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HowTo - Staining MDF (1 Viewer)

BenSC

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
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190
So, I've been reading a lot in threads about how staining MDF is bad (the shelving thread in the Construction forum) and about veneer in here, so I figured I would post this up in case anyone else is intrested in giving it a go. The trick is to lay on the stain in such a way that it creates a pattern that resembles real wood. Below is a picture of the final product, and a description of how to do it.

Click on the image to view the monstrously large one:
[url=http://triton.homeip.net/gallery/cardtable/mid_DCP_0843.JPG] [/url]

It's actually pretty basic, just takes time to get the strokes right. First, clean the surface (of course). Next, using a thick bristled brush, forget everything you know about staining wood, and use the stain like paint. You're going to want to make long strokes, and keep them from being the same length. Overlap each stroke, but not by the same amount each time, too consistent makes it look real fake. Also, make sure you're not laying it on TOO thick, you should still be able to get a "transparent" feel from looking at it. Once it dries, you should have a fairly flat surface with a slight ripple if you slide your finger across the "grain."

So, now you sand using a fiarly fine grit, say 120. Then lay on the polyurithane. I put it on thick the first time, to fill in some slight irregularities in the coat of stain, then sanded and did about 4 light coats from there.

Lastly, slap on some furniture polish (I prefer just spraying some nice lemon scented pledge) and whala, instant finish.
 

Tommy T

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Messages
76
Pretty nice Ben!

I've done the exact same thing before when I made a TV stand out of MDF. I actually used one of the All-in-one stain urethane's (Bombay Mahogany) from MinWax for 2 coats and finished up with one clear coat of just urethane. For what it was worth, it did the job nicely.

Tommy
 

Wayne Ernst

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Messages
2,588
I've created "grain" before by using the following:

1) Cheap China bristle paint brush (about $1.25 at Home Depot)
2) MinWax Gel stain
3) Paint thinner

Apply the gel stain with the brush - it will be quite thick and dark on the surface. Dip the brush in paint thinner and start "painting" the grain over the gel stain. To remove some of the thinner/stain, wipe the brush periodically on a towel or dust-free rag. Once the stain surface has dried, apply polyurethane over it.

I stained the following table using the above-described method - however, the table had some grain because of the cherry wood. Here's a picture:


 

Chris Tsutsui

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
1,865
Heh, I tried "The Good Stuff" which is a butcher block maple finish on scrap MDF, and the results were hideous. :)

I guess you gotta be a painter and make it look like wood. Those tables look nice.
 

Allen Ross

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 30, 2002
Messages
819
paint primer?

do you use paint primer on staining regular wood?


or are you talking about a pretreatment?
 

BenSC

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
190
Nope, no primer.

I used minwax stuff from HD, but not the kind that has poly in it.
 

AnilJ

Auditioning
Joined
May 13, 2002
Messages
12
I guess I was refering to repainting/restaining an enclosure which originally has the standard black oak finish.

I was thinking of first staining with the base stain color and then something darker to accentuate the grain. Maybe putting on the darker stain and then wiping it off, allowing the residue to collect in the fake grain.
 

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