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Removing / fixing my blotchy stain failure?

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Forum topic by carltonwire posted 02-28-2017 08:57 PM 340 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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carltonwire

4 posts in 59 days


02-28-2017 08:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: vinegar finish pine

Hey everyone, I really appreciate all the information I’ve found so far on this forum. I have a LOT more to learn, but hopefully can help others in the future.

I have some edge glued 5/4 pine that someone wanted the good ‘ol vinegar + steel wool treatment on, so I volunteered to do it since I had the supplies. I’ve done it in the past, it usually comes out pretty decent…except this time. It’s blotchy and…a little green! (The photo makes it look a little better than it actually is in person)

The surface grain was raised with a water/tea mixture like usual in this process. (I skipped pre-stain conditioner because I didn’t use it in the past)

To remove it and try again, I thought I could just sand it down with some 80 & 120 grit on my random orbit, but it’s only gotten hazy and lighter green. The spots are more highlighted than ever, ugh. Stripper didn’t seem to have an effect either, probably because it’s not actual stain or finish.

Anyway, I was hoping for a light grey like usual, should I look into dyes, gel stain? I’m not sure where to turn next.

Thank you for any suggestions on how to remove this stain (bleach?) or get a more evened out, grey finish.

Take care,
Curt


9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4609 posts in 3567 days


#1 posted 02-28-2017 10:04 PM

IMO, pine will do what it wants to do.
The pic does not show what extreme you voiced, but the “green” will be best taken care of with a vinegar wash.

That’s what I would start with, but my best advice would be to try the wash on a sample before using it on the entire piece.

Best wishes.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View cicerojoe's profile

cicerojoe

63 posts in 3052 days


#2 posted 02-28-2017 11:17 PM

I was taught that if you want to avoid the green, you have to get something pure iron. It is the alloy metals that make it turn green (from steel wool, for example).

-- John from the Cherry Valley Studio in NY http://www.cvalleystudio.com

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cicerojoe

63 posts in 3052 days


#3 posted 02-28-2017 11:18 PM

I’d just go darker personally and cover it up.

-- John from the Cherry Valley Studio in NY http://www.cvalleystudio.com

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Lazyman

1130 posts in 994 days


#4 posted 02-28-2017 11:33 PM

So how dark are your trying to get it? I haven’t had much luck ebonizing pine with vinegar and steelwool. The iron needs lots of tannin to get a nice dark color and pine just does not seem to have much. What I have done in the past to get it darker is make some really strong tea and wash the surface with that before the vinegar and iron solution. You could also make a tea from acorn shells to extract the tannin to get an even darker color.

Try this on some scraps first to see how they work since every wood reacts a little differently.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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carltonwire

4 posts in 59 days


#5 posted 03-01-2017 03:26 AM

Thank you for the replies so far. Here’s where I’m at…

I tried a section with vinegar, but no real change.

I tried regular bleach, removed quite a bit of the color, but left it really yellow. I’ll try another application soon.

I stopped at Ace, they had Oxalic acid. From the pack, it only looked to remove dirt/stains, so I didn’t get it. However, I just saw this on Popular Woodworking:

Oxalic acid

Iron, in the form of nails, hardware, or even bits of steel wool, often leaves a blackish stain on woods high in tannin, like oak. A wash of oxalic solution removes these stains as well as the grayed color of oxidized wood.

So, I may need to give it a shot… I just want to get a medium grey, even if it’s stains, dyes or whatever, I’m no longer tied to the vinegar/steel solution. :/

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carltonwire

4 posts in 59 days


#6 posted 03-01-2017 09:05 PM

Just in case anyone else in the future comes across this looking for info… I tried a tiny patch of Drain-O and another of Iron Out since I had it on hand.

Drain-O had a similar result as bleach, Iron Out just lightened things up a touch.

When I get out, I’ll try oxalic acid next after everything dries out. Quite the little science experiment.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1233 posts in 1596 days


#7 posted 03-01-2017 09:24 PM

One of the main reasons I stay away from the old stain or dye recipes. IMO these were for a time long past when all of the dyes available today werent invented yet. I’ve yet to have this type of issue with Transtint for alcohol/ water or WD Lockwood for oil based dyes.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1130 posts in 994 days


#8 posted 03-01-2017 10:46 PM

I’ve gotten amazing results using the iron and vinegar solution on oak. I used this to ebonize the drawer pulls of my tool chest and it looks fantastic, if I may say so myself. You just have to try it on the wood in advance to see whether it will work or not. The other variable on the vinegar solution is making sure that you you wait long enough for enough iron to dissolve into solution. I had to wait about a week to get enough of the steel wool into solution for it to generate the ebony effect.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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carltonwire

4 posts in 59 days


#9 posted 03-04-2017 09:54 PM

Just an update, oxalic acid (found at Ace Hardware) mixed pretty heavily in hot water seems to be doing the trick. It’s not back to true “pine” color, but I’ll live. :)

Thank you for the replies

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