Last week I decided it was time to pick out the stain for my framing project. So, I took my frame and artwork with me to Home Depot. Choosing the stain took a long time. There were three different stains I thought might look good with it, but it was hard to tell which would be best based on the little swatches up on the shelf at the store. I finally went up to the paint desk and asked the sales clerk if she had some that I could hold up to the frame. She did have some, but not all 3 of the ones I wanted to see. Finally I chose Bombay Mahogany because it leaned a bit to the purple end of brown which I felt would complement the mat. The other 2 colors I had considered were Red Mahogany and Accents Antique Red. I really liked the antique red, but since it had to be mixed custom, it would not be returnable if I tested it and did not like it. Bombay Mahogany was only available in a 1 step formula (which would have been great except I was planning on leaving part of the frame unstained, and so I needed to put a coat of gloss on anyway).
I read all the instructions, and following them I shook the can before I opened it. Using a staining cloth which I already had on hand, I tested it on a small scrap leftover from the frame ( making sure to mask the lighter colored decorative molding first because I wanted to leave that part unstained). After applying 2 coats of stain I held it up next to the mat, deciding I liked it. Then I masked the frame and started working on it outside on the back porch with plenty of newspaper underneath (make sure you do this in a well ventilated area and wear gloves, goggles and cover any surfaces you don’t want stained). Following the instructions I let it dry over night and then got some 000fine grade steal wool to buff the surface before adding the second coat. The next day after the second coat had dried I removed the masking tape from the decorative molding. I was dismayed to find that a few drops had leaked through under the edge of the masking tape. The instructions
said to use mineral spirits for cleanup. Since I was out of money for now, and had some gasoline (for my lawnmower) I used some of that instead dipping q-tips in it and scrubbing. I don’t know whether the mineral spirits would have worked better or if it had something to do with the polyurethane in the one step stain–but it left the wood slightly discolored. I think it was probably the gas, so I would not recommend it. Using an X-acto knife around the edges (where I had not tried to clean with gas) I was able to scrape or shave paper thin strips of the unwanted stained areas off with no problems as far as discoloration underneath. On the face of the molding I scraped the discolored areas that had been cleaned with gas. It helped a little, but not as much as I would like. I have had at least one person say they did not notice it, but I am contemplating painting
the discolored areas to match the natural color of the decorative molding. I don’t know if it will work or be worth it. I went ahead and sprayed it with multiple coats of clear glaze for now. I will definitely use a different method for cleanup next time.
This has definitely been a learning experience. I originally started this as a review of how well Bob Villa’s frame plans (see part 1) would work for someone with very little woodworking experience, and on a tight budget. So far I have had to change some things and experiment on my own because he did not explain all the steps and go through all the way to the end of the completed project.
Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography
You can also find Dawna on flickr