I decided I might as well have a go at building the stairs. Absolutely every one of these processes are new to me. I have never used stain pens, never nipped laser cut stuff from a sheet of wood or built a 1/48th anything. Here we go....
First I tested the pens. These are made by TJM Limited otherwise known as Home Bargains. I have no idea of their price but I doubt more than two or three pounds if that.
There are six colours each in stain pens and touch up filler sticks. I have no idea what you can do with the latter - they aren't made for staining wood for sure.
I tried the five wood colours - the sixth is black.
From the top:
If you do this remember to blank off the ones either side when you are judging a colour. Seeing colours on either side of the colour you are focussing on will affect the result. Choosing is never easy but I am not keen on the 'redness' of the middle three and the oak is just too light for anything that's been around for a couple of hundred years - so Walnut it is.
I gravitate to walnut every time it seems.
I then tested my usual walnut stain - Colron Wood Dye - American Walnut against the pen - this is a single coat of each.
I would probably prefer the effect of the usual stain (with a second coat) but, always being one for the short-cut, getting it done in one go with the pen seemed a good option. After all, this isn't fine furniture, its just a couple of flights of cottage stairs.
The only other thing to remember (and I didn't!) is to stain then let it dry for as long as possible and then rub it down - kitchen roll is good for this. This buffing will remove excess stain, de-nib the wood and add a slight sheen. If you look again at the five colour test (top right) with no buffing and the two product test (bottom left) with buffing, you can probably see the difference.
As I said my 'method' was to stain the wood, not let it dry thoroughly and forgot to buff it! 'Do as I say, not as a I do' might be worth remembering when reading my stuff.
Check in tomorrow if you want to see the stairs. They are done but I don't want to 'overload' you.