Tinted Varnish

Solution for when your stain color is too light

Restoration Diary,


The faded woodwork debacle left us feeling discouraged. If it had been a bedroom insead of a hallway that we pass through several times a day, we might have just shut the door on the room and our project for a few months.

Pablo mixed stain into varnish and sprayed that on our woodwork with a paint sprayer. No one was sure if this idea was even going to work or how well it would turn out. It took several tries to get the color right, but the end result looked much better then we had hoped for.

The downside was that the varnish tinted more then our woodwork. Right now we have a pink bathtub, toilet, sink, fishtank, computer desk, computer monitor, mirrors and anything else we forgot to cover. It should have occured to one of us to cover these things in plastic before we turned on the paint sprayer.

Good thing we already needed to repaint the hallway.

Comments { 1 } December 3, 2006

Our Stained Woodwork Faded

Trying to figure out why the stain color faded after the wood had been sealed with varnish

Restoration Diary,

In every project there is always that “Oh, crap!” moment. Our “Crappity, crap, crap” moment is almost unbelievable. The stain color has faded, wait for it…AFTER the wood has been sealed with varnish. Several coats of varnish. It gets even better…A FEW WEEKS after the wood had been stained and sealed. “Oh, crap!” indeed.

We are just scratching our heads (it’s better then beating our heads against the wall) wondering how this happened? It wasn’t a slow, gradual fade. One day the stain color was dark and rich, the next day it wasn’t. We went to bed to dark woodwork and a project that was almost completed. The next morning we awoke to woodwork that looks faded out and a project that refuses to end. What cruel joke is this?

The only thing we can think of is that the wood has absorbed the stain…? Because the wood was dry? Because the wood was originally painted? Because we didn’t condition the wood prior to staining? Because someone in this house has really bad karma? All of the above?

Now, what to do about it?

1) Tried putting a little stain over the varnish, knowing that wouldn’t work, but hoping against hope it would. It didn’t.

2) Know that the “right thing” to do is to sand off the layers of varnish from all the woodwork and restain. I think about the amount of time and mess this would cause, after the amount of mess and work it took to even get to this point, and decide stabbing myself in the eye with a fork seems more appealing.

3) We are going to try to tint the varnish with a little stain color and have Pablo spray it on the woodwork.

Comments { 11 } November 27, 2006

The Staining Begins

Staining our Douglas fir woodwork

Restoration Diary, Stain,


Matching the new stain color with the existing dining room stain color. Just look at all that dust from sanding the wood on the window ledge and my kitchen floor.

The wood grain in the door trim is particularly nice.

The cherry wood stairs have been masked off to protect them from stain.

The fumes from the stain and varnish have driven us to sleep on the pull out bed in the den. Oh, the things we do for our houses…

Comments { 5 } November 9, 2006