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Staining new wood

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Michaux Hiker, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I am almost ready to stain the new wood on my canoe. Is there a trick to just stain the new wood and not the old wood? Or does it not really matter if some stain gets on the old wood. Have quite a few new planks and ribs to stain scattered throughout the canoe. Thanks in advance.....Mike
     
  2. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Hmmm...a trick....not really but I stain the wood as I go and before I install it. I find it difficult to keep stain off of the adjoining wood once the parts are installed.
    I also try to use old bits of wood where I can. I'll take planking from under the decks or under the seats or other not very high vis places and put it in the places where new wood really stands out. I save wood from anything I take off from every canoe I work on and re-use the bits where they might blend. I save the damaged ribs I replace and use the tips and other bits where they will blend.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the reply. I can maybe try and tape as I go. But stain goes under the tape as well. I'll have to practice at the stem ends.
     
  4. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    You might have better luck varnishing the wood that you don't want to stain. You can wipe stain off of varnish.
     
  5. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Here’s my trick- for the next time. Prep and apply one coat of varnish to the hull parts you don’t plan to replace then instal the new wood. You can now easily match stain and remove any stain that gets on the old wood.
     
    MGC likes this.
  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I either varnish some of the old wood first or wipe some mineral spirits on the old wood to find the true color.
    Then stain to match.
    I have masked off ribs to stain them, but if you do that make sure that you don’t have a full brush of stain when you are staining the sides of the ribs. A full brush with stain is likely to soak in under the tape, so go sparingly along the tape.
     
    MGC likes this.
  7. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Staining the wood before installing is the best bet. As stated above first oil and varnish to get the correct color you are trying to imitate. Start light and work toward darkening. You can always go darker adding more coats! I use an artist brush for touch ups after installs. A lot of people like using wood dyes mixed with alcohol. I am personally not a fan thinking the wood is blotchy as it dries to quickly. I stick with the oil based common stain. Mixing is fun. I normally use only a few colors to mix and match. Golden oak, aged oak, golden pecan and provincial for darkening 95% of the time. I've used the color nutmeg in the past and its adds a nice orange hue when the color is needed. I am in no hurry when I restore. I am quite particular these days where I am not restoring common canoes. Practice makes perfect just like anything else.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    MGC likes this.
  8. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Don't stain ribs before they-re installed - the steam can really change the color. As mentioned above, putting at least 1 coat of varnish on the rest of the canoe before replacing ribs is the best way. Obviously the varnished areas won't absorb the stain so you can easily wipe up stain that spilled off the new wood. But just as important: old wood darkens quite a bit when varnished, so color matching new wood to old is best when the old wood already has at least 1 coat of varnish.
     
  9. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Actually, don't stain them before you steam them.
    I steam, form, allow to dry and then stain before I tack them in. That works pretty well.
    Very true about things darkening when you varnish.
    If you color match to freshly sanded wood they new wood will end up too light in color.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks guys. I used a small brush to stain the edges of the ribs and along the plank edges where they meet the old wood. Stain wicks nicely without getting on the old wood, just going to take a while, but did finish half of the canoe this morning. I did use mineral spirits on the old wood to try and match the color. Golden Oak seems to match the best. Waiting for the lumber yard to plane wood for the decks then I can start to add the new seats and thwarts, etc..

    Good idea of varnishing the old. I'll varnish a old broken rib and see how close the color is before I tackle the inside of the canoe in case I need to tweak the stain.
     

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  11. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Another point to consider. Your new, stained wood will darken considerably in a few years. When staining I always make sure that the new wood is slightly lighter than the old wood.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  12. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I did stain a piece of broken rib and left over pieces of new rib/plank. Both match fairly well. Do I need to apply anything else on the newly stained wood or just start slapping varnish on?
     
  13. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    You are all set to varnish. Just make sure the stain has dried appropriately.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    It almost dried as soon as I applied it. But did notice a difference in color overnight as it was dried by then. Hope to finish staining today and start varnishing next week.
     
  15. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    I don't know what other folks do but I let the stain sit for a few days and then I wipe the wood to remove any oils or loose pigmentation from the stain before I varnish. When I varnish I clean the entire area where I am varnishing with a tack cloth and then I'll start the job with a thinned coat of varnish. I thin the varnish with whatever the mfgr. recommends as a thinner. After that first coat is soaked in and dry I'll lightly sand, tack cloth and then start laying on coats of varnish until I think there is enough of a covering. Generally I put on 4 to 5 coats and on an older hull I like to finish with a satin finish. Too each their own, I don't like a one hundred year old boat look excessively shiny.
    An alternative to a thinned coat of varnish can be a coat of shellac. It colors the wood nicely and dries very quickly.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Michaux Hiker

    Michaux Hiker Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I did what you suggested (MGC) over the winter with the thwarts, seats and carrying handles and they came out really nice. I lost count on how many coats but did finished with two coats of satin. Not a fan of "shiny" wood either. I have to thin the varnish again as its been sitting for a few months, seemed to thicken up.

    I don't have the decks made yet and want to varnish both ends at least before I install them. I nailed the last plank yesterday and was staining and noticed a weak spot on a old plank so had to replace. It seems to never end!
     

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