WOW!. Kinda looks like coffee stains. try a Dk Stain reduced alot and go from there . it looks like there was no pre-sealing done or the wood had been burnished or some say Millscale if so it would have been on everything equally. Start with the stain first good luck
They are using hit or miss planed wood. After that it just looks like a stain to me. I sure wouldn't want that rough surface in our kitchen. But maybe your customer doesn't have kids, or spills in their kitchen. Cleaning that stock with the rough mill marks still in it will be a job.
If you take rough sawn planks and use a belt sander, (or maybe an orbital), to flatten down some of the saw marks, preferably in the high use areas, it will look like rough sawn lumber that has been around for a while and gotten smoother from everyday use. You can add some worm holes with an awl or other distressing if you want to make it interesting.
If you use a stain, I would washcoat it first because something that porous will drink in the stain and be almost black in places. I mix 1 part sealer to 10 parts butyl acetate to make a wash coat. Depending on how porous the wood is, I have used as many as 3 coats back to back. (A stronger washcoat doesn't necessarily equal the 3 lighter coats. I like to use multiple coats of a thinner washcoat). Light scuff and then stain. You have more control when the wood is less porous.
Then seal it out and if you want to add more definition, add a glaze step. Topcoat with a low solids, low sheen topcoat. That is what I would do, anyway
I did a job that was similar but a little more refined; raised panel in face frames, all #2 pine. We milled, fabricated and sanded as usual but then lightly hand planed it all with an antique bench plane that had the iron ground to a very shallow (large) radius. The grind kept the edges of the iron from digging in and tearing up the grain. Then stain and Waterlox finish (many rubbed out coats, a real PIA)
The hand planed surface took stain in differing amounts, had a fairly 'old' look to it.
I think Alan is on the right track. After a diluted washcoat, I'd spray on a light dye stain and let dry. I'd then follow up with a darker glaze. The dye will give the background color and the glaze will add the dark tones, esp. on the looser grained areas.
Well, here's my two cents. I noticed that you said your potential client said "I like these cabinets" as opposed to " I like this kitchen". Parts vs the whole.
It's pretty obvious that the theme of that house or at least that area of the house is rustic. And appears from the background to be a fairly rural area.
I ask that question, because regardless of the time, effort and cost to produce this finish, is it appropriate for the space and style of house? BTW, you are accurate in feeling that it is going to blow the budget.
We had a client a few years back that came in wanting a very sleek euro look kitchen. They dropped the name Siematic ten times in the first five minutes of conversation. Turns out they had been to the Siematic dealer and wanted that look without the staggering price tag.
In the end, this was regardless. When we did a site visit, their house was a flat-out traditional center hall colonial. Heavy painted mouldings, drapery, etc. In other words, no place for a euro-modern hi gloss kitchen with black and white tiled floors. I guess you could say, "a sales a sale", who cares as long as the check clears.
They understood what we were saying in terms of having the appropriate cabinetry to match the rest of the house, but were hellbent nonetheless to have their "dream kitchen".
The kicker of it is, in the course of conversation they said they were planning on selling the house and downsizing. Talk about a realtors nightmare! We ended up doing a cursory design and two finish samples before pulling the plug on our end, sometimes you don't have to read the whole story to realize it's going to have a nightmare ending.
Mix some sodium hydroxide powder with water. It gives wood an aged (smoked) look. This reacts with the tannic acid in the wood. If the wood you're using is low in tannins, mix some tannic acid powder with water and spray it with this first, then let dry, use Sodium hydroxide mix.
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