Staining the bits

Stains aren’t always a good thing, especially brown ones, but when it comes to woodwork they are ok.

On the suggestion of a friend who is building an electric skateboard, I decided to stain the scooter before clear coating it, instead of leaving it as bare timber.  The unfinished timber is birch and is very pale, so I chose a medium dark brown called ‘Rimu’, a native timber found here in New Zealand.

I also wanted a racing stripe, so after a few experiments to check if masking areas worked with wood stain, I proceeded to mask the racing stripe with a good quality painters masking tape.  The stain itself was very easy to apply – it is rubbed in with a clean cloth, and spreads evenly without patching.

Some parts of the scooter are very tight, so I folded the cloth around the end of a flat-head screwdriver to get into those tight spots.

The Rimu colour has a red tint, and is very close to the colour of the leather seat. The photo below is a little deceptive due to the bad lighting in my work space.  The colours are actually much closer under natural light.

The masking tape removed cleanly with almost no discernible bleed, except in areas where the tape was raised slightly because of less than perfect build quality (parts not lining up exactly flush).  Overall, I am happy with the result.  I may end up staining the racing stripe with a very dark stain rather than leaving it as bare timber, so that it matches the seat – not yet sure.


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