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Lumber & Composites

Which stain or varnish?

So my brother is getting married this Summer, and I have been given the task of making decorative boards that will be lining the aisle at their wedding. I have included a link to a picture of what they were hoping these boards would end up looking like. My only problem is that the wood (Birch Plywood) I purchased from Home Depot does not look quite like the wood used in the picture. 
My question is what stain or varnish do you think I should use in order to make the birch plywood I have look like what is shown in the attached picture? If you have any suggestions please let me know. Thank you!
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Posted 2014-06-03T07:19:57+0000  by DansCans DansCans

Hello DansCans;

Home Depot carries a wide variety of colors and types of stains.   I believe the best approach to selecting a stain to match what you are looking for is to go to the Home Depot paint department.  In the paint department is a display with different types of woods, with a variety of stain colors.  This way you can see how each stain will actually appear.  If while you are there you have more questions the knowledgeable paint staff will be very happy to help you choose and  put together all the materials you need to make the your contribution to this special day a HIT.

Congratulations to your brother and his bride! 

If you wish to send a photo of how they turn out I would love to see them.



I am a Home Depot Associate trained and authorized to help people on the internet.

Posted 2014-06-03T20:02:34+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
The wood pictured in your link isn't birch.  I'd suspect that it's pine.  Getting birch plywood to look like pine is going to take some faux finishing techniques.
Posted 2014-06-06T03:51:15+0000  by Adam444
Great project idea DansCans!

This product takes several layers to add more color.

However, since your image shows just a hint of color, try one coat and wipe off the excess in about 10-minutes.

This should give your wood a base color, over which the marker will contrast well.

I always recommend a test board before applying stain to the full project.
Posted 2014-11-25T16:04:18+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Relatively inexpensive pine boards do not take stain evenly due to their veriances in porousness of the grain. If you are looking for a somewhat old or distressed look, this might be fine. However, if a uniform look is desired, as in the picture, you should pre-treat the wood with "pre-stain conditioner". This is basically merely a clear oil which is first applied, allowed to penetrate for several minutes, wiped off, and then immediately stained. Since the porous areas will have absorbed a lot of oil, when the stain is applied it will not aborb undue amounts of stain and look blotchy.
Posted 2014-11-25T23:21:24+0000  by ordjen
Hi DansCans!

Since you originally asked, Varathane has introduced several new "Inspired" products.

These unique stains contain metallic chips and contain semi-gloss clear coat in one can.

Click the link to see the video which demonstrates these new products.
Posted 2015-05-07T15:14:14+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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