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What I want:
I am restoring an existing century old pine stair case that I wish to stain and finish. The spindles are cheery wood (new copies) and I wish to match them to the pin stair case as well as to my oak floors as much as possible.
What I tried:
I did several staining tests on a pin scarp using the 2 step carver wood oil from my new floors. The pin scrap was incrementally sanded using each grade 60,80,100,120,150 Al oxide paper and a final sanding with 180 grit garnet paper.
Applying the oil stain and finishing oil directly to the pin sample gave blotching colors, grain reversal and uneven color throughout.
I tried using Varathanes wood sealer first and applying the 2 part oil stain from my floor but the results weren’t much better.
I tried applying priming oil (Dubno 262 from Livos) first and the 2 part oil stain after and the results weren’t convincing.
I tried applying the finishing oil first (Greenol Plus) as a wash coat and the staining oil second but the color wasn’t matching at all and the stain was barley absorbed by the wood fibers.
When I applied the 2 step oil directly to the cherry wood, colors were also uneven and blotch prone although, much less than over the pin sample. See pictures
I tried a close matching gel stain and the color was much more even and blotching was almost eliminated. See picture
What I found:
It seems I have no other option but the gel stain to achieve a good coloring on the pin and cherry wood. I did some research regarding recommended finishes over gel stains but mostly found shellac or varnish type finishes. I love the easy maintenance with the oiled floors and the natural resins which don’t involve smelly chemical like with varnishes. I found that Greenol Plus can be applied on wood stain. Since my project is indoors, I wish to combine the gel stain with the finishing oil (Greenol Plus). What I’m concerned about is the durability of this technique and whether it is appropriate for a pin staircase. Gel stains typically only penetrate the surface of the wood so they don’t seem as durable as penetrating oil stains. Would you recommend this? Also, can a gel stain be made from existing penetrating oil (Primol Plus) for better staining and more accurate color matching?
A very thin coat of gel dye may give a good result, but only one coat should be applied. If the coat is too thick it will completely seal the pores of the wood and prevent the oil from penetrating the wood.