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Wooden Structure Kits - need to prime when ink staining?

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  • Member since
    March 2021
  • From: Vermont
  • 135 posts
Wooden Structure Kits - need to prime when ink staining?
Posted by Ablebakercharlie on Sunday, April 3, 2022 7:23 AM

I am about to put together my first wooden structure.

If I just want to stain the wood with an india ink / alcohol mixture is it necessary to first prime the pieces with some kind of paint primer?  

Bar Mills for example had a tutorial that had the pieces first primed with a rattle can grey and then ink washed and then lightly sanded or wire brushed to give the facade more character and depth.    

I understand that whatever I do I should ideally do both sides to prevent warping.

Thanks,

charles

 

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  • From: Chi-Town
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Posted by zstripe on Sunday, April 3, 2022 8:51 AM

Charles,

I personally do not prime any wood kits...unless I do not care about the grain of the wood. Many times I just use sanding sealer.

A short Youtube vid You may find interesting about what You propose:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vz46_Vg_0I

Take Care!Big Smile

Frank

 

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    June 2008
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Posted by PennsyLou on Sunday, April 3, 2022 9:17 AM

It is not necessary to prime before staining with the ink/alcohol mixture - it all depends on the effect you are trying to get.  For "bare wood" look, straight ink mix is all you need.  I have a few different color ink stains and use them this way extensively.  One of the effects George Selios talks about in his FSM kits is to first stain the wood, then dry brush (say, with grey or white) to give a look of old peeling paint.  Paint or primer followed by ink stain will give yet a different effect.

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • From: Vermont
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Posted by Ablebakercharlie on Sunday, April 3, 2022 12:02 PM

Thanks PennsyLou and Frank!  That was very helpful.

I was making it more complicated in my mind than it had to be.

Heading off after work today to get some bourbon 90% isopropyl alcohol and mix some washes.

- charles

 


 

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, April 3, 2022 12:23 PM

I use a shoe dye and alcohol mix and do not prime or seal. The shoe dye fades less over time than the india ink and I use a combo of black and brown.

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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, April 3, 2022 2:19 PM

It may depend on the consistency of the wood.  I usually just use a dilute ink stain.  However, if you're scratchbuilding and sourcing your wood from multiple places, you may find different woods take the stain differently.  In those cases, a light prime coat will give you more even stain coverage.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Bakersfield, CA 93308
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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, April 3, 2022 3:25 PM

Many years ago I ran across an article that suggested using steel wool in vinegar.  I let it soak two days then used it on basswood and it really came out looking very good.

This is a scratch built house.



This is my scratch built Mabry Mill.







No primer, bare basswood.
 
Mel

 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
Turned 84 in July, aging is definitely not for wimps.

  • Member since
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  • From: Vermont
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Posted by Ablebakercharlie on Sunday, April 3, 2022 4:06 PM

Thanks for sharing your pics Mel.

I always get a kick seeing all the little folks interacting in the interior of your passenger cars as well as on the layout.  I love how each one is different.  They are so well done!

- charles

 

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Pa.
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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Monday, April 4, 2022 9:57 AM

If it's a house, use spray primer for wood.  Brush primer will go on too thick and wet and make thin wood used for structures to warp.  I found this out the hard way.  The problem with paint on wood is the wood is porous and will just "soak it up" causing the paint to be uneven, and wood to warp from moisture.  The primer seals it and doesn't absorb as readily into the wood.

For things like india ink and non even raw coverage is needed, just drop it on.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 8:09 AM

The key to wood building is bracing, lots of it and more than any kit contained.

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    March 2019
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Posted by reasearchhound on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 9:24 AM

I owned and operated an interior painting company for years and doing bare wood in full scale is similar to modeling.
If staining, primiming with a paint primer will seal off the wood preventing the stain from penetrating. Plus, paint primer typically is white in color. Using a wood conditioner, a clear product specific to staining, will still allow the stain to penetrate, just more evenly. I prefer oil based stains over water based since water based may cause warping.

When painting a structure, a primer may be advisable, but again, waterbased primers and paints may result in warping so bracing is important. Most rattle can primers and paints are solvent based but warping might still occur so I still brace sections just to be safe.

 

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