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Create Grey Stain look without Stripping

Stripping is a lot of hard, gross, goopy work and no one likes to do it. I recently created this beautiful grey stain look without stripping to raw wood.

Lets talk about when to strip furniture for just a minute. When the existing finish is failing it is absolutely necessary to strip before proceeding. I go into more detail on how to strip furniture on my post about 3 options to strip furniture. Flaking, soft, or very dirty finishing this technique will not work.

My client wanted a medium soft grey stain on her dinning room set and I cringed at having to strip the entire set down to raw wood. Toning wood is very common as I typically say you can always go darker but not always lighter. I tested out an old cabinet down and with some color manipulating I was able to achieve the perfect grey!

The Process

Standard oak is a honey color which has orange tones in it. So I very carefully selected the colors based off of the orange tones. Cue in the color wheel, I need blue a blueish grey to help me cut out the orange tones. It won’t look to bluish promise.

Here is my nice honey oak cabinet door. Now of course if you know me you know what I am going to say you need to do first………. proper prep work.

Denatured alcohol and water with my favorite mirlon scuff pad. Wipe it all clean and then start sanding. I used a 220 grit sandpaper. I don’t want too rough of scratches but I do need to scratch the finish up enough so I have something for my new products to adhere to.

First started with my white glaze Winter White by General Finishes. I applied a generous amount on and used a large deck brush till it was almost dry.

The reason I started with a hand glazing is because the grain will push out sprayed on toner colors so you almost have to start by brushing on the color. Next up toning took my clear finish and added 20% of the greystone stain to my finish and sprayed on one coat. (pictured above after glazing and one coat of toner)

Then I mixed the winter white and greystone with my chip brush and brushed it on the door. Finished off with my deck brush until tacky.

Sprayed on one more coat of toner and one clear coat and she is all completed! It cool you can still see all of the grain and it doesnt look like honey orange anymore!!

Some of my other projects:

This is another project I did using this formula however this is mahogany wood so I was a little worried that it would not turn out but it looks great!

Products used

Tara Lou
<p>Mama, wife, furniture connoisseur, small business owner, nature-lover, homebody, hunter.</p>

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Tara Lou shares her knowledge of all things furniture from repair, to painting. Her bi-monthly blog shares, newest revivals, product recommendation, and how to tips. 

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