Clippings by Jeannie1111

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RE: Black stain on Oak (Follow-Up #47)

posted by: Jeannie1111 on 02.18.2011 at 02:22 am in Woodworking Forum

This seems like a great forum. I stumbled across it just before I was going to finish our oak front door with Minwax Ebony (oil-based) stain.

Now I am having second thoughts about using that product, because I want the grain to show through. It sounds like there are at least 4 or 5 different techniques for getting a black finish while keeping the grain visible.

As I've read it, there are:

1. Aniline dye
2. Tinted sealer
3. Iron stain ("Liquid Nightmare" or "Iron Oak")
4. India ink
5. Japan Color by Behlen-"pure ground earth pigments"

There may be a few others that I missed in there or some variations on the above.

Our door is over 30 years old and looks like a lighter color oak and was painted white at some point. We've stripped the paint off using a citrus-based stripper (Citristrip? -- did not work too well) and moved to Jabsco chemical stripper. We used a heat gun during part of the process (due to temps b/t 40 and 50 degrees) and looks like we might have burned some of the wood.

We plan on sanding the burn marks off...possibly using 40 grit, then 80, then 120 using an random orbital sander.

I'm wondering if anyone has feedback on the different techniques mentioned in this discussion on light oak exterior doors.

Recommendations are welcomed.

Pictures of the door can be found at:

There are 2 pictures...just click the "next" button for the other one.

We also planned on using Minwax Pre-stain to achieve a more uniform color. Is this necessary with light oak? I've read that it's more necessary on pine and other woods.

Also, we planned on finishing / sealing with Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane (clear semigloss).

Does anyone have feedback on using these products?

Thanks for any advice!

Here is a link that might be useful: Light Oak Door


clipped on: 02.18.2011 at 02:23 am    last updated on: 02.18.2011 at 02:24 am