Should I stain this bench? Pictures!


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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.

post-6928-0-32010500-1336162727_thumb.jp

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That looks to be pine, to me. My experience with pine has been to paint it or leave it alone, as the one time I tried to stain it.... let's just say it was not photogenic.

That doesn't mean in cannot be stained. It simply means I need practice. As it was early in my wood working life, I chose not to blame the wood. (Okay, with therapy I don't blame the wood.)

Judging by the condition of the concrete, you have salt and moisture problems... so a finish of some sort should be applied. I'd recommend some sort of blotch control product before applying stain. (And stained pine has a good look. My humble opinion.) Color would be whatever you like. Most often, I've seen something along the lines of a blonde or orange shellac, but don't limit yourself.

Best advice I can give is practice on some of the scrap wood you have left. Let it sit for a while, and the scrap should show you what it will look like.

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looks like its just pine 2 bys if its a work bench i say who cares your just going to mess it up anyways. but if you want to practice geting perfect finishes then go ahead and finish it. but i wouldnt i would rather get on to a new project and start building.

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I would sand it down and apply a good sanding sealer and leave it alone after that. I am assuming it is to be a utility table? If so, then all I would do is seal it....if even that.

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Personaly I use things that I build for the shop to practice on. It's only for the shop so I don't care what it ends up looking like as long as it serves it's intended purpose. I agree that it looks like your standard 2x material, which depending on what part of the world you're in is more than likely pine or douglas fir. Both are softwoods and tend to be a little blotchy when stained. If you seal it first with either "sanding sealer" or a 1 pound cut of dewaxed shellac it should take stain nicely.

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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.

http://www.homedepot...1&storeId=10051

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 think it might hide stuff better I'd seal it. or does it not make a difference and it's only for protecting the wood.

also I don't need to go overboard with a pro level product, i'm a newbie and I've only got $40 into it for materials.

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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.

Dimensional lumber. The mystery meat of the lumber world. We know that it once had needles of some kind. But was it a pine? Was it fir? Was it spruce? Was it...

I used a minwax stain before and it came out nice but not sure what everyone 'in the know' prefers.

I bet everyone here started out putting Minwax stains on conifers. I grew up in a house filled with pine millwork that had been slathered in reddish-brown Minwax. When I went to put crown moldings in my first house, I picked pine millwork and soaked it in reddish-brown Minwax. Was I ever proud of myself!

The problem with any sort of pigmented stain and conifers, however, is the question of absorption and this is why most of the "in the know" folks will steer you away from staining pine. The growth rings of any conifer encompass a wild extreme of alternating density: Rock hard...spongy soft...rock hard...spongy soft...This is also what makes them murder to chop for dovetails and mortises.

When stain hits a conifer, the soft parts slurp up a massive dose of pigment while the dense growth rings just about laugh it off. The result is what Bob Flexner describes as a "grain reversal":

0428121130.jpg?gl=US

What was dark (the dense parts) stays just about the same while what was once feathery light swings way past it and over into darkness. To me, it now looks like a comic book caricature of itself. For me, even if the wood doesn't get big blotchy patches (and it will) the grain reversal alone disqualifies any stain from conifers.

Go with an oil and (if needed) a top coat of varnish such as shellac or polyurethane. Linseed oil won't reverse the grain and, over the years, you'll enjoy a natural bronzing of the tone that deepens the whole piece (earlywood and latewood) uniformly.

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