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Can anyone give me step by step instructions to install and stain Decoratively Accented Exposed Pocket Holes?  I'm using a dark stain and want to keep my plugs light.  Do I install my plugs and sand flush first, then use a clear coat product to seal the plugs before staining the project?

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Mary,

This is a tough one.  I'm not aware of a clear coat product like you mention in your question, but if you find one please share with the group. 

When I built the oriental inspired coffee table top I used painters tape.  That project used an oak plywood top edged with solid oak pieces.  The pieces were installed and sanded smooth before any finishing work began.  The plywood was stained a red followed by a black gel stain to highlight the grain.  When that was finished I taped off the red areas and stained the edges in ebony.  Here is the link to pics of the table http://kregjig.ning.com/photo/albums/oriental-inspired-coffee-table

The same technique may work with the plugs, using a light wood plug, gluing them in and sanding everything smooth, then taping over the plugs with painters tape prior to staining the remainder of the project.  You would have to be precise cutting the tape around the installed plug, be sure the tape has good adhesion and use caution applying the stain near the covered plugs.  

Another option that comes to mind is to stain the project, letting it dry thoroughly, then glue in the light wood plugs.  place painters tape around the plug (now sitting proud of the surface) and cut the plugs off using a flush cutting saw.

Whatever method you choose to use (whether one of my suggestions or an idea from elsewhere) I suggest practicing on some scrap wood first.  That way if something doesn't go right your only out some scraps of wood and some inexpensive plugs.

How about it other members, any other suggestions?

Hope this helps, Don

Hi Don,

Thank you for your response.  I decided to use a red oak finish on my table and a dark stain on the plugs.  Looks better, I think.  I tried an experiment with two plugs: I cut off the ends of the plug so the plugs fit flush. Then I removed them and stained them.  I think your method may be better to get all 16 plugs sitting flush.

Thanks again. 

Mary

Don Foley said:

Mary,

This is a tough one.  I'm not aware of a clear coat product like you mention in your question, but if you find one please share with the group. 

When I built the oriental inspired coffee table top I used painters tape.  That project used an oak plywood top edged with solid oak pieces.  The pieces were installed and sanded smooth before any finishing work began.  The plywood was stained a red followed by a black gel stain to highlight the grain.  When that was finished I taped off the red areas and stained the edges in ebony.  Here is the link to pics of the table http://kregjig.ning.com/photo/albums/oriental-inspired-coffee-table

The same technique may work with the plugs, using a light wood plug, gluing them in and sanding everything smooth, then taping over the plugs with painters tape prior to staining the remainder of the project.  You would have to be precise cutting the tape around the installed plug, be sure the tape has good adhesion and use caution applying the stain near the covered plugs.  

Another option that comes to mind is to stain the project, letting it dry thoroughly, then glue in the light wood plugs.  place painters tape around the plug (now sitting proud of the surface) and cut the plugs off using a flush cutting saw.

Whatever method you choose to use (whether one of my suggestions or an idea from elsewhere) I suggest practicing on some scrap wood first.  That way if something doesn't go right your only out some scraps of wood and some inexpensive plugs.

How about it other members, any other suggestions?

Hope this helps, Don

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