Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Mission Oak Finish-Worth the effort?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central, PA
    Posts
    279

    Mission Oak Finish-Worth the effort?

    I have Jeff Jewitts mission oak finish formula. It’s a 4 step process: dye, sealer, gel stain, protective top coat. Does it really look better?
    Ed Gibbons

  2. #2
    Ed, I can’t say if it looks “better”, since I don’t know what you’re comparing it to, but man it does indeed look good. I used his dyes and techniques for all the woodwork in a complete gut-and-remodel of all the common areas of my house (baseboards, plate/picture rails, jambs & casing, and a bunch of built-ins, all quartered/rift white oak) and I have never once regretted it since it was finished. It is as good as new work can get. Hard to compete with actual antique patina of course, especially up close, but Jeff’s method is far better than any of the easier methods I experimented with. And I tried a lot of them. Almost threw in the towel and went with painted trim when I realized the scale of what I had to do to get the results I wanted... it is indeed a complicated and time consuming process. No joke.

    Some things I learned:
    -Mix enough dye for the whole job and work from that one batch. Hard to get perfectly consistent batches with such concentrated dyes.
    -Do as much of the project as possible all at once, with an eye toward consistent application times. Leave the gel stain on too long on one part and it will likely be darker than another. Maybe not such an issue with a freestanding piece of furniture in the shop, but I had to prefinish all my moulding and trim in rough lengths then go cut and install one room at a time. It was a challenge to keep it all consistent over hundreds of lineal feet of material.
    -Compressed air!! Blow out the pores of the whole project time and time again. After every sanding step. DonÂ’t rely on your shop vac to get it clean. You need those pores clean so you can pack the gel stain in there!
    -Rub that gel in good. Nothing is worse than putting on the first clear topcoat and discovering that you didnÂ’t quite fill the grain up in one spot....
    -If you can, do some practice pieces. Not just planks, but some mock-up assemblies, nailed together. If you can get small cans of the General Finishes products, this is a good opportunity to practice the technique and also you can try some different color dyes & gels. I did end up customizing my color recipe a little, but JeffÂ’s formulas are great to begin with.
    -Sanding sponges. Enough said.
    -Leave yourself a note at the end of the day so you can remember where to pick up later. ItÂ’s a lot of steps.

    ItÂ’s been a few years, so IÂ’m sure IÂ’m forgetting some things...

    I know thatÂ’s a long reply, but itÂ’s a topic near and dear to me

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,757
    Yes. Worth it. I skip the sealer and use plain oil stain instead of gel. Still an awesome result. The interplay between the dye and stain really makes the finish.

    33227080646_fd916c4cdf_k.jpg

    6659683817_8417eb6399_o.jpg

    4964852124_858dba72e5_k.jpg

    4964851812_077e1645b5_k.jpg

    4080656293_478cc7efa2_k.jpg

    4081446538_27223c359a_o.jpg
    Last edited by Rob Luter; 06-02-2020 at 6:34 PM.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  4. #4
    Asphaltum (basically black walnut Watco) with a sealer coat or two of shellac is also period correct for Mission furniture. Gustav Stickley himself recommends it as an alternative to fuming in one of his books. It is probably easier as well, but it does give a different look and may not be what you are after.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,619
    If you want a Stickley like finish on your project then it's worth the effort.

    John

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=John TenEyck;3026373]If you want a Stickley like finish on your project then it's worth the
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 06-03-2020 at 11:56 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    20,263
    I've never understood the tendency to shortcut surface prep or finishing protocols. After spending so much time, money and energy on a piece I do not want to stop part way done ;-) "It could have been better if only . . . " is a long-running and disappointing mantra. If the result is what you are after and the proven protocol exists I would follow it.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    If you want a Stickley like finish on your project then it's worth the effort.

    John
    And as the owner of several pieces of Stickley, I can attest that the Homestead process nails the look and feel.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    232
    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3e2.jpgI used that finish schedule on my bed project and was very pleased with the results on quartersawn oak. It has "aged" nicely in the last 3 years and looks even better.
    Last edited by Jeff Heil; 06-04-2020 at 8:27 AM.

    A reputation for craftsmanship is a responsibility
    to never take lightly.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •