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Hello everybody,

I have a question about staining the deck. I'm currently building MS Mayflower kit which only comes with basswood as the only wood. As I started planking the deck I noticed that the color of basswod strips doesn't match, some strips are more yellow and others are more white. This results in a deck that looks uneven and not pleasing to the eye. Right now I see two options:


1. Tear apart whatever I've planked so far and start over carefully selecting strips so they all have same color. When deck is planked sand it and apply Min-Wax Wipe-on-poly.


2. Finish planking the deck without bothering about color mismatch and then stain it.


My question is, has anybody had similar experience before and what they ended up doing? What kind of stain people use for decks and how the end result looks like?


On my other model I only used MinWax wipe-on-poly on the basswood planked deck and it turned out very well (all the strips were similar shade though).


Thank you very much,



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Actually, the differences in the deck planks can be quite realistic. This ship would probably not have a uniform colored deck. Most ships would not in fact.


However, if you choose to stain it, then use a pre stain conditioner to avoid a blotchy appearance. Basswood will likely soak up the stain differently in different areas resulting in an uneven finish with some areas darker than others. The pre stain conditioner will improve this situation causing the wood to take the stain more evenly.



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I have a similiar problem with a Maple deck and once you varnish the color difference will be more noticeable . the only thing is yours are well mixed, mine were in blocks of different color ,yours may be more realistic looking?? it,s very difficult to choose planks all the same shade and when fitting if the plank is turned ,not only side to side but end to end it can make a big difference !

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All of these are great points. I too like the natural look of the deck. However, the final decision is ultimately up to you whether to leave it that way or stain it. If you do go with a stain, Russ is right. get some pre-stain conditioner (I use water, but the MinWax stuff is pretty good too). It will certainly help with any potentially blotchy patches.

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