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Stains Under Rubbed Oil Finish9/7/15
I just did the first hand rubbed oil finish in my life and I'm hooked. My only disappointment was that I had believed that the oils I was using would give me a little darkening (which I wanted) but they did not. Is it possible to use stains under a rubbed oil finish without them adversely affecting the ability of the wood to take the oil?
Given that there is already an oil on the wood, and I assume you mean BLO or a tung oil type finish, and you have enough on there to be able to rub out, you won't get much penetration with stain. Seal the finish, you can use a dewaxed shellac, and apply a glazing stain. A glazing stain adds a little color and opaqueness, without obscuring the grain. Then seal again and apply your topcoat. If this is too involved, you can apply a dark wax, they come in a variety of different tones.
What are the objects are you finishing and how many are you completing in a day or week? What type of finishes do you usually apply? What benefits does the rubbed oil finish offer that you are now "hooked?"
Good questions all. I restore old tools. This is anything from a pliers to saws, axes, hammers, hatchets....anything.
In the past, I had put varnish or stain+varnish on wood handles. In recently restoring one of my own old axes, I did this rubbed finish. It does not have the "plastic cover" look of varnish. The wood is exposed but rich in color and grain. I'm not experienced with the oil finish but I know I will do it again.
I primarily used BLO but put a coat of Watco Danish Oil on toward the end. I will not repeat that. I'm wondering if adding a few drops of Japan Dryer to my BLO would be okay.?
Thanks for your replies.
Robert/Mike - Boiled linseed oil contains driers but you can add a little more to speed the cure time. Get some Japan Drier and follow the directions for use.
Drying oils are considered a penetrating finish and do not form a protective film on the surface of the wood. That means they are not durable at all and are best used on wood items that do not get and use/handling. If the tools you restore become display items only, then an oil finish is fine.
If you want to add more durability but keep the "close to wood" appearance, use thinned varnish and rub it with 0000 steel wool.
There's more info on oil finishes at the link below.