Water base, or Oil Base stain? - The Planted Tank Forum
View Poll Results: Which stain is best for a stand?
Oil Base 5 62.50%
Water Base 1 12.50%
It really doesn't matter 2 25.00%
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Water base, or Oil Base stain?

Currently sanding down a stand to stain it to match another stand i have. but i'm not sure if it should be oil base, or water base? i was thinking that a water base stain won't repel spilled water during water changes as well as an Oil base stain.

Does that even matter? can you match an oil base to a water base color wise?

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 03:16 PM
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It doesn't matter really although some oils will bring out the grain a bit better. You should apply a polyurethane finish after to seal the wood.

They sell stain and poly in one. They come in water based and oil based too. Water based dries faster. It's recommended you apply a few layers.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 01:12 AM
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I'll vote for oil based ,or solvent based like Minwax . It doesn't raise the grain , and seems to go on more evenly than a water based stain , brush it on , and then use a rag like an old tee shirt to wipe off the excess . Let it sit overnight , then 2 coats of oil based polyurethane and you're good to go . Only thing is you have to work outside , or in a well ventilated area because of the odor .
If you want good results , avoid the stain/poly like the plague . It's just pigmented polyurethane ... doesn't bring out the grain at all .

Last edited by someoldguy; 05-17-2014 at 01:16 AM. Reason: train of thought got derailed
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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my original concern was color matching. but after spending a few hours sanding i'm really starting to dig grain in the wood, and i was hoping it would show. so oil base it is....i does anyone match oil base? i know home depot color matches water base...

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 01:19 PM
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Never heard of anyplace matching oil/solvent stains , best bet is to take one of the doors from the existing stand ( if it has doors ) to the store and see if you can get a close match with one of their sample blocks or chips . Remember that the sample blocks might be just stained , not stained and varnished , so the colors will get deeper ( not darker) when you apply the polyurethane .
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 11:13 PM
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I can't answer the poll because it depends.

Oil stains won't repel a thing. Neither will water stains.

Take this a bit further. Oil, water, dye or a pigment?

Use what you like. I use mostly oil stains because I am use to them. i like oil poly most of the time because I like the amber tint.

Someoldguy, not all polys darken the stain. Water based poly doesn't change the depth of color one bit. In some cases WB may in fact be found to be too stark. Minwax makes both WB and oil. Minwax is generally a consumer product and not used by pros. There are much better brands available.

The color may be tough to match. Was it a straight stain? A glaze? Was a coat of shellac laid down first then stain over that then poly?
What is the wood? The same stain appears different on different woods. Most softwoods require a conditioner to get a uniform color. Some hardwoods (like cherry) will also blotch without a conditioner. What was the final grit sanded too? Wood sanded to 220 will not absorb as much stain as wood only sanded to 150.

There's a lot of detective work involved in getting a match. Sometimes you get lucky though and you find a match quickly.

When you apply stain it doesn't matter how you put it on. With the grain, against the grain it matters not. How long you wait before you wipe it off will determine the color but only to a point. The finish coat is always with the grain.

3 coats is a bare minimum. The first coat starts to seal the grain. (I don't even bother sanding the first coat.) Second coat will start to build your film. Third coat covers your "holidays".

When applying a finish coat use a quality brush. Forget the foam brushes and the cheap "chip" brushes. The brush can make or break your top coat.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 05:54 AM
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use oil base much better selection of stains . for clear coat use spray gun if you can your Finnish will be way better then you can ever do with brush. also if you can go with satin it will help you hide little imperfections.
http://generalfinishes.com this is one of the best companies for stain and poly's they have really good customer service too
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 01:39 PM
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I poly coat a wood floor with rollers. Rollers are great applicators for big areas. You can use brushes for small tight spaces.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 01:48 PM
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Mistergreen, floor finishes usually have a bit more carrier (thinner) in them then a brush on finish. That allows the bubbles in the coat more time to disperse. Wipe on polys also have more thinner (carrier) in them then a brush on.

Wintu there are many good manufacturers. Minwax isn't one of them but it is readily available. And it is decent. Zinsser makes a good WB. Last year I went through over 7 gallons of it.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Mistergreen, floor finishes usually have a bit more carrier (thinner) in them then a brush on finish. That allows the bubbles in the coat more time to disperse. Wipe on polys also have more thinner (carrier) in them then a brush on.

Wintu there are many good manufacturers. Minwax isn't one of them but it is readily available. And it is decent. Zinsser makes a good WB. Last year I went through over 7 gallons of it.
Now that you mentioned it, the floor poly was a little thinner.

I used a regular flat brush to finish up my stand. It wasn't hard.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
I can't answer the poll because it depends.

Oil stains won't repel a thing. Neither will water stains.

Take this a bit further. Oil, water, dye or a pigment?

Use what you like. I use mostly oil stains because I am use to them. i like oil poly most of the time because I like the amber tint.

Someoldguy, not all polys darken the stain. Water based poly doesn't change the depth of color one bit. In some cases WB may in fact be found to be too stark. Minwax makes both WB and oil. Minwax is generally a consumer product and not used by pros. There are much better brands available.

The color may be tough to match. Was it a straight stain? A glaze? Was a coat of shellac laid down first then stain over that then poly?
What is the wood? The same stain appears different on different woods. Most softwoods require a conditioner to get a uniform color. Some hardwoods (like cherry) will also blotch without a conditioner. What was the final grit sanded too? Wood sanded to 220 will not absorb as much stain as wood only sanded to 150.

There's a lot of detective work involved in getting a match. Sometimes you get lucky though and you find a match quickly.

When you apply stain it doesn't matter how you put it on. With the grain, against the grain it matters not. How long you wait before you wipe it off will determine the color but only to a point. The finish coat is always with the grain.

3 coats is a bare minimum. The first coat starts to seal the grain. (I don't even bother sanding the first coat.) Second coat will start to build your film. Third coat covers your "holidays".

When applying a finish coat use a quality brush. Forget the foam brushes and the cheap "chip" brushes. The brush can make or break your top coat.
i assumed that a oil based stain would prevent the wood from absorbing spilled water, the whole oil and water not mixing thing. i have a little bit of the stain they used to make the original stand i am matching, maybe a pint at very most.

i really don't know how the staining was done. lt doesn't appear, to me at least, that there is a coat of anything on top of the stain. and i believe the stain is just stain. I'm pretty sure just plain old oak.

i am doing 80/100/150/220 sand. i was going to skip the the 100 but i already opened the pack and can't return so i'll just use it up :-). what grit should i use to sand the coat, and how much sanding should i do?

Will
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 03:20 PM
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Most of the time I stop at 120-150. I find any more and it's not going to absorb enough stain. The "oil" is only a vehicle for the stain. It will evaporate. Most of the time the base vehicle is a mineral spirits. Usually what they tell you to thin it with is the same thing as the vehicle.

Stain itself offers no protection. Many types of top coats are used. The most basic of course is wax. This will not build up any real film however. Shellac is another common top coat but it is in no way water friendly. Lacquer is also used on professionally finished items. To be done right it really needs to be sprayed. (Sure it can be brushed but I am talking about how it most commonly applied) Lacquer will build a film. Each coat actually "melts" into the last coat and you can get a mirror finish with it. Polys build a little quicker depending on the brand. Better ones have more solids to build with less coats.
Regardless of the top coat I use I apply the first coat to seal. I don't do anything to that first coat. Second goes right on top. The second coat gets rubbed with steel wool if it's oil. If WB then brass wool or a sanding pad. With steel wool I use 000 on the second and third (if I do four coats or more. Either way the last coat is the only one that gets the 0000) and the last is rubbed with 0000 and a wax. (Spray wax, car wax just some kind of lubricant.)

Another thing I do when I want a satin finish is to use a gloss for the first coats and satin only on the last. It gives a much better, clearer finish than all satin. The chatoyance is much better. The only difference between gloss and satins are the flattening agents. If you don't stir a satin fully it will be a gloss.

Sanding. You really don't want to skip the between grades. Remember what sanding is is reducing the size of the scratches you're putting into the wood. That's the reason you also want to vacuum up after each grade. You don't want to sand with a 150 and still have 100 grit on the wood. Like I said before, I'd stop at 150.

Post a picture and let's have a look.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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everything i read lead my to believe that i should stop at 220, i think i they were talking about furniture rather than stands.

i didn't realize their was so much that went into staining, i'll have to read up on that...anyway here are the photos.


The one i am matching



I think it might be minwax Bombay Mahagony....

and the stand i am sanding


Will
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 01:24 AM
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The stand your trying to match is stain over a sealer. That's generally how they get it so even. And it's actually sprayed on then lacquered. They can make a sheet of glass look like wood with the technique. The wood you're using looks like a softwood. Unless you first use a conditioner it will blotch. Not it may blotch it will.
150 is about all you need to sand to. Any further and it's just wasted time.

BTW I'd doubt you'll get it to match with a softwood.

If you want a great book on finishing get Understanding Wood Finishing. Bob Flexner.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
The stand your trying to match is stain over a sealer. That's generally how they get it so even. And it's actually sprayed on then lacquered. They can make a sheet of glass look like wood with the technique. The wood you're using looks like a softwood. Unless you first use a conditioner it will blotch. Not it may blotch it will.
150 is about all you need to sand to. Any further and it's just wasted time.

BTW I'd doubt you'll get it to match with a softwood.

If you want a great book on finishing get Understanding Wood Finishing. Bob Flexner.
Graphicgr8s is right it will be a nightmare to try to stain your stand to match the other cabinet i would try to go for some contrasting
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