Monthly Archives: March 2018

How Six Different Stains Look on Five Popular Types of Wood

Guest Bloggers Chris and Julia from ChrisLovesJulia  has a great post that breaks down how different stains can look based on the wood species that are being used. Follow along as this  DIY couple shares their findings, and tips imparts some helpful guidance to get you started on your next wood finishing project.

This post is sponsored by Minwax®. As always, opinions are always 100% my own. 

We’ve been wanting to do a wood/stain study for years now and in my head, I wanted to do every type of wood with about 20 different stains each. But with limited resources (not to mention space), we settled on 5 popular species of wood commonly used by DIYers, with 6 different stains; 2 light, 2 medium and 2 dark.

The wood types we chose also are vastly different, ranging from extremely soft (birch) to hard (red oak) with undertones all over the map. Not only does the hardness effect how a wood will accept stain (harder woods tend to accept stains better and more evenly) but also the natural color of the wood.

The ever popular and inexpensive Pine has yellow undertones.
Birch has pink undertones.
Poplar has green undertones.
White Oak has the most neutral undertones.
And I bet you’ll never guess Red Oak’s undertones. (Hint: Red)

To give each wood the best chance at sporting stain, we started our study with Minwax’s Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Treating raw wood with conditioner helps prevent streaks and blotches by evening out the absorption of oil-based stains. It can be applied over any wood but is especially necessary when working with soft or porous woods like pine, alder, birch, and maple. You’ll see just how necessary it is in a minute, because of course we took our observations one step further and only used conditioner on the bottom half  of each piece of wood so you can see the difference it makes.

We let the conditioner penetrate for 15 minutes and then wiped off any excess and removed the tape and got to work applying 6 different stains to all five of our types of wood.

As a reminder, here are all the types of wood in their natural, raw state:

1. Minwax Pickled Oak. This stain added very little color to any of the boards, (maybe slightly lighter with a tinge of green), but really brought out their natural color and grain. All of the wood types accepted the stain well, except the non-conditioned Birch side.

2. Minwax Simply White. Minwax recently came out with a Simply White stain and I’m in love with it! It really softened each wood tone and color while not masking any grain–like semi-opaque stains do. You can see clearly the wood’s color undertones (yellow, pink, green, neutral, red) but they aren’t nearly as pronounced. Both of the oak species took on a sort of Cerused look I’m very into. The green that is generally very pronounced in Poplar, turned into more of a warm gray. The unconditioned Birch side, again, struggled with accepting the stain, but you can also see the conditioned side of each board is slightly darker.

3. Minwax Golden Pecan. We chose to experiment with this stain color because of its mid-range tint with red undertones. The pine board looked the least natural with this stain. Poplar looked a little bit like watermelon. Birch did surprisingly well and the oaks were naturals. Naturals in a very red way.

4. Minwax Golden Oak. This is another mid-range stain color, but with a more neutral base undertone. Instead of the wood grains picking up redness, you can see they all went a very neutral brown. There is very little difference between the conditioned and unconditioned white and red oaks, but the other three definitely benefited from the pre-stain conditioner.

5. Minwax Jacobean. The first of the dark stains we tried was also the more neutral in tone. It delivered rich, dark brown tones. Every wood species benefitted greatly from the conditioner with this stain. The pine turned more gray than anything.

6. Minwax Dark Walnut. Last, is the redder of the two dark stains we experimented with. Although, no red came through with the pine at all. In fact, it looked almost pinky gray. The other woods took the stain well, with more redness coming out of the conditioned sides of the boards. The green in the Poplar board went to an almost black, like in the Jacobean stain–very stunning.

Lastly, we thought it would be beneficial to see all the same wood type with different stains in one picture. This will hopefully help you see how Pine, Birch, Poplar, White Oak and Red Oak’s undertones play with different stain undertones.

Like I said, I wish we could do 15 more of these! But I hope this is helpful. I think each wood species looked great with some stains and subpar with others.

I loved pine with the lights and darks, but not the medium stains.
Birch rocked Simply White and Golden Oak.
Poplar looked awesome in almost every one except the Golden Pecan.
White Oak can’t take a bad picture.
And Red Oak should probably stay away from things that add even more red to it (like Pickled Oak and Golden Pecan).

In my opinion, of course. What do you think!?

 

Modern Wood Silhouettes: An Evergreen Trend

By: Minwax

Jen of City Farmhouse enjoys creating home decor that tells a story of her personal style. Follow along with her latest project!

This post is sponsored by Minwax®.

Hi there friends! I am about to hit a blogging milestone in March, 6 years!!! The design lesson that resonates most through this time is, beware of trends. With that being said I have seen a lot of trends come & go and many I was happy to see hit the road. There have been a few though, that stood the test of time, which is refreshing, we call these “evergreen” trends. One in particular that I loved from the very beginning is silhouettes and I am happy to say I still do. We have seen these traditional favorites done many ways through the years, so I thought why not update mine and give them a modern perspective using wood.

Creating Modern Wood Silhouettes is so simple and fun. This is a project that should only take an hour or 2, if you have all the prep work done. I partnered with Minwax® on this project to highlight the beauty & versatility of the wood.

What you will need:

Silhouette template from cardstock-DIY tutorial.

11″ x 14″ wood boxes.

Birch chip board.

Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in White Wash Pickling.

Minwax® Express Color™ in Onyx.

Scissor.

2-synthetic brush (for water based stain).

Rag.

Drop cloth.

Spray adhesive.

If you remember I tackled DIY Silhouettes early on in my blogging career, not my best photography but that’s why practice always makes you better:). This post will give you the low down on how to create the side profile template. FYI, I did alter the chest area to give it more of a dramatic look this time around.

Ok, so you have your templates made from cardstock. These are mine from my original post, I just pulled them off to start fresh. You can do your children, grandchildren or even pets.

These are the 11″ x 14″ wood boxes I bought at the craft store. A little tip, I bought these on sale 3 pc for $10, if they aren’t on sale use a coupon.

Next, trace your template onto your chipboard and cut it out carfeully. You can find this material at your craft store as well. Definitely use a coupon for this, it’s pricey!

Take your synthetic brush and layer your boards with Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in White Wash Pickling. Be sure not to over saturate your brush and go with the grain. I did 2 coats, I wanted the contrast to be bold.

Next take your tube of Minwax® Express Color ® in Onyx and stain the silhouettes. I also did 2 coats on these.

Once it is dry, you can adhere the wood silhouette to the wood frame. Spray adhesive to the back & press firmly to insure it sets.

Finished, it’s super simple.

I change out my art ALL the time so this was a fun switch-a-roo for my den. Honestly, my boys are growing up so fast that this is a sweet reminder of them at this age.

This project was a lot of fun and it has me thinking of some other pieces I could create with chip board and these wood frames. Keep in mind Minwax has a variety of colors for your next project. Always remember to tag me if you share your DIY’s on social media:)!

Have a happy day!

Finally! A beautiful nightstand makeover.

By: Minwax

Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick loves sharing simple, inexpensive ways to decorate your home. Check out her latest project using Minwax® products.

This post is sponsored by Minwax®. I only work with and share brands I know and love!

Hey there!! I’m SO excited about this project my friends! It’s been so very long since I’ve been able to focus on a DIY anything since my back injury. And this one has been such a long time coming — I finally finished this up with the help of Minwax®. I work with throughout the year and their stain made this project shine!

We’ve had these nightstands for years! Goodness. I mean…this is one of my biggest procrastinations ever. 🙂 Here’s a reminder of the Tarva dressers (from IKEA) I started with:

These are small dressers but were the perfect size for a nightstand as well. I really wanted something with storage. 👍 When I put them together years ago I cut down the legs with my saw. It makes them the perfect height for by the bed and I just prefer the shorter look.

I went back and forth on a look for these forEVER. Here’s a reminder of how they looked in our old master:

I replaced the wood knobs with random IKEA ones we already had — not sure why cause it didn’t do a whole lot to help it out. 😉

I always knew I’d use stain somehow and add some trim. The exact details I wasn’t sure of. But when we moved into this house it all fell into place. My inspiration is a project for our master I haven’t even started yet — I’ll share with you (hopefully) soon!

I wanted to use a deep blue color and a dark stain. I went back and forth on whether I should stain the front of the drawers or stain the trim and top. I decided on the latter mostly because the pine these are made of isn’t necessarily the best. Lots of knots I didn’t want to accentuate.

So I started painting with no primer. I’m a total rebel! I knew I was going to have to do multiple coats no matter what. After the first coat it’s important to do a light sanding to knock down the texture that pops up with paint:

You’ll have to do that with primer as well. No need to go crazy with it — just a light going over is fine. Wipe it down with a rag or tack cloth before moving on to your next coat! (This pretty blue is called Gale Force.)

What a difference another coat makes! The grain becomes less and less noticeable:

I started on the stain while I waited on the paint to dry. I wanted to go darker this time and went for an old favorite, Jacobean by Minwax:

It’s just a yummy color! I used it on our hardwoods in the old house and it’s a beautiful dark brown without any red tones.

I use gloves and a rag to stain. Makes it super easy to apply and I find it quicker than using a brush:

It really gets the stain into the wood too — you’re really rubbing it in.

I only do one coat of stain but if you want to deepen the color you can do one or two more. Do be sure to wait till it’s dry in between coats or you’ll have a gummy mess.

Make sure your stain is dry before starting the protective coat as well. I used their fast-drying semi-gloss polyurethane because I have absolutely zero patience. 😂 Never shake your poly — it will create bubbles and bubbles are the enemy of a beautiful, smooth finish. Always stir:

Staining is my favorite because it’s immediate gratification, but poly is a close second because it really brings out the beauty of the wood:

You want to smooth out that finish as much as possible. It’s helpful to use your light source and look at the item from the side to see what needs touching up. I find a few lighter coats work much better than one heavy-handed coat.

It already looked SO good! But I knew the final addition would make it even better. I used this inexpensive lattice wood trim I’ve shown you a million times to trim out each drawer front. I stained the pieces first and then cut them down to the correct size:

A nail gun makes for quick work (I used very short nails — make sure they won’t go through the back!) but you could absolutely use glue too!

You’re going to have a rough edge if you trim them out like I did. I could have mitered the edges but I’m still using my handheld saw and miter box. (You can (affiliate) get your own here!) I knew the mitered cuts would take little more finesse. Turns out our saw was lost in the move and I need to get that figured out with the movers.

I preferred to have my rough edges facing to the side of the drawers, so I did a long piece along the top and bottom. A bit of stain covered them right up!:

And then when dry, it was time to poly these as well. See how using the light helps?:

I’m absolutely THRILLED with how this came together! Gah! I love it!

The top of the dressers stained up much prettier than I thought it would!:

I’m impressed because we’ve been using these for years without any protection. I tried to stay on top of any spills and avoided leaving drinks on them, but still, I was surprised.

I used pine trim to match the top. Different woods will stain up differently and even the same will have small differences. Pine is definitely a more rustic look, so plan accordingly:

I got the hardware half off at Hobby Lobby weeks ago and just LOVE them on here! My whole plan for this space is kind of a rustic elegance design and the nightstands fit that perfectly:

The blue looks navy sometimes, sometimes a blue green. I like them both. 🙂

I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been looking at the pine dressers for so long or what, but I’m smitten. They’re just so pretty and…finished. 😉

I still have to finish up my husband’s side though — so close to having these done after years! Sometimes it’s a good thing that I procrastinate. I didn’t have a great vision of what I wanted until we moved into this house.

I had the lamps — I thought I had returned them and went to the basement looking for something else and there they were! I must have known they’d work perfectly!:

Of course, like usual, one finished project starts a series of changes. I plan to change out the bedskirt eventually. It looked great with our old wall color but I don’t like it in here with the drapes and dresser color:

But that I can deal with!

That photo above makes the dresser look really navy, but this one is the more true color. I am obsessed with it! It’s such a pretty blue:

Because you know I have to do it…here’s the before of this dresser:

And this is the after, with some paint, stain and beautiful hardware!:

YAY!! I’m not going to celebrate too much till I finish the other one — but YAY. 😉

If you have any questions about this project let me know! It feels so very good to get things done again after nearly six weeks!!