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Thread: End Grain staining

  1. #1

    End Grain staining

    Hello all,

    I would like to know if there is a way to stain the end grain to match the rest of the piece. The end if exposed, for obvious reasons, is usually darker than the rest of the piece once stained. I am using the standard minwax oil based wipe on wipe off stain. I am currently using a walnut color.

    Do I need to use something to pre treat the wood? Or use some other stain such as water based, gel or something else like oil?

    The wood I'm currently using is pine and poplar but may also use some oak in the future.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Just a thought but ya might try some wood conditioner on it Minwax has one.
    A Turn N Time
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    The reason end grain stains darker is that the cells are open. Think of wood grain as a handful of straws. You apply stain to the sides of the straws, only so much color will 'stick.' You apply stain on the open end of the cells and the straws will suck it up. So what to do? Close the cells on the end grain.

    You can 'fill' them with conditioner - a so-so solution, IMHO. You can use a filler - messy and another finishing step. Or you can make the cell openings smaller and then seal them. I do that by sanding the end grain to 600-800 grit. Make the end grain feel as smooth as the side grain - technical term for the faces and sides of the wood. Then seal with conditioner, shellac, sanding sealer, etc. Then carry on.

    My 2 cents.

    FWIW, former woodworking instructor is on my resume.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Santa Claus, In
    I always sand end grain two grits higher than the final sanding of the project. So if I go to 150, I would go 240 or 320. Almost always blends right in. Basically what Carol said, I just don't seal afterwards.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    I do much as Carol stated by sanding end grain to a higher grit than the face. For example, I usually do final sanding to 220, then sand any exposed end grain to 320 grit. This has worked for me on items like raised panels made with red oak and makes for even staining and finish.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    another vote for two grits up on end grain but i have given it a sealer at times.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  7. #7
    Thanks guys, I'll give it a try.
    So mote it be. - Masonic regalia and supply
    Save 10% with the code: BROTHER

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