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  • Questions about wood finishing and related substances

    Hello,

    I found on youtube and in here a simple procedure for painting and finishing my carvings:

    1. Dunk in minwax 209
    2. Paint
    3. 2 layers of polycrilic
    4. Dunk in another oil based stain and wipe off

    Obviously let things cure after each step.

    I have some questions about wood finishing and working with this category of substances.


    1. Wood stains are not wood finishes. They do not protect, they just color. They are just fancy paints. Correct?

    2. If not, I have also read that they can seal the wood fibers so you can paint over it with acrylics and have the color be more even and not soak into the wood. Is this correct?

    3. As I understand it, wood stains applied over paints should not change "base substances". E.g. do not apply an oil finish over water based paints or a water based stain over oil paints. So if I have water based acrylics then minwax is off-limits unless I have a layer of something else like polycrilic between them because minwax is mainly oil based, and I need to look into water based stains. Is this correct?

    4. Are any paints are ok? My girlfriend is an artist so she has lots of water based acrylic tubes from painter shops. There won't be any issue using these paints on wood or water based stains right?

    5. I read that oil based stains are better for antiquing because they start to harden as soon as you put them on the wood so even if you wipe it off, there will be some left. Is this also true for water based stains? Or oil stains are just so good that I'll use some clear finish on top of the paints to be able to use oil stains?​

    6. I read that wood stains need to be used outside because of the toxic fumes. Is this true? Unfortunately I only have a 4ft x 7ft "room" as a workshop. It does have a large window to the outside but the room is small and winter is coming. What would be best to use in my situation to mimic the procedure above? I'd like to avoid having to mix things myself.
    Last edited by Seckar; 09-22-2022, 04:32 PM.

  • #2
    Dude. Or Dudet?

    You got a lot of stuff going on in this question.

    1. I do not consider stain to be a wood finish it is a way to add color to wood the goes slightly below the surface. Stain like paint is just colored dirt suspended in a medium.

    2. There are “one step” products that are poly or varnish that include stain. But not sure why you would want to stain then paint over it.

    3. Once you have seal the wood grain by painting oil based products will just lay on top of the paint. Water and oil don’t mix this includes finishing wood.

    4. If you stick with water based and allow to dry between coat I think you should be good.

    5. My understanding is that when antiquing painted object the antiquing is a thin wash applied over the paint. This can be a watery thin wash of brown acrylic.

    6. Given your work area restrictions I would recommend focusing on water based products. Like water based poly, acrylic paint, and antiquing washes made from acrylic paints. Because oil based product produce a boatload of fumes and should be used outside or in well ventilated area. Per directions on can.

    Well that’s my opinion good luck and happy carving.

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    • #3
      ​Unless your carving is going to be outdoors, you shouldn't worry much about protecting the wood. However, you may need to control where stain or colors can bleed thru the wood fibers. These relief carvings were sealed using polycrylic, then water-based gel stain was applied to details, undercuts, and incised lines and wiped off.

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      • #4
        T.M.I for my brain. I'm more of a K.I.S.S... man myself! But in the long run it's what ever floats your cork!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Eddy-Smiles View Post
          T.M.I for my brain. I'm more of a K.I.S.S... man myself! But in the long run it's what ever floats your cork!
          Haha sorry! I work in artificial intelligence so math, rigorous research and clear rules and procedures are kinda how my brain works! But I have been told similar stuff before so understandable!

          Plus, trying things and buying new stains and finishes etc. over and over can get expensive so I'd like to get it as close to right as possible the first time.

          What do you use for antiquing?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Seckar View Post

            Haha sorry! I work in artificial intelligence so math, rigorous research and clear rules and procedures are kinda how my brain works! But I have been told similar stuff before so understandable!

            Plus, trying things and buying new stains and finishes etc. over and over can get expensive so I'd like to get it as close to right as possible the first time.

            What do you use for antiquing?
            Seckar.... Not to be a smart *** but to answer your question....... "Time!" My only real experience with commercial antiquing products was my one and only try using DeccoArt Antiquing Medium and I wasn't happy at all with the results. Ever since I just carve them and paint them!

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            • #7
              Ha! Good one Ed. Seckar, if expense is a problem for antiquing, try an old trick fashionable for oak last century. Get a spoonful or tar/bitumen/macadam whatever you call it from the road. Warm it and try various quantity additions of spirit to thin it down to the colour that you want. Everything from translucent to black and every shade in between. Trial and error. I.T. protocols do not transfer to art or wood carving in this instance I am afraid.
              Arthur B-P

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