Stain Colors

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I am looking for some help on finishing my project I have been working on. I had a bunch of leftover wood and I made some necklace/bracelet holders. I made the out of varying types of wood, Walnut, Maple, Mahogany,Cherry and 1/4 sawn white oak. My plan is to stain them but do not want use the same color for all of them and with the walnut I am just going to leave them natural with coat of finish. What are some good colors for these? I know it is a loaded question. I do not want to go buy a bunch of different stains and experiment and find out there are some U do not like then I am stuck with it having used it. The maple is the hardest to find a suitable color I think. Also I have two colors of Mahogany. I have never used dyes, are they difficult, what are some good brands? I usually use Minwax brands. If there is a another brand where is a good place to purchase them?



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Just how colorful do you want to go? Trans-tint is a popular brand of wood dye, usually sold at places like Rockler or Woodcraft. Sherwin-Williams carries a line of wood dyes that use acetone solvent. If you want bright colors, rather than natural wood tones, even RIT fabric dye from walmart does a decent job. Whichever you pick, test it on some scraps first. Its almost impossible to judge what the color will look like until you see it.

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To align with Eric's statement: walnut, use oil-based poly. Cherry - expose to direct sunlight until desired darkening is achieved, then apply an oil-based clear coat. Mahogany - oil based clear coat. Maple - water based poly, or clear lacquer to avoid banana color. White oak looks good under oil or water based poly. Quarter-sawn white oak can be 'enhanced' with an application of a medium dark dye, followed by a light sanding before clear coat. This treatment increases the contrast between the grain and ray flecks. Not always a good look, but sometimes stunning.

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