Posts Tagged 'fuming'

Fuming Wood, and the Faster Way

The old craftsman style furniture had a very beautiful look, and I love the tones created by the coloring process (called fuming). I decided to do this with some white oak stools I bought at at an auction of a furniture factory that went out of business. Honestly, it didn’t turn out how I wanted, but happily enough, I didn’t destroy anything.

Fuming is done by using ammonia fumes to treat the wood, turning it darker, or green if you try it with red oak. I put the stools in a small room off my garage, and put some ammonia in a pie tin so it could spread throughout the air. Here is a picture of the stools before I started fuming them.

Stools, Pre-Fuming

Stools, Pre-Fuming

To try to drive as much ammonia into the air as I could, I used a piece of steel to allow me to put a candle under the pie tin. You can buy high concentrations of ammonia at print shops, or so I hear. There was none within over a hundred miles for me. I called. I used the lower concentrations that you get at the store for cleaning. I needed to get as much of it in the air as possible, and so here is what I used.

Driving Ammonia into the Air

Driving Ammonia into the Air

I would fill up the tin, light the candle, and shut the door, leaving it for about 12 hours, and then repeat the process. I did this for 4 days. Here is a picture at the end of 4 days.

Chairs after 5 days of Fuming

Chairs after 5 days of Fuming

I couldn’t detect a big difference either. If you saw them in person, they did darken a bit, and it did make the grain pop out a lot. All the same, I was looking for a bit darker. Something like this.

Finished Stool

Finished Stool

To get the change, I applied Red Mahogany stain, from your basic Minwax can. The finish is a lacquer finish that I applied with a new toy, a Porter Cable gravity feed spray gun. It was very easy and quick to use, and very easy to clean up. This is the spray gun I used to apply the laquer. I put on a few coats and was very happy with the look and the speed. There was also very little overspray. I have also used the gun to help my brother with a vanity. It makes me wonder why I ever brushed on polyurethane.

Good luck, and please give questions or comments if you have any.

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