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Uhh ... what's this stain doing here?


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raisehand.gif Hi all,

Have a raw pine cabinet & hood, but wife won't let me bring it in the house until it's nicely stained. Options seem to be:

- find a stainer (could be expensive) sad.gif

- do it myself (probably more expensive) angry.gif

Has anyone done the maths?

I have no materials (neither stain, nor varnish, nor brushes/rollers) atm.

Do I need to choose "special" products for aquarium furniture (noxious chemicals)?

Although it will live indoors, it is more likely to get wet than other indoor furniture.

How many coats will it need? Do I use spray, brush or roller?

Do I add coats of stain until I get the colour I want, then add extra varnish to cope with the damp?

Are the combination stain/varnish products any good?

In short (too late, they chorused)


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There are traps with the two-in-one products. They tend to go off quickly and this results in an uneven coverage and drips stand out as dark runs. I have had most success with separate stains and clear coats. The stain I apply with a sponge until I get the colour and intensity I want. I don't use a brush for stain because I get uneven coverage (prob just me though) and with a sponge or cloth I can spread it quickly and work it in so I get an even coverage and no drips. I will often thin it down too. Means more coats though. Then I coat with a satin finish. I don't much go for the high gloss stuff. Most of these clear coats are sufficiently waterproof to handle minor spills.

Apply the stain in a few coats and sand in between coats cos the stain will swell and raise the grain. Do the same for the clear coat. Coat and sand lightly between coats (not the last coat). A mate of mine used high gloss epoxy (two pac stuff) on table surfaces and then buffed it with a auto cut-and-polish to get it ultra shiny - if you are into that...

As far as the maths goes it is pretty obvious you are going to save $$$ doing it yourself cos you aren't paying labour on top of materials. Small tins of stain cost about $15-20 - sponges you can get for next to nothing - paint brushes cost very little and the clear coat will cost about $27 for the 1 litre tin.

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i just used instant estapol ,just pick the shade you want and put 2 coats on,comes out as good as a pre stained one,just a word of warning (i found out the hard way ) when you stain the hood ,especially the lid, make sure that if you put say 2 coats on the outside you put the same number on the inside otherwise the lid will warp, the cabinet isnt so critical

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