I need information on matching this pick-up bed with the dash and firewall. The bed is Birch. Is amber Spar varnish about the same color?
If you have spare pieces of birch, I would test several combinations. A light stain as well as varnish might be needed to get a close match. From what I can see of the dash, one combination I would try is a light application of golden oak stain and clear spar varnish. A different combination might be needed but I suggest starting with that.
Take a look at Minwax Pecan Polyshades available at the Home improvement stores. A tough polyurethane coating with color added. For me, Pecan is the go to polyurethane for a nice deep golden antique looking finish, like your firewall.
PS. Prior to applying, try to make the area as dust free as possible. Vacuum up all sanded dust particles from the floor of the bed of the vehicle and wipe down with mineral spirits. Be sure to stir contents and shake the can well to suspend the pigments that like to hang out at the bottom. Also. get a real good 3" paint brush from a paint store for oil based paint with a slanted chisel point end for getting into the corners, for precision application and for a nice smooth stroke free finish. When painting you need to try and get it on before it sets up to avoid brush marks, which tend to happen when going over an area that has been gone over before and has started to set up.
When painting it is best to use the Wyatt Earp rule which was coined when he was once asked in an interview:
"What is the most important trait of a successful gunfighter?"
Wyatt Earp: "You need to take your time in a hurry". That is the way you need to paint. Take your time in a hurry. Jim Patrick
Jim, you are most helpful. Thanks a million!!!
BTW, It's been rather cold and wet here in Sacramento. Should I wait until the weather is more suitable?
John, I'll do that
With the different shades of wood in the bottom of the box isn't there a product that will help get the same color over the whole surface?
I think the Polyshades will achieve a uniform color. Its not a stain in same way that Min Wax stains are. Only problem I had was, contrary to the instructions, I had to put it on thin. Once on, it is impervious to water and holds up very well. That said, my application was window sills inside the house not subject to outside weather.
Mark, you may be thinking of Min Wax Pre Stain. I don't believe it will achieve a uniform color on different shades of wood. It was designed to eliminate splotchiness (sp?) on soft woods, like pine.
Hal, as long as your project is inside, out of the cold and dampness, you should be fine to go ahead and paint, however, if the enclosure where your truck is, is not climate controlled and is subject to the same cold and damp conditions outside, then it would be best to wait for better weather and apply the Polyshades at the temperature recommended on the can. No colder than 70 degrees is always a safe bet. 75 degrees is perfect. Jim Patrick,
If that truck is going to be out in the sun much, make sure you use a stain and polyurethane that is UV stable. Not sure that's the case with Polyshades, as it's listed as an interior finish.
Thanks for all the help. I have extra wood to experiment with. the difference between the inside of my shop and the outside is minimal. My shop is the corner 550 sq ft part of a 5000 sq ft warehouse and would be difficult to heat.
You could always apply a final coat of regular exterior satin Polyurethane over the Polyshades to help stand up to the elements. If you do this, rough up the Polyshades finish with 120 sandpaper to help the Polyurethane adhere good. Jim, Patrick
NEVER NEVER NEVER SHAKE VARNISH; Water based clear coats do not darken wood. That's my 2 cents worth from many years of teaching wood shop both in olden days and recently.
Seconding what Frank said. I'll add however, that if you're using satin or semi-gloss varnish you should stir it to distribute the "flatting" agent that settles to the bottom of the can.
You could also consider adding your own tint to the finish with a product like Trans-Tint. It's a highly concentrated aniline dye. Experiment on a piece of scrap wood till you get the shade you like.
Minwax Polyshades is oil based, urethane varnish.
It is a great short cut if you want to darken a previously varnished surface without having to strip off the old finish. For example, if you want to darken blonde oak kitchen cupboards without stripping off the finish.
In my experience, it takes a minimum of three coats of Polyshades to get uniform color. Because of the pigment in the varnish, it is much easier to get uniform color on horizontal surfaces than vertical surfaces. Once you get the desired color/uniformity, then you can lay additional coats of clear varnish on top of it if needed.
If you are starting with bare, unfinished wood, you are much better off staining it and followed by coats of clear varnish. The stain will make the grain stand out better or what I like to call "pop." With Polyshades, the pigment sits on top of the wood - it really doesn't go into the wood grain like regular oil based stain.
Just my opinion based on experience.
Mark, the beauty of using natural timber is the variation in grain and colour variation. I can't believe you would seriously recommend evening out the colour. You are a naughty boy.
Allan from down under.
It's not about evening-out the color.
He wants to stain the pickup box so it matches the firewall - you can barely see it in the photos but the firewall is amber.