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  1. #1

    Difficulty Staining PLA Wood Filament

    Hey Guys -

    I started 3D printing a couple of months ago and recently tried out Hatchbox's Wood Filament. I choose this one since it had great reviews and their regular PTA worked well for me. When trying to stain my finished prints, hardly any sticks; though. Attached are a few images with explainations for each below...

    - Test Stain - I took the tearaway rift from a print to test with and sanded area 1 with 400 grit, area 2 with 800 grit, area 3 with 1500 grit, and area 4 with 2500. The areas between 3 & 2 is not sanded and upper part isn't stained, however; all areas look the same (including one not stained). I applied stain, wiped it, then repeated.
    - Next to the test piece is a print I did which I stained as well which isn't smooth like the raft, but it retained pretty much the same color as well despite trying both of the stains below (let dry in between)
    I attached a picture with and without flash...

    Stain Used
    - Minwax - Wood Finish Penetrating Stain - English Chestnut 233
    - Rustoleum Wood Stain - American Walnut

    They were printed on my Ender 3 Pro using a 0.4 nozzle @ .2 layer height. Here's a link to the filament used:

    am I doing incorrectly? Any suggestions? Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bzowk; 01-29-2020 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Formatting

  2. #2
    It's plastic with some wood fibers in it.. I had the same experience.. Ended up using transparent ink and paint with an airbrush to paint my chess pieces to look like wood. Luck the designer had split them so they could be printed laying down which makes the lines made by the printing process look sort of like wood grain. There is a online program I found that will take your gcode and alter the temp so the print will have different varied darkness but still does not look like wood to me..

  3. #3
    Other things I read while fighting this fight was to allow the stain to sit over night.. So in essence the stain just dried on the surface.. so they painted it with solids.. I have yet to finish my project but the board is done and I have a few picture of the first few pieces. Still have a lot to paint then finish with either satin or gloss clear but not sure an part of why it is not done yet. Filament was eSun wood, tiles are wood and of course the game pieces
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    3d prints are extremely porous, the wood dust pla even more so.
    I find that stains just soak in.

    Coloured varnish has a slightly better success. But you still need a couple of coats.

  5. #5
    The issue is that Penetrating stain make the grain darker and and the light areas slightly darker and does not cover it up the grain.. there is no grain here.. The stain may suck into cracks if you are under extruded but I could not make it look nice no matter what I did.. Was not going to spend $60 trying a half dozen different products.. Got a nice look with transparent ComArt paint and Dr Martins ink and a little reductive technique
    Good luck with your project!
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    have to admit I pretty much just fine sand and leave natural.

    One option is to use different coloured wood filaments.

    OOznest Lumber range are very good:
    comes in five flavours. Haven't tried varnishing it, I just like the raw wood effect you get with sanding alone :-)

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