Water based stain vs. gel stain
#10
  
I am going to use a General Finishes stain on an ash grandfather clock. I can't decide between using their water based stain ( walnut) or their oil based gel stain (antique walnut). What are the  advantages/ disadvantages of using either product? Waterlox or Arm-R-Seal will be the topcoat.
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#11
  Re: Water based stain vs. gel stain by JSpill (I am going to use a ...)
WB stains are going to cause grain raising; OB won't.  To compensate for that you will likely have to sand to a finer grit and perhaps also pre raise the grain if you decide to use a WB stain.  

WB stains will dry quicker, which can be good and bad.  You will have to work quicker to avoid lap marks or streaking, but dry time is only a few hours compared to a day or two for OB stains.  This is a small point compared to the problems of grain raising, however, at least to me.  

OB gel stain offers you the option to adjust how much color you leave on the wood.  You don't get that same amount of flexibility with regular stain, WB or OB.  

I would buy a small can of both the WB and OB stains you are considering and try them on some sample boards.  


My personal choice would be use an OB stain under the topcoats you are considering.

John
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#12
  Re: Water based stain vs. gel stain by JSpill (I am going to use a ...)
I prefer oil based stain
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#13
  Re: Water based stain vs. gel stain by JSpill (I am going to use a ...)
I despise using any type of gel stain. It just doesn't cover like a liquid stain.
Steve


Putzing, the new hobby

Evil lurks here, but eventually gets cleansed.


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#14
  Re: Water based stain vs. gel stain by JSpill (I am going to use a ...)
All great advice here. Whatever you decide t0o do, be sure as John said above, test your entire finishing schedule on scrap first.

Ed
Ed
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#15
  Re: Water based stain vs. gel stain by JSpill (I am going to use a ...)
I would use an OB stain to avoid grain raising. I do everything I can to avoid raising grain. Staining ash with good results is about as easy as it comes. I would use an OB penetrating stain for starters. If I wanted a darker or richer look I’d add an additional coat of OB gel stain gel stain on top of that to highlight the pores and darken the overall color. Adding a coat of gel stain over a base coat of analine dye or pigmented stain creates a great look, IMO. Old Masters makes a good gel stain for glazing. Allow a day or two for drying time before too coating with a clear.


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#16
  Re: Water based stain vs. gel stain by JSpill (I am going to use a ...)
I go into Barnes and Noble where the fixtures were finished with a gel stain and the "stain" is on the surface only and where it is worn, the original color (blond) shows through.  

Oil based stains penetrate the surface so you have to wear out part of the wood itself before the underlying color shows through.

However, when I was asked to refinish a table top for a local restaurant I could not match the color with a penetrating stain.  I used a gel stain over the penetrating stain.  In that way any wear will show a similar color. 

Gel stains allow you to adjust the color by rubbing  off additional stain.  It also does not seem to cause blotching on pine or maple.  And it does not raise the grain like a water based stain does.  

So I use both gel stains and penetrating stains (oil based) but not water based.  And sometimes I use them in combination.
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#17
  Re: RE: Water based stain vs. gel stain by Cooler (I go into Barnes and...)
You can use either one.

Gel stains are mostly used as a glaze which doesn't penetrate the wood. Nice effects can be obtained such as adding depth to the wood.  It can also be used on wood that is prone to spotching. I learned to do this on basswood carvings which are prone to that. 

I have really learned to like water based dyes (as opposed to stains).  You can control both the depth of color by diluting and create a custom stain by mixing.  Can be a bit more tricky to use.  Not good at all for splotchy type wood.

I necessarily don't avoid WB stains. Grain raising is usually no big deal to me. The advantage of faster drying is a plus, too.
Everything is a prototype so its a one of a kind.
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#18
  Re: Water based stain vs. gel stain by JSpill (I am going to use a ...)
One day I will try "burn staining", a variation on shou sugi ban, the Japanese method of burning wood to preserve it.

This tutorial shows how it is done:  https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-...-Sugi-Ban/

I am not a fan of adding the color to the process, but burning brings out the grain, is adjustable for color, and you don't have to wait for the stain to dry.  

No stain required, but the cost of propane might be equal to the cost of stain.  I have no way to measure.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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