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  1. problem solved... don't use Minwax stain. Got some stuff called Old Master's and its about 100x better no exaggeration. I mixed puritan pine and maple 1:1. what's a good varnish to finish it off with? I'd like to avoid yellowing, don't really need to add more color but a red tint wouldn't hurt. mostly looking just to protect the stain. not sure what is/isn't compatable with this wiping stain. probably gonna wait 2 days before doing any varnish just incase. no rush time on this project, but something that applies easily will be nice. not looking for a spray kind.
  2. I figured since i'm screwing around experimenting that I'd try stain on a test piece. I used the minwax pre stain conditioner and that made the color so dull I gave up and tried it again on bare wood. This was after 3 coats how many could it possibly need. colors don't even seem close Colonial Maple / Gold Pecan compared to http://www.jeffswood...tainColors.html the maple looks pink instead of reddish orange..
  3. That would certainly be the ideal way to do it! I don't own any of them though since this is my first wood project, so I'd be paying $10-20 a pop per can just to try one out. I don't mind a reddish-orange color I think that looks great, but I just don't want yellow. Something like this would be nice but this was from staining so i dunno if that's possible. Anything that might give it that look? How will a straight varnish only change it? Would a wiping varnish like Formbys do anything or should i stay away from those.
  4. spent the last few hours learning more than i'll need to know about finishing. I've got about 4 different options for protecting my workbench: I can do straight BLO and straight varnish. I can do a oil/varnish mix (varnish, boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits) I can do a ''wiping varnish" (varnish, mineral spirits) I can do a straight varnish. I'm wondering what main differences I'm really going to see between all the options. I don't mind adding a little color but I don't want it to be yellow. I have light pine so that might be an issue. I'm leaning away from straight BLO/str
  5. thanks for the help i'll just ask my next 20 questions in a new thread
  6. Thanks for the replies, sounds like a unanimous leave it alone/seal it. here's the exact wood but it doesn't really say a whole lot. who makes a quality off the shelf sealer? whats it called/where to get it. I used a minwax stain before and it came out nice but not sure what everyone 'in the know' prefers. If I seal it what kind of differences will I notice from getting knicks in the finish or anything like that... since I used standard 2x4s for the top instead of plywood board. If it would look worse i'd probably leave it alone. If you thi
  7. Here's a bench/big shelf I just made out of home depot wood (not sure what type of wood it is but it seems soft). Didn't put the bottom shelves on yet. Wondered what you guys thought about staining it. It will in my garage permanently i'm just wondering if I should make it prettier or leave it natural looking. Would this be the type that needs a pre-stain also what color would you go with. Post your own pictures if you want.