Staining End Grain

A sealcoat first will help prevent uneven stain effects. August 29, 2005

We are install bright cherry baseboard in a production shop. The baseboard is bright and has radius corners 2 3/8". With such a tight radius the color changes in the finish, because of the end-grain effect. We are using a varnish. Is there anyway to keep the color more even? Any help is appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor T:
I would suggest putting a washcoat of thinned shellac first. This is especially helpful before staining. If you are not planning to stain, consider a light coat of stain to even it up. The shellac will prevent uneven stain penetration. Try it on a scrap piece first to see how effective it will be.

From contributor S:
I would suggest using Inert Pigment. When it is wiped on end-grain feeds, the fibers bring color consistency to the final finish. Make sure to allow it to dry before topcoating.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Washcoat or sanding sealer will effective seal the wood and prevent penetration of stain and/or finishes into the end grain, thereby giving a more uniform color. This is common practice, so your finishing contact should be able to give you some good advice.