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Wood Magazine

Finishing oak with finesse

 

Finishing oak with finesse

Finishing oak with finesse

The following slides show the look of red oak with various finishes. Because of oak's cellular structure, the pigments in oil-based stains collect more in the wood's open grain areas, while the smoother, denser, surrounding areas retain less. This can result in strong light/dark contrasts. A 180-grit final sanding may neutralize this contrast. In addition, you may find that oak has small regions of fibers with a lot of cellulose (technically called tension wood) that absorb stain better than the other areas. Though subtle compared with pine, this uneven absorption can give oak a blotchy appearance. If it occurs on a stained and finished test piece, try sealing the next test piece prior to staining, using a conditioner, sanding sealer, or wash coat. You also can add stain pigments to the clear finish to reduce blotching.

Complete Guide to Finishing
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Wood Magazine