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Red Oak staining uneven

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Forum topic by Laughran posted 01-08-2016 10:25 PM 690 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Laughran

65 posts in 1393 days


01-08-2016 10:25 PM


These frames are made of red oak. I sanded the to 180 grit and used Varathane Gunstock stain and they looked fine. put a coat of General Finishes Armor Seal and now it looks like some areas didn’t take any stain. I have used these 2 products together many times and never had a problem. It looks like it could have been caused by glue smeared on the wood, but I know that’s not the problem.
Any thoughts on what caused this?
Would over sanding cause this?

-- David


10 replies so far

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 616 days


#1 posted 01-08-2016 10:42 PM

I dont think sanding is the issue with 180 but I would not rule it out. Looks a bit like quarter sawn with the rays.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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Laughran

65 posts in 1393 days


#2 posted 01-08-2016 10:49 PM

It is rift sawn,
could it be that the rays?

-- David

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Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2573 days


#3 posted 01-09-2016 12:16 AM

The vertical piece on the right side of the picture definitely is showing rays. But the horizontal piece, the rays seem to be going the wrong way, i.e., along the grain? Maybe another pic from a different angle would clear that up.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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pintodeluxe

4858 posts in 2278 days


#4 posted 01-09-2016 12:32 AM

These frames are made of red oak. I sanded the to 180 grit and used Varathane Gunstock stain and they looked fine.
- Laughran

Assuming you wiped or brushed the topcoat on, it looks to me like the stain had not fully cured. Many oil based stains will be partially removed as a topcoat is applied. Very common in colder weather, and it will surprise you how long the stain takes to cure. I have used that brand and that color of stain, and it is generally a good product.

The only solution is to wait longer before applying the topcoat next time. Alternately, you can spray the topcoat to avoid physical contact with the stain. Spraying solves so many common finishing problems.

Good luck and let us know what you figure out.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View seriousturtle's profile

seriousturtle

101 posts in 2795 days


#5 posted 01-09-2016 12:39 AM


These frames are made of red oak. I sanded the to 180 grit and used Varathane Gunstock stain and they looked fine.
- Laughran

Assuming you wiped or brushed the topcoat on, it looks to me like the stain had not fully cured. Many oil based stains will be partially removed as a topcoat is applied. Very common in colder weather, and it will surprise you how long the stain takes to cure. I have used that brand and that color of stain, and it is generally a good product.

The only solution is to wait longer before applying the topcoat next time. Alternately, you can spray the topcoat to avoid physical contact with the stain. Spraying solves so many common finishing problems.

Good luck and let us know what you figure out.

- pintodeluxe

I agree, cold weather, or not fully cured stain. I’ve done that myself when applying a wiping varnish over top a stain that wasn’t fully cured. Nice call Pinto

-- ~the turtle

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Laughran

65 posts in 1393 days


#6 posted 01-09-2016 12:52 AM

I’m not sure if the problem was the result of the stain not curing, I let the stain dry for over 2 days. I stained all of the woodwork in my house [baseboard, windows, doors and trim] with this stain and would put on the finish coat the next day with no problems. Also my shop is in the basement and is 68 degrees, so the cold should not be a factor. I think my only solution is to sand and do over and see if it happens again. If that dose’nt work I will start from scratch and make new ones.

-- David

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2573 days


#7 posted 01-09-2016 01:55 AM

OK, is it also possible that you sanded through the first coat of finish in some spots? I’m currently working on a tool chest made of red oak and removed some of the stain when sanding, but it was on the edges. I re-stained that piece. In my case it is McCloskey’s Light Oak stain, and MinWax Clear Gloss Polyurethane. Both oil base. It is cold (50° F or less at night) and rainy, and I am waiting 24 hours between staining and finishing. The piece I had to redo, I sprayed because the brush I was using caused bubbles, so the finish was thinner. I switched to a better brush to eliminate the problem.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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Laughran

65 posts in 1393 days


#8 posted 01-09-2016 01:14 PM

Lightning I didn’t sand after I put the finish on so that’s not the problem.
I thinking that the problem is the result of over sanding. I usually only sand to 150 grit, but on this project I sanded to 180. I believe that the 180 grit polished the wood to much and on those spots the stain did not soak in and when I wiped on the finish the stain came off.
Pinto, I agree with you that spraying is the way to go but I’m not set up for that.

-- David

View cracknpop's profile

cracknpop

195 posts in 1813 days


#9 posted 01-09-2016 06:01 PM

I am not convinced it is related to sanding to 180. I routinely sand to 180, sometimes even 220, before staining without an issue like that. As you mentioned, that looks very suspiciously like “glue smear” but in the absence of glue, there are other contaminants that could’ve soaked into the wood even before sanding.

Did you perhaps run that particular board across a jointer/through a planer that you had recently polished/waxed the surface and some of the wax/polish soaked into the wood? When you were sanding it, did you perhaps use a mat under it that could’ve also had some paste wax or mineral oil on it from a previous project and it soaked in a couple spots? Did you wipe it down with a rag that may have been contaminated with some type of wax/oil?
Just a couple other thoughts to help you trouble shoot.

Be sure to keep us posted on how you fix it.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

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Laughran

65 posts in 1393 days


#10 posted 01-10-2016 01:39 PM

After a few days of reading and a lot of thought, this is what I think happened. Pinto got me thinking about applying an oil finish over an oil stain. They both contain the same solvent, mineral spirits. I know from experience that the finish will lift the stain if you work it to much. I applied the finish with a foam brush and then wiped off the excess with a cotton cloth. I must have rubbed to much and the stain lifted off. Although frustrating I am now rethinking how I apply my finish. I am going to try sealing the stain with shellac before applying the finish.
Live and learn

-- David

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