I'm surprised nobody's mentioned washcoating first. Gary Rogowski demonstrates his methods for this traditional yet strong breadboard end. (Finishing Forum) Birch is a pain and if you're going to successfully finish it, you have to go to a multi-step finish schedule like those used by the factories. While you can ultimately use any type of stain on birch, a water-based stain tends to be the best choice. You must work quickly with this method to avoid having it dry with a blotchy finish. I use waterlox original if piece will receive hard use or orange shellac if not. Birch usually will have a blotchy finish unless you seal it. An open-pored wood like mahogany is a beautiful, rich addition to your home. This will help the wood to resist moisture and other damage. Reply. Pre-stain conditioners can be purchased at your local home improvement store. Press Esc to cancel. These dark stains may come out blotchy without a conditioner applied to the wood beforehand, but many of them do not require this step. Birch plywood is made up of many layers of birch wood and each layer may stain a slightly different color. Become an UNLIMITED member and get it all: searchable online archive of every issue, how-to videos, Complete Illustrated Guide to Woodworking digital series, print magazine, e-newsletter, and more. Assuming you are using a clear stain. Paint the sealer on with the grain of the wood; cover all areas thoroughly. If you would prefer to tackle this project on your own, you can actually mix up your very own wood toner at home. Dampening the wood can give more vibrant results if you are working with darker or brighter colors. If you have a project looming on the horizon, you need to know what type of stain to use, how to treat the wood, and so much more. While you can ultimately use any type of stain on birch, a water-based stain tends to be the best choice. Tim Inman: I’m not exactly sure why you would want to do this, but it could be done. This is true to the same look that you would expect from a mahogany wood or a walnut wood. This fast reaction time leads to uneven results with large blotches in certain areas. The good news is that these wood treatments have no color of their own, so your stain colors will remain true. You will want some of these pieces to test your stains and finishes on before you start applying the product to your final project. Whatever you decide to use, I would finish the parts prior to assembly. Brush onto the wood and allow it to dry completely before applying the stain. Since you aren't staining use your favorite top coat. We generally recommend a natural oil finish for the butcher block tops we sell to homeowners due to the ease of application and maintenance. It also pairs nicely with the water-based stain you used in the previous step. Mix one part water-based polyurethane with two parts water. Chris Schwarz has worked out of his tool chests for decades, and finds them to be the perfect combination of protection, access, and flexibility. Looking to just bring out the natural wood tones. It is an affordable piece of wood with a classic look that many people would love to show off to their friends and family. Or is it? Complete Illustrated Guide to Woodworking USB, From the Editor: Publishing during a pandemic, Save 56% off the magazine newsstand price. The stain is what causes the blotching as a rule with Birch . You will likely encounter a product known as a wood toner. Try to get the color to coat the wood as evenly as possible by blending difficult areas together. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Take a trip to your local home improvement store and stock up on supplies so that you have everything you need on hand. When applied correctly, toner can even out those areas that absorbed the stain unevenly. Plus tips, advice, and special offers from Fine Woodworking. You should start by lightly sanding the plywood to achieve a smooth surface where all of the fibers of the wood are smooth. 5. It absorbs into all the open grain. Birch plywood is an extremely popular choice for furniture pieces, cabinets, and other building projects. It also gives you a more even finish. bri. However, birch is an excellent option for those who want a high-end look without the major price tag of more exotic species. Replies. Much like applying stain, you can simply brush it on with a quality brush. All you need is a can of water-based polyurethane, some universal tinting colorant, and water. Our biweekly podcast allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community. jerrymayfield | Oct 15, 2005 06:21pm | #1. You can resolve this issue with a pre-stain conditioner. Step 1 - Test the Stain We sell the full line of Rubio Monocoat products and can include them with your butcher block order. Thanks for any input. The first is to use a paintbrush to apply the stain in even strokes along the grain of the wood . Since you aren't staining use your favorite top coat. Wondering what the best finish would be. I used Baltic birch for the project. Enter now for your chance to win more than $2,000 worth of woodworking equipment from Woodpeckers. I start with glue size, sand with P400, then spray an alcohol dye stain (very carefully and in multiple passes) and then come back with a wiping stain. Closed-pore woods like cherry are equally beautiful but require a different treatment. UNLIMITED Membership is like taking a master class in woodworking for less than $10 a month. Our guide here will give you the building blocks to finish your next piece of birch plywood like a pro. Birch veneers with a clear coat actually take a beautiful finish , with no blotching . One of the many reasons people love birch plywood for their home improvement and building projects is because it is affordable. You might be worried that the pre-stain conditioner will change the color of your stain. To keep the uniform, light color instead, simply finish Baltic birch with a basic clear top coat of lacquer or polyurethane. This allows the color to distribute evenly while still darkening some of the pores. In the end, you get a much more even finish without the blotches that many people encounter when staining birch. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English from Iowa University. What kind of stain do you use to color your birch plywood? Birch is a pain and if you're going to successfully finish it, you have to go to a multi-step finish schedule like those used by the factories. This prevents the pores in the wood from showing up at all when the color is finally applied to the finished product. I’m building some bookcases out of birch ply. Even though you tried your very best, there is still a possibility that you will encounter splotchy areas on your latest project. It'll make glue clean up easier too because it won't stick to the finish. Beyond being affordable, it is also strong and durable so that your projects can last for decades to come. Case goods are a pain to finish after they are put together. I use Minwax Wood Conditioner first and paint it on with a brush. Many of the general rules for staining plywood or wood of any variety will apply here. Brush or wipe it on, and it dries very quickly. Subscribe to Fine Woodworking today and get our lowest price of the season - only $20 for one year. Allow the sealer to dry completely before Or, get everything with UNLIMITED, including 40+ years of the online archive. Specializing in building and renovating homes, Thomas Luttrell has worked in homebuilding since 2002. These characteristics make birch a great choice for all types of cabinetry.But the best thing about birch is I've only finished birch plywood once, but man what a mess! If you want to go with a darker color, gel stain on birch plywood is another option. However, you don’t necessarily want to sacrifice the look that can be achieved with these higher-end hardwoods. It is really nothing more than a tinted and diluted can of polyurethane. The first is to use a paintbrush to apply the stain in even strokes along the grain of the wood. Keep those little scrap pieces of wood that you have leftover from your last building project. – Sharon Hill. Paint a thin layer of sanding sealer on the birch wood. Brush it on just like you did with the stain, paying careful attention to those troublesome areas. Head to your local home improvement store and take a quick walk down their stain aisle. I've used a finish on pale timbers that is a 'varnish' but had a transparent white pigment and gave a limed/pale finish. Thanks for any input. Some woods willingly accept stain and create a perfectly even result. First, decide what type of wood you are planning to imitate. Using an old lint-free rag such as a cut-up t-shirt, wipe up stain that may pool in small areas. For this reason, extra preparation work is needed when you are staining this type of plywood. Homemade oil/varnish mix, 1/3 tung (or BLO), 1/3 varnish, 1/3 turp. With the right staining tips at your fingertips, you can get the look of an exotic hardwood without the price tag. Type above and press Enter to search. In this video, he shows the progression of sleds he built, and unveils the final version.

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