How do you turn unfinished oak into this?

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Hi all,

I've been looking to get some skirting boards, and I've found a local supplier who can get me unfished skirting boards at a decent price, so far so good.

However, when I was looking around online I found a company who also stain skirting boards, and some of the pictures of their stained output are beautiful (see link below)! Particularly the "brown mahogany" stain. Is this an effect that's possible with any oak skirting boards, and how expensive / labour intensive is it? I get the feeling this is proper artisan stuff?

http://www.hardwood-floors.co.uk/woodstains.php

Thanks,

Russ
 
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All of the stains there look like they have been applied to oak timber. When you say unfinished oak skirting, I can't understand what you mean??
Any timber skirting supplied from a timber mill, local woodyard etc will need finishing, whether it's painted, stained, waxed etc.
For solid oak I would suggest that it needs sanding smooth. (beware oak dust is a known carcinogen) and then staining and some sort of sealing coat applied. (personally wouldn't use water based varnish on oak ). Perhaps an oil based varnish ?? ;) ;)
 
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I like to finish with Danish oil, wood dye can be added before applying to give a even streak free finish.
 
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Souinds like you are going for a really high quality job here.

IMO if you are going to this much trouble with skirtings (and I would do architraves to match) it is worth fixing timber grounds or battens to the walls (spaced or packed so the finished board will be flat to the plaster) and fix the boards to these with stainless or brass screws (oak corrodes steel and is stained by it) with pellets over the heads.

Then you can take them off for sanding and refinishing at intervals or if they get knocked by furniture or hoovers

(you can fix a batten to the wall for skirting by hacking off the plaster level with the top of the skirting, then fixing the batten flush with the plaster. You will need to repair the plaster for a perfect flush finish, and can decorate the wall and batten the same before fixing the skirting. A lower batten can be fixed about 18mm up from the flooring, and you can use an extra batten or cork filler under it to prevent draughts and dust blowing up where the floor meets the wall)

BTW don't use a gloss varnish. You will see why it is called "toffe apple" finish by some in the furniture trade. Satin finish is OK if you use varnish instead of oil, and is very hard wearing.
 
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Don't be too daunted, just get an offcut and try a few different products on it to see what you like?

Those examples look so nice because they are probably taken after a coat of laquer which makes it appear ultra-smooth.

I personally think oak looks best oiled and would use a danish oil with stain in it as its super easy to apply and get great results.
 
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Thanks for the advice so far, it's cleared up quite a lot for me - so is it safe to assume that I need to:

a) Apply a stain
b) Apply something to protect the stain, which is either oil or a satin oil-based varnish?

New questions unfortunately... :(

a) If I buy a stain that seems really thick, vs a stain that seems really thin, would this explain why one brings out the grain better than another?

b) What stains do you guys recommend? So far I've tried a cheap Wilkinsons own brand product (the one that seemed really thick), and a product branded Rustins that was much thinner and seemed to bring out the grain a lot better.

c) What oils can I use? Can I use tung oil, for example? (I already have loads)

d) Is there any benefit in applying a varnish, then sanding, then applying another coat of varnish? (I've read this recommended somewhere)

Thanks again all,

Russ :)
 
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first decide on whether you want to varnish or oil it and then we can advise from there.

You can get danish oil with stain in it already which will give you a streak free very easy result. Coloron make one which i have used a bit and i like it.
 
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Personally I feel like I'd like a satin varnish on it, but I don't want to lose the natural feel and texture of the wood.

Russ :)
 
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I've had some great results with Ronseals Diamond satin varnish on oak. Dries to a super tough finish and is water based for ease of application and clean up.

http://www.ronseal.co.uk/products/diamond-hard-varnish

I'm sure it may not be the choice of all, however I've just finished hanging a variety of oak doors which were all unfinished from manufacture and have to say, I'm delighted with the results. They offer coloured variants, however I wanted just clear satin for the doors we'd selected.

It doesn't colour the wood or give it the golden finish that a lot of samples I tried did. It just provides a low sheen richness which brought some of the natural colour and character of the surfaces to life.

Just also given our new stair rails and ballisters their first coat, looks like it will be another finish we're delighted with.
 
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Many thanks to you all for your advise so far - I've actually had all the oak skirting and architrave delivered, and I guess luckily, there's quite a lot of duff offcuts the ends so they've delivered excess.

So I can use these offcuts to experiment - I'll get a couple of stains (already found one that I kinda like), and then once I've got the right stain I'll try a few different finishes.


Truth of it is, after spending best part of half a grand on wood, I don't mind spending a few bob experimenting to getting the finish right!

Thanks again all,

Russ :)
 
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