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By Myfordman
I usually work in hardwoods but have been asked to make a chest in softwood pine. An "antique" look with a durable finish is called for. It will be jointly used for storage and coffee type table.

I've heard that staining pine can be at risk of going blotchy due to differential absorption of liquid stains so is tinted varnish to way to go?
Whatever I want to be able to give protection with a satin pu varnish to the surfaces so can't use coloured waxes.

Some guidance please to extend my comfort zone to cover this project.
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By Phil Pascoe
From staining pine much darker before one thing I would say is to dye the wood as well as using a coloured top coat. The top coat helps even out irregularities in the dye and if it gets scuffed it shows less if the underlying colour is darker.
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By transatlantic
I had better luck with tinted danish oils rather than stains.

I used : ... danish-oil

and then several layers of : (it's quite hard wearing)

...I think I may have also used a thinned down sanding sealer as the first coat (then sanded back)
By Doug71
I have used Van Dyke crystals (very weak mix) to give pine a little bit of colour and stop it looking brand new, guess it's not dissimilar to using coffee or tea.

You must keep a wet edge when applying though or you can end up with darker patches.
By Just4Fun
It depends on the colour I am aiming for.

For a lighter tint I have used drinking-strength tea.
For a darker tint I save coffee grounds and the dregs of the pot for a few days. Usually much stronger than normal drinking strength.

Obviously this needs to be tested on a piece of scrap.
By Myfordman
Good shout Doug! I have got some VDC somewhere. I got it to dig me out of a hole with a batch of ABW that had a lot of paler sapwood in that only appeared when I planed it up.
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By That would work
I would look at wearing away some of the softer spring growth with a wire brush for an aged look. I have known people use shoe Polish for colour, what is best to put over this would require experimentation.