Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In praise of pine

I have used hoop pine a lot over the years for all sorts of projects.  It is light and strong and good quality boards are readily available thanks to well established plantations.  I have sometimes struggled, however, to achieve a good finish.  It is a very pale wood which is not the most visually appealing for furniture.  Very old pine furniture tends to develop a very nice, mellow, golden colour.  There is no question that the best treatment for new pine furniture is paint.  I have had some success trying to apply an aged or distressed finish but I have also had some disasters applying stain.  Hoop pine seems to bring out all the artificial colour from a stain.  For this project I have tried to create an aged patina starting with several rubbed coats of linseed oil.  I have then stippled and wiped a stain to create and interesting colour and texture.  It is finished with several coats of wax.  I am happy with the finish and I think it will improve as the linseed oil darkens.