Reply by Ted

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Posted on Blotch stain on maple wood Crown and PM6 molding.

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2846 posts in 2209 days

#1 posted 12-06-2012 04:31 AM

Sounds like you’re right, he didn’t use any sort of conditioner or sealer. Solvents won’t take out enough of the stain, as the darker areas (the blotches) are where the stain penetrated deep. Sandblasting of any sort will destroy the surface of the wood.

Plenty of sandpaper and some blocks cut to angles to get into tight spaces and a couple of cheap labors may be the solution. I don’t know the profile you’re talking about, so can’t say for sure. Sanding grits to use would be 80 grit to rip it down to new wood, then 120 grit to get it smooth. Depending on how close anybody would see it, you may want to go with a third sanding of 180 or 220 grit.

Conditioner is only needed before the first application of stain, since the grain will be sealed after that.

But now for the bad news. Conditioned wood is going to stain several shades lighter than unconditioned wood, because the stain lays on top rather than penetrate, as it did with the rest of the wood. It may take several applications of stain to get even close to the same tone.

On a similar note, I had a customer once ask me what to do about smudge marks on some hard to reach crown molding. The contractor filled all the nail holes before sealing the wood, and failed to sand out all the smudges. It may have looked like they were sanded out, but the area around the each nail hole was “sealed” from the smeared filler. When the stain was wiped off, the smudges stood our like a sore thumb, so to speak. I quoted my best price for stripping, properly sanding, and refinishing, but never heard back from him. Needless to say, it was not cheap.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

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