Category: Wood Staining & Clear Coating

I’ve written before about my love for wood staining. In a world of laminate from Ikea and pre-finished wood from Home Depot, we forget that wood staining isn’t just a dramatic statement, it’s a real artform, but it’s dying out.

We’re doing our part to keep it alive.

I’ve been lucky to work on this home’s extensive staining project over the last few years. The architectural detail and craftsmanship in the woodwork is fantastic, and my job as the wood staining expert is to not only ensure I’ve got colour matching throughout all the areas, but also to make sure the wood grain doesn’t get lost in coverage.Other things I’ve had to watch for has been dripping and even making sure finish on all the surfaces offers a similar shine. When you’re talking this much surface area, that takes a lot of attention to detail.

Staining is always a labour of love but there’s nothing better to do for good quality woods. With mass-produced MDF and laminate everywhere, what little great woodwork we have should be stained, and not painted.

Today’s enviro-friendly stains are durable and good for Mother Earth. I only use Earth-friendly products, and I stand behind them. If I can’t work with a stain at home around my family, I wouldn’t put it in your home.

Quality staining and clear-coating can last for decades if done right. So, we do it right, but with Earth-friendly products.

We’re not just plaster-and-paint guys, we’re the guys you call for great wood treatments that will last for ages, whether it’s staining or clear-coating existing finishes. We’ll do woodwork all over the Lower Mainland, so keep us in mind if you have a project (big or small) you’re thinking of, or if a friend’s 1930 fireplace mantel needs rescuing.

Recently, I finally got the tool I’ve been wanting to add to my company’s arsenal — a 12-colour carousel tinting machine.

You’re likely saying “A what?”

When I Say “Any Colour”, I mean It More Than Ever

For years, I’ve been creating custom colours. Many times, I’ve been unsuccessful because of technicalities, like not having proper colours available to me or a way to distribute them evenly or quickly among all the products I needed to mix to get the job done and done well.

Stuck working with these technicalities, a lot of my colours were found in one part of the colour spectrum — browns or tans, and even beiges now and then.

With the size of new lime-plaster interior projects and the new direction I’d like to take my Venetian plaster work in, I knew the time was right to get this tool that would make the difference in meeting my standards on a large scale.

As an example, I’m currently working on a 10,000 square-foot Intonachino lime-plaster interior. With so much surface to cover, the client is having a hard time choosing the perfect colour. We’re close, so they now only want slight shifts in shade and/or hue. (How are “shade” and “hue” different? Learn more by following this link.)

Picky? Not at all. Like me, they know job satisfaction is all about the details.

I’ve now taken great care to create 20 different colours for this project. That’s a bit of an extreme for any project, maybe, but you have to live with the colour long after I’m gone, and we need to get it right. I won’t get upset or rush you for a colour at the beginning of a project, because preparation and work can begin while we take the time to do the right things to help you come to a decision you literally can live with.

This tint machine makes my life easier and helps me live up to my dedication to getting you a a truly livable colour for your environment. Now, at any point in time, I can change a colour’s direction. You want a 25% lighter shade? Okay, not a problem. We don’t need a paint-shop pro or a chemist to guess it out. Let’s get that done ourselves — between you and me, and save ourselves a lot of headache and reduce wasted materials in the process.

Breaking It Down:

◦                                  Whatever your favourite material — Tadelakt, Intonachino, Carrara or Classic — I have full control over the colour and tint of the end-product.

◦                                  Your money gets saved because I’m not wasting materials or gambling on a factory’s ability to get those pallets of lime plaster tinted just the right way.

You want it lighter? Darker? I can change that on a dime now, so you get what you want when you want it. Hue by hue, shade by shade, we’ll nail the colour of your dreams.

I’ve always enjoyed refinishing wood, including wood furniture. Last weekend, I decided to tackle a little side project of refinishing an oak table. I really enjoy the beauty of rejuvenated wood, so I was pretty keen to get started on this one.


Using a new 6-inch orbit sander with paper discs varying between 100- to 220-grit, I removed most of the old finish with great ease, compared to doing all the work by hand.


Something to keep in mind when refinishing any kind of wooden table is, it’s likely a veneer, and if you sand too much, you’ll wear through the woodgrain pretty quickly and hit the core-wood base — which isn’t going to have any of the grain’s appeal. This is where it’s dangerous to use an electric sander if you’re not sure you can control how far down it’s sanding.


For this particular table, I figured using two different stains would work best. This choice was inspired by the table itself. Since the centre was slightly raised, I thought a contrast on each level would enhance the design.


I used 100% water-based stains and clearcoats for this refinishing job, and I’m thrilled with the results. The low-VOC content and lack of smell was great, and I absolutely plan to work with these projects again when I’m on larger projects.


Check out the photos and you’ll see why I’m feeling good. I hope more of these tasks come my way in the future.

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