Stain too dark help


First time builder. 

I wanted a dark stain on my CH17lt and used a water based stain from General Finishes. I like the hue but it is a bit too dark... or rather, the grain is not "popping" like I hoped it would. Is there a way to lighten it without effecting the epoxy bond later? I am reluctant to use any thinner for fear it would not play well with the epoxy later (but I don't know if that's actually true or not). Or maybe I will see more contrast in the grain after the epoxy?


Thank you, 


3 replies:

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RE: Stain too dark help

On my Arts & Crafts furniture, the stain is dull at first.  It's not until I add a layer of amber shellac that the grain pops.  While you probably don't want to use shellac on a boat, a clear top coat may do the trick.  I'd do a test on some scrap before doing anything on the boat. 

I've heard of people using yellow TransTint aniline dye to make grain pop on their furniture.  I mix mine with isopropyl, which raises the grain less.  I did run into some trouble with applying alcohol based shellac on top of alcohol based stain though.

RE: Stain too dark help

Hey Ty,
I’d suggest a light to very light sanding with 220-300 grit. If you control your pressure well enough you’ll be able to leave a little stain in the more porous areas. Should emphasize the grain. I’ll be hard to get a uniform tone, you may have to sand it off and start over. Shouldn’t be a problem, you’ll loose very little wood fiber if you take care.
In case it wasn't clear, whatever you do don’t apply epoxy over shellac. or any other finish. You won’t get a good bond.    



RE: Stain too dark help

   I used water base stain , two different colors on my ch17. The grain will come out fine if you sand lighty with 220. Do follow the grain or you will see the sanding marks latter. 

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