Two-tone Stain Techniques


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Hello - 

 

When staining a wood carving, I'd like to use multiple different stains, though I find it extremely difficult to do it without the stain running into one another, and the piece looking blotchy, having lines crisp and defined, etc. What sort of techniques would someone apply to get the desired effect on a carving?

 

Thanks in advance for any input on this topic!

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Using a base color stain, usually the lighter color, sealing and then glazing is how I would do it. The thin coat of sealer prevents the stain from bleeding together and can be manipulated many ways. Faux finishes are done using this technique. The biggest danger is adhesion problems between coats so it is best to use a finish that the layers melt together like lacquer or shellac. Here is a video of me doing some faux graining with aerosol lacquers that would be the same process for you.

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Hello - 

 

Thank you so much guys, and Rick - very cool video, I really liked that piece! So the only other question I have is, for example, are you putting on poly or varnish between putting on the two different stains to avoid it running, or are you simply letting the first color stain dry completely and then applying the darker coat on top.

 

Again, really valuable info, thank you both very much for the guidance, this community is really fantastic.

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Polyurethane or varnish would be a bad choice as the layer of glaze would inhibit the adhesion of the coats. You want to do this with de-waxed shellac or lacquer so each coat melts into the previous one creating a perfect bond. After you achieve your color and do the final clear sealer coat then you can scuff sand with 400 grit paper and top coat with polyurethane or varnish if that is what you prefer. Do samples first though.

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  • 8 years later...

I have watched the video and think it is the information and instructions on exactly what I've been looking for.  I'm using Minwax oil-based stain, and they don't carry a glaze.  Can I use another brand or do you have another solution?  I've never worked with gel stain but wonder if that could be manipulated to achieve the same purpose.

Thanks so much.

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@Rick Mosher hasn't visited here in quite some time, so you may not get an answer from him.

I will offer that Minwax gel stains (and other brands) are thick as paste, and designed so as to not 'bleed' easily. They also are intended to lay on top of the surface, much like paint, and will adhere to clearcoats quite well. Sealing the wood with shellac, as Rick mentioned, and allowing each color to dry before sealing agan and applying the next color, provides the best chance for clean lines between colors.

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