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Finishing Tips #6: Homemade Blotch Control Instructions

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Blog entry by pjones46 posted 02-07-2015 06:04 AM 3400 reads 8 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Many people have contacted me concerning the specific mixing instructions to make homemade blotch control and specifics as to its application. So here they are.

Mixing instructions

Glue size is most commonly made of a watered-down, water-based, PVA adhesive. If you do plan to make your own, try something on the order of 10 parts (or a little less) water to one part Gorilla White Wood Glue. The ratios may vary with species and porosity of the wood.

Use:

Distilled Water (Can be purchased in most Grocery stores)
Gorilla White Wood Glue
Glass/Plastic Jar with cover for mixing and storage
Cotton Cloths (clean and pre-washed)

Note: On one of my previous projects, I used Gorilla White Wood Glue at a ratio of approximately 1 part glue to 8 parts water and in worked well as compared to a commercially produced water based pre-stain/blotch control formulation at about 25% of the cost.

Always make test applications using pieces of scrap wood from the same project you plan to finish. You also may find the results will be different from project to project using the same species of wood.
You can also spray the Homemade Glue Sizing/Blotch Control by applying a full wet soaking coat of homemade conditioner, and then follow step 2 through step 7 below.

How to apply the Homemade Glue Sizing/Blotch Control/Conditioner

1. Always stir well before using. Apply a wet soaking coat of homemade conditioner to the final sanded project with a brush or cloth. You want the mix to be absorbed by the soft grains within the wood, thereby balancing absorption of the surface to subsequent coatings.

2. Allow a few minutes for the conditioner to be absorbed into the wood. Then wipe the surface of the wood with a clean cotton cloth dampened with the conditioner to insure total coverage and removal of the excess.

3. Allow the surface to dry. This will vary depending on ambient temperature and humidity. Best guess is 1-2 hours and it is ok to leave for longer.

4. At this point because the wood gain has risen due to the water in the conditioner, lightly sand the surface with 280 or finer grit sandpaper so as to remove the raised grain. Clean the surfaces with a vacuum or dry cotton cloth to remove any dust left after sanding.

5. Apply the second coat of the conditioner following the same procedures as in step 1 and step 2.

6. Allow the second coat of the conditioner to dry overnight; then very lightly sand the wood surface with 280-600 grit sandpaper. I usually use 400 grit wet-dry sandpaper as I always have it in the shop. Make sure you do not over sand the conditioner which will break the seal into the grain of the wood.

7. At this point clean the surfaces with a vacuum or dry cotton cloth. Some blow it off with air but this will scatter dust particles into the air and may contaminate your finish. If you must or prefer to use air then take the project outside vs in the same area you are using to apply finish. Some use a de-waxed tack cloth to remove any dust left over from the sanding, however, this may cause problems for some finishes and I do not recommend using them. You are now ready for your stain or dye and top finish.

See suggestions below when applying coloring products over the Homemade Glue Sizing/Blotch Control.

Recommendations when Applying Stains and Dies

When applying gel stains or oil based stains; you might be able to use just one coat of the Homemade Glue Sizing/Blotch Control; however, you should make a test on scraps to be insure the results meet with your approval.

When applying waterborne dyes and stains over the Homemade Glue Sizing/Blotch Control, apply as normally done, but avoid over wetting and excessive wiping as it may cause the Homemade Glue Sizing/Blotch Control to soften and reduce its effectiveness.

When applying Alcohol/Lacquer/Acetone/Xylol base dyes and stains, they must be sprayed.

Water Base Pre-Stain Conditioner (Homemade) Instructions
©2010-2015 Paul Jones – All Rights Reserved

-- Respectfully, Paul



12 comments so far

View Roger's profile

Roger

19881 posts in 2270 days


#1 posted 02-07-2015 02:32 PM

Very good, detailed info.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2109 days


#2 posted 02-07-2015 04:36 PM

Thanks Roger.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View CypressAndPine's profile

CypressAndPine

62 posts in 1273 days


#3 posted 02-19-2015 07:21 PM

I have a question for you.

Would you recommend using this before finishing with an oil? Let’s say a Danish Oil. You’ve seen my cypress tables. Some of the cypress takes the oil at drastically different rates.

Regards,
Jacob

-- Cypress Jake, New Orleans

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2109 days


#4 posted 02-19-2015 09:09 PM

Jacob,

This is primarily used with dye or stain to even out coloration absorption in woods that are prone to blotching such as cherry and pine. It is absorbed into the softer grain structure of the wood where in effect it decreases the penetration of the dye or stain to yield a more consistent color.

If you are using a colored Danish Oil it will help to even out the coloration but I suggest you do some testing on scrap and only use one coat Homemade Glue Sizing/Blotch Control/Conditioner as a first test. You will also notice that the color will be lighter than what you expect because the absorption of anything you put on top of the treated surface will not penetrate as it would on untreated wood.

If you are going to use Natural colored Danish Oil, you will not see as much of a difference.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View jramey0406's profile

jramey0406

3 posts in 462 days


#5 posted 09-03-2015 02:47 PM

in your original post you also used a clear stain in the mix, but left it out on the instructions. Do you no longer use this step?

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2109 days


#6 posted 09-03-2015 03:22 PM

I do not use the clear stain any longer. Use exactly what is listed above only.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View jramey0406's profile

jramey0406

3 posts in 462 days


#7 posted 09-03-2015 07:24 PM

thank you for the response. May i ask why the change? Did you get equal results without it?

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2109 days


#8 posted 09-03-2015 10:57 PM

After further testing I saw very little difference by adding the General Finishes natural water based stain, consequently, decided to leave it out and have done so with no adverse results.

I have tried other manufactures of pre-stain conditioner and still find that the homemade meets or exceed the results and continue to use it.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View jramey0406's profile

jramey0406

3 posts in 462 days


#9 posted 09-14-2015 06:05 PM

thank you sir!

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2109 days


#10 posted 09-14-2015 10:11 PM

Your welcome, anytime.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1062 posts in 1455 days


#11 posted 02-08-2016 12:42 PM

I have performed much the same blotch control testing as pjones – using pva glue and various acrylic polymers (waterbased finishes) mixed with water. I arrived at the same basic conclusions. I happen to use Elmer’s glue all, at a ratio up to 4 parts water to I part glue (depending on wood species) and only apply one coat, in the manner he describes. The distilled water is a good idea if using a light color. Plenty of success using tap water. Easy to test your water – wet a sample with water and let it dry. Reduced white glue works as well as anything out there.

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2109 days


#12 posted 02-08-2016 06:14 PM

Thanks OSU55,

In my area we have very high iron content in the water as well as chlorine and that’s why I used distilled water to reduce any possibility of adverse results either with the wood or finish.

I will give the Elmer’s glue all a try at some point, and as you said the mixture concentration depending on wood species so testing on samples is prudent in all applications to determine the appropriate mix ratio for the products and woods you are using.

Thanks again for your input.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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