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Finishing Tips #1: Blotch Control (Homemade)

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Blog entry by pjones46 posted 1245 days ago 5377 reads 9 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have been working on a project in Cherry and before I finished the desks I decided to try out some of the General Finishes Dye stain but on the scrap test pieces the blotching was driving me nuts. I came to this site and tried all the suggestions until I came across the discussion proclaiming that Charles Neil’s pre stain conditioner was the way to go. Bought some, tried it and still had minor blotching but it works well.

Watching his video he said it was a water based PVA enhanced product and doing some searching here and there I found that diluted PVA white glue has been used for years to control blotching. I just couldn’t leave it alone so I started experimenting and I have come up with an alternative using Gorilla White Wood glue which I think is a polyvinyl alcohol glue and very inexpensive ($5.97 for 18 oz shipped free to house from Home Depot).

I took 5 oz of the Gorilla White Wood Glue and mixed it with 36 oz of water and then added 2 oz of General Finishes natural water based stain. I then mainly followed the application directions for the Charles Neil blotch control only with my mix and the results were very close to the same.

After sanding with 220 use two coats pre stain conditioner as follows: Apply wet coat of pre stain conditioner (allowing short time for softwood to absorb mix) then wipe excess lightly with a dampened rag of pre stain conditioner with grain (allow coat to dry fully 2-4 hours depending on temp and humidity) and sand lightly with ROS machine 220 then by hand with 220 following grain between and after 2nd coat. Hand sand with 320 along grain as a final buff before applying stain. Brush on waterborne dye stain with foam brush letting set for short time so that it bites into pre stain conditioner wiping excess off lightly with clean rag along grain without putting too much pressure on surface of wood.

After dye stain has dried (minimum 2-4 hours depending on temp and humidity), apply spray with ½ lb cut to ¾ lb cut dewaxed shellac, two coats sanding (lightly with 220 ROS and hand 320 along grain) between coats not breaking through shellac into color.

Apply by spray thinned finish coat over everything and let dry then hand sand lightly with 320 or 400 and apply multiple full finish coats drying and sanding between coats.

Any comments?

-- God is great, the Beer is good and people are Crazy. www.pauljoneswoodworks.com



21 comments so far

View Dave's profile

Dave

11149 posts in 1464 days


#1 posted 1243 days ago

How did the look, consistency and viscosity compare to the Charles Neil blotch control?
And can we see pics of the finished product?
very interesting, very interesting !

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

209 posts in 1267 days


#2 posted 1243 days ago

Viscosity was about the same as best I could tell. Watery and milky color in container. When it dried it was as transparent as Neil’s. Also the clarity of grain etc was about the same.

I also tried it on poplar and swear that it made it look like Cherry, blocking out the white and off shade green in the poplar but yet showed the grain. The only thing is his in the jar has an oily funny smell and my mix has none of that.

I’ll try to get some pictures of the samples I did with both in the AM.

-- God is great, the Beer is good and people are Crazy. www.pauljoneswoodworks.com

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

209 posts in 1267 days


#3 posted 1242 days ago

Here is the best I could do for a picture. Mine is on left and Neils on right. Minor blotching on both but way better than without. Also, both samples were better than using a cut Shellac sealer coat. I am however, on the final project, going to reduce the color so it comes out lighter than the test pieces. Used the dark color to see what the worst possible results would be as far as blotching and hiding the figure of the wood. The picture really does not do either justice.

-- God is great, the Beer is good and people are Crazy. www.pauljoneswoodworks.com

View Dave's profile

Dave

11149 posts in 1464 days


#4 posted 1241 days ago

very nice and thanks for posting your results

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1112 posts in 1684 days


#5 posted 1218 days ago

Ok Im confused
Correct me if im wrong
You said you use the wood glue, water, and the water stain mixed together
before applying the charlie neil pre-conditioner and wood glue/stain mix, you sanded the wood with 220 grit.
Apply it on the wood, then wiped excess off?

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

209 posts in 1267 days


#6 posted 1218 days ago

My mix is 5 oz of the Gorilla White Wood Glue and mixed it with 36 oz of water and then added 2 oz of General Finishes natural water based stain.

I applied my mix to the wood let it dry, sanded, another coat of my mix, sanded, then dyed color. If you watched Charles Neils video it is the same process steps. I did not put his product over my mix.

Pictures above, left using my mix on cherry and right his mix used on cherry. Only the application steps were the same.

-- God is great, the Beer is good and people are Crazy. www.pauljoneswoodworks.com

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1112 posts in 1684 days


#7 posted 1218 days ago

That’s interesting.

I thought your suppose to apply the pva glue or conditioner first on wood then dye/stain.
But it worked for you, another way of applying it.

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

209 posts in 1267 days


#8 posted 1218 days ago

Now I’m confused due to your comment. My mix is Gorilla White Wood Glue (PVA glue), water and a very small amount of natural water based stain (not dye stain) all mixed together. The natural water based stain (not dye stain) added in my mix added some sort of component to the mix that seemed to boost anti blotching.

-- God is great, the Beer is good and people are Crazy. www.pauljoneswoodworks.com

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1112 posts in 1684 days


#9 posted 1218 days ago

Fine Ill ask you this.

Why did you mix the PVA glue with the stain? Is this better way than applying the pva on wood first, then stain. Or is it faster?

View trimmer's profile

trimmer

90 posts in 2065 days


#10 posted 1218 days ago

Thanks for the heads up on the conditioner!!!
I will have to try that formula

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

209 posts in 1267 days


#11 posted 1218 days ago

Steve H said:

“Fine Ill ask you this.

Why did you mix the PVA glue with the stain? Is this better way than applying the pva on wood first, then stain. Or is it faster?”

Reply:

The stain added some chemical component to the mix, maybe their “Proprietary Acrylic polymer” which reduced more of the blotching ever so slightly. I have no idea what the Acrylic polymer is or how it reinforced the mix, but it did or it appeared to do so.

-- God is great, the Beer is good and people are Crazy. www.pauljoneswoodworks.com

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1112 posts in 1684 days


#12 posted 1217 days ago

I believe Acrylic polymer is the stain binder. From some research I’ve found out that painting artist use it for glaze, mix with paints, or protective coat.

Is this the General stain your using?
http://www.generalfinishes.com/retail-products/water-base-wood-stains-dyes/water-base-wood-stains

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pjones46

209 posts in 1267 days


#13 posted 1217 days ago

Yes that is the General stain used. It was the only product I had on hand at the time that was neutral in color so that’s what was used. I suppose there are much cheaper alternative to gain the properties of the acrylic polymers.

-- God is great, the Beer is good and people are Crazy. www.pauljoneswoodworks.com

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1112 posts in 1684 days


#14 posted 1217 days ago

After deep research I’ve found out that there’s two types of PVA. They both are called PVA.

Polyvinyl Alcohol
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinyl_alcohol

Polyvinyl Acetate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinyl_acetate

I think you meant You should said that the Gorilla Glue is Polyvinyl Acetate glue, not Polyvinyl Alcohol

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

209 posts in 1267 days


#15 posted 1217 days ago

As it contains a Alcohol Ester Polymer per their MSDS sheet then I would have to say a Polyvinyl Alcohol.

I’m no chemist, but I think the general public does not distinguish between the two types where both are referred to as PVA to the woodworker.

-- God is great, the Beer is good and people are Crazy. www.pauljoneswoodworks.com

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