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Forum topic by aleks posted 09-18-2010 05:40 PM 2496 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2227 days

09-18-2010 05:40 PM


I am new here…well..once I picked a cabinet in local Salvation Army. Thought its gonna be great wardrobe although it was originally a entertainment center. Ok, nice wood but painted white. So, I thought, not a big deal, Ill remove the paint and stain it :) :) never done any finishing before..I am not gonna tell you what a pain in neck stripping was..and sanding :)... I used minwax stain and..horrible thing came out :(
Now..I wonder if there is any way to fix it..for the future project, I mean, because this one is done..I tried to sand the stain, even use the stripper but when I put a new coat of stain, same thing happend..oh well..first project can not be perfect :) on the stain I put 3 coats of Watco clear danish oil, first one using 400 grid wet sanding, then wet wool 0000, then sand dry piece with 400 grid and then just final finish using old sock..and there you go…picture 1, interesting – nothing like that happend inside, its pretty even look..
what I have done wrong?

7 replies so far

View LONGHAIR's profile


94 posts in 3233 days

#1 posted 09-18-2010 05:53 PM

Pine is known for being difficult to stain. I gets blotchy. The simplest way is to use some kind of “pre-stain” wood conditioner. This blocks the more absorptive parts of the wood. The stain will come out more even, but usually a bit lighter after using it.
You can buy a pre made conditioner or make your own. Shellac works great for this. If you are trying to get a fairly dark color, you will need to do some more work. Another coat of shellac will “seal” this first layer so that it can be top-coated again. A glaze of a gel stain can get you to a darker point, then your final finish over that.

View chrisstef's profile


15458 posts in 2425 days

#2 posted 09-18-2010 06:02 PM

I htink what happened when you used the watco oil and sanded with the 400 grit you probably just clogged some of the pores in the wood but not all of them. Next time using watco oil and wet sanding make sure you create a good “paste” of sawdust and oil mix and wipe it off against the grain to seal all of the pores. Then wipe on another coat of the oil and you may have better results. Just my thoughts i could very well be wrong.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3206 days

#3 posted 09-19-2010 04:02 AM

aleks: We disagree. What I see in the picture is stained pine. Typical stained pine. Sure looks better to me than paint. Looks like a lot of older pine furniture, where the varnish saturated the soft wood and then darkened with age.

However, it is not to your satisfaction, and at this point, short of sanding the top 1/32” or more off of it, I doubt you can change what you have. The easiest remedy would be to coat it with some stain/varnish combo like minwax polyshades, etc. This will gradually darken it while hiding some of the blotchiness. If you use it, I would suggest you mix it well, pour some out into another container and thin it by about a third. Apply it with a wiping pad, or brush on and then wipe off the excess after about 3-5 minutes. The coats will be thin, and it may take several to get it to what you think is acceptable.

In the future, you need to use a stain sealer (i.e shellac, seal-cote, etc). Regardless of the directions, let it dry overnight. Then wipe it with a rag dampened with mineral spirits (if using an oil based coating. If water based, use a rag dampened with water). If you see any spots that noticeably darken when you do this, add another coat of the sealer to that area and let dry. Repeat the damp rag wipe until you see an even color. Then apply your stain.

If the stain will not get dark enough, evenly hand sand in the direction of the grain with 150 grit paper on a sanding pad. Wipe off the dust and re-stain. The grooves from the 150 grit will hold more stain, giving a darker color.

As with everything else, try it on some scrap lumber that has been prepped exactly like your project. I know that since you bought this, it is impossible to create a matching sample piece, but if you make it yourself, always mill a couple pieces to use for coating samples. It can be the drop from your cuts, etc, but keep them until you are done.


PS The above is not the only method. Wood dyes usually give a more even color and are easier to control, but that is another technique I will leave to the more advanced finishing experts.

-- Go

View aleks's profile


4 posts in 2227 days

#4 posted 09-19-2010 07:33 PM


I do not even care about that darker spots – I like it :) (if its kind of even) – I am talking about that weird whiter areas – like the ones I pointed out – why that happend? To “coat it with some stain/varnish combo like minwax polyshades” – you mean the whole side? I used Danish oil as a top coat, will poly work on it? Also, I did use a sealer – shellac with alcohol (1:5 ratio) but I did not leave it overnight – just few hours – thats what I have read on-line about using a sealer :( .

Thanks for all answers.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2534 days

#5 posted 09-19-2010 08:03 PM

the one in the mittle look like a patch from here so it cuold be another sort of wood with tighter grain

but nomatter witch approch you take to darken the lighter spot
do it with some very thinded stain or what ever you will use and use one to the lighter side
you can always add to darken the spots you have to try what the best approach is

Take care

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3206 days

#6 posted 09-19-2010 09:54 PM

I misunderstood your dissatisfaction. The lighter areas are most likely where the stripping, etc did not fully remove the coatings, or even could have been where some glue was wiped off during manufacture, and not fully removed.

The polyshades will darken and mask some grain on the whole thing, so probably is not a good idea.

Dennis has some good ideas.


-- Go

View KB1's profile


28 posts in 2572 days

#7 posted 09-22-2010 08:29 AM

as far as I can tell from the photo the upper white blotch is caused by the woods grain naturally turning around a knot. the others appear to be glue blotches not properly removed. pine is probably the worst wood to refinish. there was a reason it was painted. Park that side into a corner and forget about it. you are the only person who notices, or you could buy an air brush and learn a new skill. like I did. KB1

-- KB1KnoB

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