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  #1  
Old 10-28-2007
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Red face Stain compatibility w varnish

Hi
I am just about to finish replacing all the wood inside my islander 30. I used Red mahogany veneered plywood. Once all is done, I must stain the wood prior to varnishing because the wood I used is too light in color and there are different shades in all the wood I used. plus I kept the original cabinet doors which are darker. Since I am using Interlux Schooner varnish, my plan was to use interstain to even it all. They have a color available that is called Chriscraft red mahogany, I never saw any samples, but if it resembles as what the old chriscraft looks, it pretty much what i'm looking for. I have tried ordering some, but I live in Canada and its no longer available here.
The poeple at the marine supply store told not to use any oil based stain from the hardware-store, for compatibility issues. alcool base stains are sold only to industrial use only. what do I do now?
BtW, once all the wood is sanded with 120 grit sand paper, what is the thing that I need to do to get the wood " patina" ?
I really dont want to screw-up this job, all input to help me succed in this, is very welcomed.
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Old 10-28-2007
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I built a new galley and used the same type of plywood. In my case I had to add a little brown stain to the mahogany stain to get it to match what was already there. The mahogany stain had to much red in it. I tested it on a piece of scrap wood. I also epoxied the wood to make sure it doesn't de-laminate. The epoxy gave the wood a slight golden color.
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Weird. From all I can find out via the MSDS, the Interlux is based on a Stoddard solvent base, which is perfectly compatible with oil-based pigmented stains. (The latter, eg Minwax, are primarily petroleum distillates and a pigment and a titch of boiled linseed oil, along with drying agents). Stoddard solvent is just another petroleum distillate.

I also found nothing in the official Interlux product info warning against oil-based stains. If you have some Minwax hanging around, you could stain & varnish a sample board. If there's a compatibility issue, it will show up pretty fast.

If you really worry, pick up some water-based or emulsified pigmented stain. Allowed to dry overnight, it's compatible with any topcoat. May raise grain -- scuff sand to dewhisker and re-stain. You can get these stains in many places, including here.

Be aware that most stains are actually a blend of pigment and dye. Exposed to lots of UV, they can fade somewhat unevenly. So a nice amber oak color can turn gruesome orange if the yellow dye fades fastest.
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Try calling Interlux tech. service. I've found them to be very helpful in the past.
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I agree with Bob. There are a variety of products, but I see no problem using solvent based stain under solvent based varnish. There are water based stains that claim to be OK with oil based finished and vice versa, but I would never thake the chance. Minwax has two lines of stains. One is a water based stain, the other is an oil/solvent based stain. The oil/solvent based stain is actually called "Wood Finish" and comes in many colors. I don't know why they call it a finish, it's just stain. I have a can of every color they make and often mix different colors together when it's necessary to match an existing piece. I sometimes get close, but an exact match is virtually impossible. This is especially true when trying to match veneer plywood to solid wood. The nice thing about mahogany is that it "ages" fairly quickly to that dark, rich brown. Frankly, I think the beauty of wood is in the color variation. I guess what I'm trying to say is to consider not staining the wood at all.

PS.... Minwax Red Mahogany stain is quite red.. It may look like the color of commercial red mahogany furniture, but it doesn't look like real mahogany to me.
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Thank you all,
To use oil based stains with oil based varnish makes alot of sense, I had made some tests on scrap wood and it seemed ok. I will call interlux tech support to be 100% sure, I dont want to see the varnish start crackling in a year like I was told at the marine supply store. altough I suspect they told me that to give me the impression they knew what they were talking about.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
Minwax Red Mahogany stain is quite red.. It may look like the color of commercial red mahogany furniture, but it doesn't look like real mahogany to me.
There's actually a reason for this. In the 18th and 19th centuries, darkening and enriching of colors was often accomplished via some new-fangled chemicals that seriously accelerated the normal oxidation-darkening process -- and imparted some funky colors to boot. Each species had its preferred chem stain: cherry used lye (which gives that 'port wine' look). White oak used ammonia fumes (the classic Stickley finish). Walnut had potassium permanganate (purpleish black).

And true mahogany used bichromate of potash, aka potassium dichromate. It turned the wood an 'oxblood red' and was highly desirable in furniture of the period. Today's 'antique mahogany' stains and dyes are an attempt to recreate that heavy red bias, without insanely toxic, corrosive oxidizers containing heavy metals. Dyes are better mimics -- pigmented stains enhance the grain, which bichromate does not.

There. More than you ever wanted to know about old-time wood colorants.
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I dont want to see the varnish start crackling in a year like I was told at the marine supply store. altough I suspect they told me that to give me the impression they knew what they were talking about
Apply a really thin coat and allow it to dry hard, then buff it lightly with fine steel wool, then wipe it nice and clean before applying the next coat. Takes time, but it's the best way to get a durable, deep finish.

Applying one thick coat will increase the likelihood of cracking.

If you really want to match the existing wood, and don't mind spending some time, you can get something called French dye at fabric or craft stores and blend it to the colour you need. It is transparent, and was originally alcohol-based, but there may be other varieties on the market now.

It works well on wood, and the alcohol base allows you to dilute it if necessary.

Mix it, apply it and varnish it using some little test pieces of your wood, until you get the colour that you want. (Remember that it will darken over time.)

Last edited by Sailormann; 10-29-2007 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 10-30-2007
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I got a response from Interlux tech support today and they say there is no problem with using generic stains such as minwax. So problem solved!
I have found that the Minwax " traditional cherry" stain is what resembles the most to the traditional bright work found on Hinkley's and other.
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