Asked on Jan 30, 2016

Staining chest of drawers and night stands

by Patti
I just finished removing most of the old varnish and sanding a pine chest of drawers and two non-matching night stands. I got out most of the old stain but not all of it. What is recommended as a good stain for pine? The night stands are pine but much lighter. I want it to end up with a dark color with a reddish tint. The drawers will be painted.
q staining chest of drawers and night stands, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
q staining chest of drawers and night stands, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
  14 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 30, 2016
    I would research MinWax gel stain.They have there own web site which will guide you on the know hows before ,during, and after.

  • Fred Kitto Fred Kitto on Jan 30, 2016
    ^What he said. MinWax has pretty much every kind of finish you could want.

  • Valerie Valerie on Jan 30, 2016
    It is really beautiful piece. There are a number of different finishes on this board, maybe one will inspire you:

  • I have been a pro for nearly 40 years and never have liked the Minwax "Homeowner DIY Line of Gelstains as they can appear uneven and blotchy on Pine and Maple. Personally I prefer to use more of a "toning" type of stain like Sikkens which is brushed on and you DO NOT need to "wipe it" They have both oil and water base put I prefer the oil for less grain raising. As a final sanding use the Norton red paper at 180 to open that grain some. DO NOT use the cheap "yellow" sand paper as it has more iron in it than an actual aggregate like the Norton and will scratch the wood on occasion. Don't make the mistake of thinking the wood needs to be "baby skin smooth" before staining because this only closes the grain of the wood. The grain needs to be more open to accept the stain color. The baby smooth comes in between clear coats if your usinf a catalyst type of finishing system. Remember that Sikkens has a "system" that includes everything you need and is a user friendly product with a much more professional finish. ZAR is also a line I would recommend

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Jan 30, 2016
    I use General Finishes stains for this kind of work. They are water-based so clean up is easy and they are so simple to use. Just brush on, then wipe off the excess. When I want to darken a piece to match the others, I just add more coats until I achieve the right color.

  • Pamela Field Pamela Field on Jan 30, 2016
    You cant stain it evenly unless you sand down to the raw wood, it won't absorb the stain. You can use a gell stain though. Check out General Finishes Gel stains and their online tutorials.

  • What Pamela said. Its going to look awful if you put stain on that. You have a veneered piece of cheap pine. Not the best candidate for what you want to do. You have to remove old varnish and stain by stripping, not sanding. the existing stain is in the pores of the wood, sanding just glides over it, doesn't remove it. You need a stripper. I use soy gel, but you are wasting your time on this piece. Get some chalk paint and paint it. Plus, pine is notorious for blotching. If you don't know how to finish wood, this will not come out how you want. All those grooves and fluting??? no way you are going to get the finish off of that without stripper. Trust me, paint this one.

  • Kathi Hattan Kathi Hattan on Jan 31, 2016
    I stained some old pieces that belonged to my great grandmother. A dresser and a magazine stand, both made of pine. I used a beautiful deep mahogany stain because of the rich color and they turned out more beautiful than I imagined they would.

    • @Kathi Hattan Were they exactly like this posters furniture? You can't compare how yours came out to how hers will come out. Apples and oranges. Yes, there is a lot of pine furniture that stains very nicely. This posters items will not be one of them. If it belonged to your great grandmother, they were antiques and probably made of solid wood. These aren't, these are veneered. Big difference.

  • Somewhat Quirky Somewhat Quirky on Jan 31, 2016
    If you are stuck on the idea of staining, the only one that will work on "most of the varnish and stain is gone" is a gel stain. I've had a lot of success using gel stains over iffy finishes. Old Masters makes a great gel stain, as well as General Finishes.

  • Kathi Hattan Kathi Hattan on Feb 01, 2016
    She asked for an idea. I didn't know that I would be judged for my idea or I wouldn't have posted it.

  • Patti Patti on Feb 01, 2016
    Thank's everyone very much for all your help. With this help, I have decided to take all three pieces down to the bare wood and then stain them. Because of the pieces that would not allow smooth straight strokes with the gel, I feel this will be the best in the end. Thanks to everyone again.

    • @Patti good luck patti. could you post a picture when you finish? I'm curious to see how this comes out. I owned an armoire just like yours years ago. let me know if you use a stripper as well. It's a big job you're taking on, I applaud your efforts!

  • Patti Patti on Feb 01, 2016
    With all the comments, the decision was made to go to the bare wood and stain all three pieces.

  • Fiona Herle Fiona Herle on Feb 01, 2016
    I painted an old chest I had. I used a primer first then painted the shell with a white indoor acrylic latex. The drawers were painted with homemade chalk paint and then I downloaded some vintage stencils from graphics fairy. I think the end result was pretty good.

    • Patti Patti on Feb 01, 2016
      @Fiona Herle Thanks for the comment. Your chest looks great. Smart idea.

  • Patti Patti on Feb 01, 2016
    Beth, after hearing all the replies to my project, I decided to sand and remove all the old shellac and start over. I will post my results as soon as I am finished. Will be done in about 1 weel,hopefully.