Twotone Stain Candy Apple

use a water-borne coating instead, first seal the oiled wood with a coat of 2-lb.-cut shellac.

Staining with Dye

The trick here is to use a weak but dark-colored dye stain to showcase the grain. You can make any color of dye weaker by adding more solvent. This does not change the color, but it makes a weaker, less intense dye stain.

Choose a fairly dark dye stain and dilute it at least 100% with solvent to weaken it. You can use an oil-, water-, or alcohol-soluble dye, or even tea or coffee as your weak, dark stain. Working quickly, flood the dye onto the wood and wipe it all off with a clean rag before it dries.

Let the stain dry completely and continue with your chosen topcoat. Seal the wood with shellac first if you are going to use a water-borne coating. Water and alcohol stains will dry in 20 or 30 minutes, while oil stain may take overnight.

Two-tone staining. A more dramatic dye-stain method is two-step coloring, so called because you stain the wood twice with two different colors of dye. (See photos, page 100.)_

Start with a dark, water-soluble dye stain—cither dark brown or black—and dilute it at least 100% with water. Flood it on, wipe it all of! before it dries, and then let the wood dry completely.

When the wood is dry, sand the surface with 220- or 320-grit self-lubricating sandpaper. This sanding will cut back the raised grain and remove any dye on the "flat" areas, but leave it in the porous, more absorbent areas.

Now for step two. Restain the wood, this time using a weak, light-colorcd dye stain. Flood it on, wipe it off while it is still wet, then let it dry—but this time we won't be doing any sanding. Once this second stain is dry, you can apply your first coat of clear finish.

The key to a natural-looking result is choosing the right combination of colors for the two dye steps. One of my favorite combinations is Van Dyke

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