• Harold Bowern

Playing with stains - Part 1

Updated: Jun 24


I have a small 6" piece of Maple that turned into a bowl. I wanted to try another product in colouring. This time it is Chestnut Products - Spirit Stain Rainbow Colours. These stains can get applied using paper towels, airbrushes or even paint brushes. I chose to apply with pattern pieces of folded paper towels.

Now for a little health and safety, if you are using them for a start use them in a well ventilated area. The are alcohol based and as such need a little ventilation so I chose to apply them in the garage workshop which has a 36" ceiling fan which was all the time I was working with the stains. Use a respirator type mask suited for paint fumes. Wear gloves to protect your skin, I used latex gloves. Wear a smock if you don't want to decorate your clothes .😎

For this test, I will be using a 1 1/2" portion of the bowls rim only. First I sanded the rim, that I was going to colour, from 80 to 320 grit and ensuring that all tool marks and sanding streaks were removed. I also cleaned the trim after each grit with a tack cloth.

The colours I am using, and in the order of which I applied, are yellow, orange, red and royal blue. I folded half of a section of textured paper towel into a long 1" x 3" form. I Applied the stain to the folded paper towel by holding the folded towel over the bottle opening and quickly tilting the bottle, only trying to get a little stain on the towel surface. I then dabbed the stain covered towel on various areas around the rim, trying not to apply to much stain and also trying to have the paint show the texture of the paper towel. Between each colour I turned the lathe on about 300 rpm to help the stain dry. Alcohol stains dries quicker than water-based stains, so this was about 10 minutes between coats. You could leave the stains to dry longer between colours if you want, but patience and I don't see eye to eye 🤣

After applying the stains, I let the piece spin for about 20 minutes to ensure it was completely dry. I applied two applications of a watered down sanding sealer to top coat to the rim section only. I then used a 3/4" round nose scraper to gently remove any stains or sealer that had made their way into the center bowl section. I added a small black ring, using a Faber-Castell black artist pen, to separate the coloured rim from the inside bowls section. I am letting the bowl completely dry overnight before moving on to finishing the back and bottom of bowl and applying any finish to the complete bowl.


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