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Brother, can you spare a pine?
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Arizona, United States
Member Since: April 16, 2004
entire network: 14 Posts
KitMaker Network: 0 Posts
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2008 - 10:30 AM UTC
I have some questions about staining wood.

Does anyone know what wood the Skinny Sticks or paint sticks might be? Have you used them with conditioner and oil-based stain with good results?

I am building a piece of scale furniture out of pine. After I treated it and applied the first coat of stain (Minwax pre-stain and Minwax Natural color oil stain), I realized that I should have included two more pieces of fascia for aesthetics and realism. Unfortunately, I am all out of pine. I have basswod, balsa, and a metric buttload of paint sticks from Home Depot. I also have some bagged hobby squares by Foster/Jardine, the people that make Skinny Sticks.

There is no way I can obtain more of the pine I used to build the piece, since I built it from cannibalizing something I got at a craft store. At worst, I will just condition all the different woods I have and then stain a swatch to see if it will stain to a similar color as the pine. I just want the instant gratification of finishing it now, so my motivation to do the swatch test is lacking. I am tempted to use the basswood, because it is in smoothly sanded slabs, thick enough to avoid warping.

Thank you,

PS - I do have pine actually, but in sheets of 4x8 plywood, and I sense that attempting to nick off 0.25"x0.5" pieces would result in loss of life or limb.
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North Carolina, United States
Member Since: February 22, 2002
entire network: 11,718 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2,584 Posts
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2008 - 01:09 PM UTC
A metric buttload huh - now that's a lot

The stir sticks are a fairly cheap hardwood, I do not believe that they are pine. I do reserve the right to be totally wrong though.

One thing you may check out is coffee stir sticks from a coffee shop, some of those take stain very closely to pine. It may work for you.
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New York, United States
Member Since: February 28, 2002
entire network: 5,957 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2,626 Posts
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2008 - 03:05 PM UTC
You could try staining a small piece of the basswood.... I think the color is really close to pine.

If not, how long does it need to be?? I might have some I can plane down to 1/4" x 1/2"

All I ask is the postage be reimbursed.

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Arizona, United States
Member Since: April 16, 2004
entire network: 14 Posts
KitMaker Network: 0 Posts
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:33 AM UTC
Thank you guys! I ended up chiseling out a piece of wood from a paint stick, compliments of Home Depot. The wood lacked the grain that the pine did. The color after taking the pre-stain was not spectacular, so I washed it off, and let it soak to bring out some of the grain. Then I did the conditioner again, and applied one coat of the stain. After working some darker stain in to the grain, I was able to sand to a glassy smoothness and finish the piece. Thank you for your suggestions!
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: February 25, 2007
entire network: 272 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 04:24 PM UTC
Sara, the next time you run into this problem, if you go to a lumberyard, you can probably ask the warehouse people if you can have a few chunks of the spacer-sticks from lifts of softwood lumber. (That's the kind of lumber houses are built from.) Unless the lumberyard is very fastidious, there will be a few chunks kicking around that can be easily snagged, and if they charge you for it, it'll probably just be a cup of coffee. I know we certainly wouldn't where I work.

Scott: if it's hardwood, it's definitely not pine. Believe it or not, balsa is classed as a hardwood, but that's because the tree loses its needles. Softwoods are evergreens, and so would be pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, larch (tamarack,) and cedar. So there's your semi-useless trivia for the day!