OK, let me back up a little and tone down the BS.
I use pine for a lot of my projects. Damn near all of them actually. Partly because I’m frugal, partly because its easy to obtain and I simply enjoy working with it. Pine has a lot of pluses and minuses, but finishing has to be pine’s biggest downside. I further complicate it by trying to use as non-toxic products. This last bit is even more important now that my shop space is directly connected to my house.
My general finishing choices are typically Tried & True Original finish, milk paint, shellac and wax. More often than not, I use some combination from that list. What I have been lacking is some way to “stain” pine. On occasion I get lucky and find a few boards that have nice coloring and need nothing but a coat of oil or clear shellac, but typically pine looks a little bland all on its own.
In the past I have experimented with a milk paint stain. That actually works pretty well. The drawback being that I’m limited to the available colors and there is a good bit of extra work involved. Milk Paint stain is mostly water and raises the grain. So after the “stain” dries there is a round of sanding to do. Then it needs a protective top-coat of either shellac or oil. It’s a viable option for smaller pieces, but a bit daunting for larger pieces such as the bookcase I’m working on.
Somewhere along the way I got the idea of tinting BLO. After a little digging, I found a reference to tinting Tried & True Danish oil with artist’s oil paint. Turns out that artist oil paint is mostly linseed oil. So I made a trip to the art supply store across town and bought a tube of paint.
Like an idiot, I added the entire tube of paint to the can of oil and the paint just sank to the bottom of the can in a heap. What I should have done is emptied the tube of paint into a separate container and slowly added oil until the mixture was more oil than paint. Anyway, lesson learned. All I needed to do was get the paint and oil mixed together. I tried a bamboo skewer, no joy. Then I remembered seeing a whisk of some sort that management had stashed in a kitchen drawer. I slipped into the kitchen, rooted through the drawers and found my prize. Worked like a charm. (Damn! I better get that thing cleaned up before she reads this.)
Experimenting with an unproven finish on a completed project is not for the faint of heart. I did try the mixture on a sample piece, but a sample piece never tells the whole story. Sometimes you just have to go for it.
Is it a dramatic change? I’ll leave that to you. What it did do was add even color to the pine and enhance the grain. What it didn’t do is just as important. There is no blotching or streaking. How about them apples?
I’ll lay on a second coat tomorrow and see what that does. Once I’m satisfied with the color, or taken it as far as it will go, I’ll top coat with the Tried & True Original mixture.
Oh, I also got a pretty good start on the new workbench. Should have it looking like a bench tomorrow too.