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12-19-2013 01:40 PM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

Ocean Girl,
Sorry to hear that it didn't come out as planned. I know the feeling after spending hundreds of hours on a project, only for it to not come out as envisioned. Sometimes you can fix or modify it, but occasionally starting over is the only option. I've felt like crying after having to scrap a time consuming project and start again, although an impromptu bonfire can be very therapeutic

Glad to hear the rest of it came out well. I would be interested to see the pics, especially the radio cabinet because Iím about to build something similar. I love seeing the various solutions people come up with to solve similar problems. Sailors tend to be some pretty ingenious folks.
12-19-2013 12:49 PM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

I had the wood looking real sweet. Didn't really match the interior perfectly, looked like old mahogany, which I love.

The compost head pieces looks really nice. The inside face of the box I epoxied and painted black. Outside stained and epoxied. Nice rich wood look.

The radio cabinet, which was the critical must look good piece, did not fair too well. I epoxied the backside and edges twice, and intended to do the face also. I decided at the last minute to varnish it because I was concerned about getting the epoxy super smooth. I had the stain so perfect, I was concerned the extra sanding to make it silky smooth could cut into the stain. Plus, I don't have a shop so was working out in the elements. Anyways the stain had cured for over a week. After laying a coat of varnish I noticed the stain was lifting . The solvent in the varnish (spar) screwed with the stain . The epoxy pieces did not have this issue. I think if I would of stuck with my plan to tung oil between stain and varnish, or epoxied it, the stain would not of lifted. I did not use any solvents, just lite denatured alcohol wipe prior to coating. I did over brush/over work the varnish, that may be the culprit.

So the radio cabinet is painted Matt black after all. I wanted it so perfect for my hubby's radio cabinet!

So end of story. Hope this helps someone. Will post pics when I can, my server keeps crashing when I try.
10-31-2013 01:03 PM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

Thanks, yes the birch is really really moisture sensitive, I already have some slight superficial delam on one edge. I will totally encapsulate the wood in epoxy.

I used the brown mahogany stain "hand wipes" for the creation of grain, but the red stain I used just regular stain. I couldn't find the gel in the color I wanted, and the brown stain, I could only find in these stupid hand wipes but turned out to be perfect for what I was trying to do. For those who try the "hand wipe" stain it is very dry and hard to controll.
10-31-2013 12:25 PM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

For what it is worth. I would use epoxy on the backsides of those panels and hit the edges twice. You want to make sure there is no penetration into the layers of that birch ply. I have used birch plywood many times on various boat with good success on color matching but chimed in a little late in the game to comment on that aspect. I will say that the Gel stains have proven to be best for me to match the Teak finish. Easier to control the color. Also if you put conditioner on the wood first it allows the stain to be more uniform and better replicates Teak.

What you have so far looks great. I look forward to seeing the finished product. Should look great.
10-31-2013 01:02 AM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

Here is what I started with
10-31-2013 01:01 AM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

I pre stained then I used a brown mahogany stain. I applied the first stain to streak on the wood, to give a grain look. I then applied a deep red mahogany stain. It is looking really good. I still want to apply one more coat of red mahogany, then a tung oil, then varnish (radio cabinet) or epoxy ( compost head). We are back in Austin for family stuff, should finish up project soon.
Here is a general shot of the main compost head panel. I still need more stain and then epoxy but I think it will look pretty much like aged mahogany, won't match our wood perfectly though.
10-18-2013 12:32 PM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

Thanks, that was my plan was going to use a pre stain sealer, stain with a teakish shade, then a nice red mahogany. I had wanted to just paint the darn thing black but my hubby and friend had worked so hard to match the grain lines to surrounding wood, so don't have the heart to cover up all that work( plus my hubby put his foot down ). I used to do this for a living, but it has been a while. Hopefully it will all come back to me as I work.
Starting the project in the next week, will post results to help the next person who might tackle a job like this.
10-17-2013 06:47 PM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

Some teak darkens with age, but some like our boat turns more reddish. When we bought some Alpenglow lights we initially bought the teak versions and had to return it because it did not match our interior. After talking to Alpenglow's customer service they said it was common for that to happen and she suggested mahogany might match better. We bought that and it matched very well. Marya recently added pictures of the lights on our website for reference.

When I made the wood mounting ring for our electrical switch I used african mahogany and it also matched the teak interior pretty well. However, not all mahogany is the same; I tried using honduran mahogany and the grain and color do not match very well.

As for stain on the birch ply, you might get lucky with a mahogany color.
10-15-2013 12:29 PM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

Originally Posted by oceangirl View Post
Our interior is Teak, it is the darker of the PSC teak stains used that is on our teak.
If you have off-cuts of the material, you might try different combinations of stains to see what works best for your application. Remember, also, that close is often good enough for everyone but the craftsmen him- or herself who is often their own toughest critic. Flaws one sees in one's own work are often not even noticed by others.

10-15-2013 12:09 PM
Re: Staining birch to match interior PCS

I just finished installing two new compression posts, a new crossbeam (which supports my deck-stepped mast), and bulkheads in my Pearson 26. The posts and crossbeam are constructed from white oak, and I used Russian Birch plywood for the bulkheads. I'd heard a lot of negative things from almost everyone about Minwax, so I steered clear of that. The only other easily accessible wipe-on stains in my area were made by ZAR. I used their teak stain, and by varying the number of coats and time before wiping off excess, I got the two different woods to look very much alike. I finished everything with seven coats of spar varnish (not urethane). I'm very happy with the results. The ZAR was very easy to work with, very controllable, and covered great.

I don't know if any of that is applicable to your question or not, but I thought I'd post it just in case. I DID seal the exposed edges of the plywood w/ epoxy prior to finishing.

Best to you,

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