Help on pine finishing

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czhao1009

New User
Chen
Ok, so I put on a few coats of amber shellac and we stared at it many times but we were just not happy with it... The inspiration came from the following website: http://houseologie.com/credenza-hairpin-legs/
We liked the wood color paired with the white drawer fronts.
79cc43a2d9cd2368bf9572d612cc699f.jpg

What are my options now? Is it possible to achieve a similar color?
 

TENdriver

New User
TENdriver
Chen, Couple of things:

First, it's a really great looking piece. For pine, you did a pretty good job on your pigmented staining.

Second, can't say for certain what wood the example piece was but the open pores and color make me think possibly a mahogany.

That leaves a couple of choices.

Do a "Faux" finish to replicate the exact wood you'd like. This was extremely common for hundreds of years and is it's own art. Nothing wrong with it if you have or can acquire the skills to pull it off. The adventure of "faux" finishing can be a whole new artistic expression that you end up enjoying.

Build a new piece out of the exact same vintage material and replicate the exact same patina the example piece has. Another valuable skill set they may also end up introducing you to another rewarding aspect of woodworking.

I personally don't do either.

Another option (and the one most of us have done) is to continue tweaking the finish you have. You might hit the jackpot and find a finish you both love. You could also take a pretty good finish and turn it into a total hot mess!

Another option that I almost suggested before but held off. A very attractive finish could be "faux" ebonizing. I think there are a few people here that have experience with it. The underlying design of the piece is very good and ebonizing might be the first finish some of us would choose.

A last option I'll suggest for now is to take a breather and live with the piece temporarily. You'd be amazed how your opinion can soften once you live with the piece. After all, you created your own piece and not just a copy of another's work. On the flip side, if after living with it you discover the current finish won't do, you can always start futzing around with another finish�� I am concerned that expectations weren't aligned with reality of what can be done with pine and a pigmented stain. That disconnect may need to be overcome for you to accept this piece.

Last comment...Jeff is right that Zinsser canned amber shellac isn't dewaxed. Any additional finish (besides another shellac) will require a seal cote to deal with the wax.
 

Rick M

New User
Rick
What you can't do is lighten the color without stripping off what you've done. You could have added dye to the shellac and evened the tone, still could. Minwax Polyshades is a varnish and stain all in one. Many people do not like it and it requires a couple coats before it starts looking decent. I think your best bet it is start over. Maybe look for a piece of furniture that is the right color and repurpose it, like they did in the article you linked. If you start over with another light colored wood, beware that many of them don't stain well and you'll be right back in the same boat. And always test the color and finish on a practice piece before committing to it on your project.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
and we stared at it many times but we were just not happy with it...

What did you folks see about it that made you unhappy? The plywood with funny and uneven stain patterns or perhaps the overall color isn't right even if it was uniform across the plywood surface?

It's not clear from the "inspiration" website what the original case was made from but, interestingly, look at the hardwood floor underneath the credenza; kind of looks like your pine plywood visually. Also look at the underside of the case where the legs are attached.

Many woodworkers prefer the natural look of the wood species per se without dyes or stains and that's the wood in the raw. It's cherry, walnut, or oak not pine that's been stained to look like cherry, walnut, or oak.
 

Leigh Anne Houseologie

New User
Leigh Anne
Chen, I'm the blogger behind your inspiration picture and I'm so excited you were inspired by this piece. What you created is beautiful! I wish I could help you achieve the stain color you are looking for. Unfortunately, my piece came like that and I just modified it by painting the drawers, adding the leather pulls then attached the hairpin legs. However, I do have other pictures of the finish if that would be helpful to you. Again, so glad I could inspire you and your work is absolutely gorgeous! :D

Ok, so I put on a few coats of amber shellac and we stared at it many times but we were just not happy with it... The inspiration came from the following website: http://houseologie.com/credenza-hairpin-legs/
We liked the wood color paired with the white drawer fronts.
79cc43a2d9cd2368bf9572d612cc699f.jpg

What are my options now? Is it possible to achieve a similar color?
 

czhao1009

New User
Chen
Happy New Year everyone!

A last option I'll suggest for now is to take a breather and live with the piece temporarily. You'd be amazed how your opinion can soften once you live with the piece. After all, you created your own piece and not just a copy of another's work. On the flip side, if after living with it you discover the current finish won't do, you can always start futzing around with another finish�� I am concerned that expectations weren't aligned with reality of what can be done with pine and a pigmented stain. That disconnect may need to be overcome for you to accept this piece.
I think you are right about what I could do with the pine and stain, especially the pieces I had to be the top surface, to achieve the look we first saw and liked.

And always test the color and finish on a practice piece before committing to it on your project.
Yes I have made a strong mental note for myself about testing before putting anything on future projects :D

What did you folks see about it that made you unhappy? The plywood with funny and uneven stain patterns or perhaps the overall color isn't right even if it was uniform across the plywood surface?
I think it's a little bit of both. The pine with our choice of stain ended up looking completely different from the original inspiration picture and I think that shocked us quite a bit in the beginning.

Chen, I'm the blogger behind your inspiration picture and I'm so excited you were inspired by this piece. What you created is beautiful! I wish I could help you achieve the stain color you are looking for. Unfortunately, my piece came like that and I just modified it by painting the drawers, adding the leather pulls then attached the hairpin legs. However, I do have other pictures of the finish if that would be helpful to you. Again, so glad I could inspire you and your work is absolutely gorgeous! :D
Wow thanks for stopping by! We liked the two tone look a lot, also the leather pulls and hairpin legs, but couldn't find a piece like that, so we decided to make our own, well it came out a bit different for sure :)
 

TENdriver

New User
TENdriver
Chen, If it's not too much trouble, I'd be very interested in seeing photos of the finish after the amber shellac.
 

czhao1009

New User
Chen
Chen, If it's not too much trouble, I'd be very interested in seeing photos of the finish after the amber shellac.
Not at all, here it is. I still need to smooth the surface out, probably gonna try use the padding technique since I can't quite get it right with a brush. Waiting for the weather to clear. My first time working with shellac, I think it smells rather nice xD

To be honest the color has grown a bit on me, I think we are going to like it!

01bd50bc673e0103f66124897c0896e1.jpg
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Chen, If it's not too much trouble, I'd be very interested in seeing photos of the finish after the amber shellac.

+1, me too. The originator has offered to send more photos so take her up on that offer. How about some close-ups of the interior cabinet without the drawers?

It may give you an idea about the original wood species if you want a closer match.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
It looks darn good and you're learning too. TENdriver had the right idea about maybe learning to live with it as it is.
 
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