Home Depot Pine and Grey Oil Minwax - Staining Difficulties

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Forum topic by LumberDan posted 08-25-2016 06:29 PM 1482 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 841 days

08-25-2016 06:29 PM

Hey—I’m new to woodworking and staining and pretty much everything wood.

Anyways, I’m trying to get a stain right before I buy a bunch of pine and make a coffee table. Anyways, I know pine tends to be blotchy, so maybe I can’t get this to look any better than it already does. I used Minwax wood conditioner according to the instructions and put on from a few to several coats of Minwax grey oil-based stain. I wouldn’t really describe this as blotchy, but you can see these diagonally oriented dark areas that I think detracts from the look. You can appreciate them before and after the stain was applied.

One of the pics shows a chestnut gel stain I was playing around with.

It’s a little more pronounced than the pictures show.

Are these areas natural to the wood or a manufacturing effect? Is this something that can’t be avoided?

Should I just forget messing around with pine and staining?

9 replies so far

View mikeber's profile


30 posts in 1062 days

#1 posted 08-25-2016 07:03 PM

1) Pine is problematic when staining.
2) In my limited experience, you probably need to seal the the wood with a wood sealer (dewaxed shellac?) and apply the stain on top of that.
3) Charles Neil had a solution that was effective in preventing blotching. Perform a Goggle search.
4) It really depends on why you chose this specific wood and stain combination. You could make life easier (I learned it the hard way) by switching to a different wood species or finishing method. Perhaps use oil as natural finish or maybe paint the pine in the desired color.
Good Luck.

View jwmalone's profile


769 posts in 904 days

#2 posted 08-25-2016 07:10 PM

Sand it down to bare wood. Mix a little stain in with the clear coat (you’ve made a toner) then finish it with that. Last coat pure clear coat. Some will recommend another product but I refuse to speak the p word.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 849 days

#3 posted 08-25-2016 07:11 PM

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2978 days

#4 posted 08-25-2016 07:14 PM

You may want to try dying the wood.

Pine is very soft and has a lot of pitch in it. You can seal it – I have used shellac – and then stained it. Sealing finishes are thinned out more than the regular finish (I usually thin it 50%).

What I do with pine? I paint it after sealing it. Play with it and see what works for you, the knots will tend to bleed through most finishes.

Be safe and be careful of the finishes, they can be explosive if not handled correctly, especially shellac and laquer

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Kirk650's profile


576 posts in 950 days

#5 posted 08-25-2016 07:16 PM

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different potions and lotions to avoid wood blotching. Nothing really worked that well till I bought some of that Charles Neil Anti blotch. That stuff worked, at least it did on the Hard Maple I’m working with right now. I have not tried it on cherry or pine, but I would expect it to work after what I’ve seen so far.

If you use it, you will need a stronger dye mixture to get the shade you want. And, for what it’s worth, I used Transtint and JE Moser dyes in water.

View OSU55's profile


1970 posts in 2191 days

#6 posted 08-28-2016 01:07 PM

Blotch control. While I have successfully dyed and stained pine, I don’t use it for furniture. It’s too soft and gets beat up easily. No matter how hard the finish, the soft wood under it crushes.

View mike02130's profile


170 posts in 874 days

#7 posted 08-28-2016 02:45 PM

One problem may be that it is HomePot pine. My local pot sells pine that comes from new Zealand. It looks like American pine but the grain has—for lack of the proper word—small indentations in the grain like mahogany or walnut. I stained some baseboard and used pot pine and local lumber yard pine and noticed the difference.

-- Google first, search forums second, ask questions later.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1193 posts in 3051 days

#8 posted 08-28-2016 05:15 PM

Blotch control. While I have successfully dyed and stained pine, I don t use it for furniture. It s too soft and gets beat up easily. No matter how hard the finish, the soft wood under it crushes.
- OSU55

+1 especially for a coffee table that usually gets lots of abuse, I would only consider a hardwood, Id suggest maple if you want a grey stain finish. Yes more expensive lumber, but you’ll have afar greater lifespan.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2687 posts in 3124 days

#9 posted 08-28-2016 10:43 PM

If I want a” darker then pine” look I just use a “darker than pine” wood. Personally, I stain nothing.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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