Make sure you are careful in its application though, I have seen uneven stain jobs done in the past. if you can, stain and seal individual pieces of wood before assembling the finished product.

  8. #8
    MikeT's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    Ever thought about French polish?
    It protects wood at the same time as giving it a decent appearance.
    PITA to apply but it comes up pretty good with a lot of rubbing.

  9. #9
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    I think if you have fine wood you'd want to protect it while at the same time want to show it off. I think the natural way is the best and that would be to just seal it .... I'd go for a vanish

    But if it isn't the best of wood, as in you aren't bragging about it then I go for stain.
    Last edited by julie; 23rd-June-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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  10. #10
    James Huff's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    All I know is that depending on what you put on, you may be rubbing your wood for a long time before you can make something big out of it.

  11. #11
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    Quote Quote from James Huff View Post
    All I know is that depending on what you put on, you may be rubbing your wood for a long time before you can make something big out of it.
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  12. #12
    julie's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    Quote Quote from James Huff View Post
    All I know is that depending on what you put on, you may be rubbing your wood for a long time before you can make something big out of it.
    Haha
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  13. #13
    James Huff's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    Oh nooo....that didn't sound right at all. I'm sorry..refer to my previous post where I told him he needed to stain the pieces before putting them together.

  14. #14
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    Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    "All I know is that depending on what you put on, you may be rubbing your wood for a long time before you can make something big out of it."



    LOL!! This is great.
    Last edited by Missy-A; 23rd-June-2011 at 03:54 PM.
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  15. #15
    MikeT's Avatar
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    Smile Re: What is the best stain or varnish for pine?

    This really depends upon the finish you want.
    If you are going to stain pine, I'd go with a very weak stain.
    I take it you are using white pine (pinus radiata)?
    What you want to do, is not take the colour of the wood, too far away from what it originally was.
    Like, white pine is yellow/white in complexion, to stain it dark brown would be awful.
    What I would do, is get a test piece of wood and sand it with 120 grit abrasive paper and apply your stain, once you've thinned and mixed it.
    From there you'll know what sort of absorption you have for your timber, let it dry and cover half of the area with a 2nd coat, this will give you some sort of idea of the "darkness" between coats.

    Also bear in mind that you'll need to sand between coats, to chop the top layer off before adding a new one.

    If you want a really hard finish, but one that looks good on your timber, get some poly-urethane varnish, the better quality the better.
    So I'm told by a number of professional painters here, never use a brush to apply varnish, you use a small foam pad.
    Using a brush means that you'll always get either brush marks or the odd bristle (which is hard to get out, without ruining the coats below).
    Figure on 3 coats of urethane, sanding and dusting between coats, each being a micro-millimetre thick.
    That is the key to a good finish.


 

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