Best stain for mahogany

smk506

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I’m putting a kit together and want to do a colored grain fill over black stain. I’ve researched the technique and purchased most of the supplies, but working with some test scrap, the stain I picked up at Home Depot is leaving me a little wanting.

It could be an application error, but it seems like it’s too splotchy after two coats, and I’m really worried about using more and prematurely filling the grain.

I see Minwax makes a prestain conditioner, but I’m also contemplating trying a can of general finish stain as I’ve read it covers very well. My local woodcraft carries it and they do tend to have good stuff there.

Any advice on thin, even coverage?
 

bierz

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If you want black I don’t think you can beat India ink. Look for it at art stores.
 

smk506

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If you want black I don’t think you can beat India ink. Look for it at art stores.

Thanks bierz! Great tip, I’ve got some scrap left so I’ll give it a shot and see.
 

Michael Matyas

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Black watercolor paint from an artist's tube, thinned with water, is a good choice. It is compatible with nearly every finish and less prone to fading over time. Another plus is that it will not bleed into clear top coats the way spirit or oil-based stains will. In other words, it will stay in the wood where you want it to. It dries more slowly than spirit stains, so there is less chance of ending up with overlap streaks. About the only down side is that being water-based, it will raise the wood grain. This can be prevented by dampening the wood slightly before staining, let it dry and sand smooth with 220 grit paper. Do this twice before staining, stain the wood and let it dry thoroughly before you apply a sealer coat to keep color from your grain filler from staining the wood. After the filler is leveled and dry, then you can start to apply your clear top coats. When staining, you can dampen end grain to keep too much color from soaking in, and get a more even result.

Please post pics when you're done with your build. It sounds like the color will look awesome!
 

Wallied

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Wet the surface, let dry, sand with 240/whatever your last grit is, moisten the surface and stain. This should reduce blothing with water dyes. And of course you can tone it down and even out by rubbing with a damp cloth. And don't forget the endgrain is going to soak more of the color than the rest, unless you take measures to prevent that.

Cheers, Will
 

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