How to do this
#11
  
I don't do much work in red oak so I don't have much experience staining it. Below is a picture I would like to mimic. I am looking for some advice on where to start to get a stain like this. Once I know where to start I will do some testing to nail down the look.

   
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#12
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
Start by taking a sample of the wood and applying a few samples of stain until you get the desired result.

I would try a penetrating stain for this.  Gel stains tend to reduce the contrast between the light and dark areas.

With a penetrating stain on oak, the stain will gather in the pores.  You can reduce the contrast by wiping the boards more vigorously and removing some of the accumulated stain in the pores.

I have not tried this, but I have been told it works:  Let the penetrating stain fully dry and then lightly sand (by hand) the surface.  It will have the effect of reducing the darkness on the higher surfaces while leaving the pores dark, thus increasing the contrast.  But wait until the stain if fully dried or the saw dust will attach itself to the wet stain in the pores.
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#13
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
The wood sample shown in the picture is not oak; not even close. You know that, right?
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#14
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
By the way,  I think your picture is Red Elm rather than red-oak.   I have a furniture piece a lot like that in my house (made by some professionals, not me).   The elm grain is not quite so open-textured as oak.

Good luck!
Chris
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#15
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
That's Elm, so you wont get the exact same results. I would spray a amber color sealer coat then wipe on a dark oil based stain, wait 5 minutes and wipe off against the grain, similar to how pore filler is applied. I would think most of the stain would wipe off the wood and remain just in the grain. Lot of amish furniture made from elm is finished like your picture because of the great graining pattern it has.

Try a test piece before proceeding.
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#16
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
Could they have gotten that effect using a dark grain filler?  I would think of watering down some darkened timbermate (walnut) to create a slurry and using a squeegee to spread it across the grain.  The final sanding would just remove the excess on the surface and then apply a clear topcoat.
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#17
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
I don't know for sure but I think it might be hackberry or sassafras. I don't think it's elm. If it were me, I'd start with a weak yellow stain and glaze it with burnt umber.
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#18
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
(03-11-2020, 07:50 AM)CEPenworks Wrote: I don't do much work in red oak so I don't have much experience staining it. Below is a picture I would like to mimic. I am looking for some advice on where to start to get a stain like this. Once I know where to start I will do some testing to nail down the look.

I think a dye might work better than a stain for what you are looking for. Whatever you decide - try on a sample first.
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#19
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
Thanks for the replies. I guess I don't know my woods as well as I thought. I don't need an exact match but I am hoping to emphasize the contrast in the grain color. I will definitely be doing test runs on some scrap and then again on larger portions of the project that will be against the wall.
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#20
  Re: How to do this by CEPenworks (I don't do much work...)
(03-11-2020, 07:50 AM)CEPenworks Wrote: I don't do much work in red oak so I don't have much experience staining it. Below is a picture I would like to mimic. I am looking for some advice on where to start to get a stain like this. Once I know where to start I will do some testing to nail down the look.

If you use a pigmented wiping stain on finely sanded oak you can get the same effect. The stain will build in the pores but not so much on the rest. Wiping technique can be used to adjust the contrast. A little tricky but doable.
You could also dye the light color first, then seal, the apply a pigmented stain. Might be easier to get consistent control of the contrast/color that way.
Another option, if you want a dead smooth surface, is to dye the wood with the lighter color, seal, fill the pores with a dark grain filler then topcoat.

I forgot to mention it is advisable to sand the end grain one or two grades finer and seal very lightly prior to using a pigmented stain or you will end up with a super dark band there.
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