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Forum topic by Whoashutitdown13 posted 03-11-2017 03:54 PM 499 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Whoashutitdown13

5 posts in 528 days


03-11-2017 03:54 PM

Hi there,

Long time lurker, first time post.

I’ve tried all local resources for help, but I can’t seem to find help so I’ll come to some experts.

I can refinish items using a spray gun or spray paint very well, but I’m awful when with staining.

Could anyone help why certain areas of the guitar I’m trying to stain looks “white”, “ashy” or “cloudy”?

It seems to happen in the horns and the sides of the guitar.

I know most don’t like them, but it’s a MixWax stain and the guitar was sanded to 150 before staining. I’ve tried wiping on shellac & poly afterwards, but I get the same result.

Any tips or help would be amazing.





11 replies so far

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Jamie Bush

20 posts in 859 days


#1 posted 03-11-2017 06:27 PM

If you are re-finishing this guitar then it could be left over finish from before. Also, it looks like it would be in places where hands would normally go so maybe it’s an effect from human oil and sweat….

-- A practicing woodworker sounds a lot better than a practicing MD

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cherk3

14 posts in 528 days


#2 posted 03-11-2017 07:05 PM

Hi, I am far from an expert, but to me looks like wood blotch and a poor quality of stain.
I have experienced the same poor results and look forward to some real expert opinions.

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OSU55

1792 posts in 2076 days


#3 posted 03-11-2017 07:30 PM

What type of wood, what was the old finish, and what did you do to strip the old finish? How was the surface then cleaned/prepped for a new finish?

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Whoashutitdown13

5 posts in 528 days


#4 posted 03-11-2017 07:31 PM



Hi, I am far from an expert, but to me looks like wood blotch and a poor quality of stain.
I have experienced the same poor results and look forward to some real expert opinions.

- cherk3

Do you know how I can avoid the wood blotching?

From what I read on a few other posts, a tip of using a washcoat of shellac mixed with denatured alcohol. But I’m not sure how to apply a washcoat.

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Whoashutitdown13

5 posts in 528 days


#5 posted 03-11-2017 07:41 PM



What type of wood, what was the old finish, and what did you do to strip the old finish? How was the surface then cleaned/prepped for a new finish?

- OSU55

The wood is agathis, the old finish from the factor was lacquer, I removed the old finish with an orbital/sheet/hand sanding and I used mineral spirits to wipe the guitar down before sanding.

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cherk3

14 posts in 528 days


#6 posted 03-11-2017 08:06 PM

Hi, Just type in Wood blotch in the search bar on top right. There is loads of info from some very smart, experienced wood workers. I have read lots from the above contributor (OSU55) in regards to this subject. As per some of the above comments in regards to surface prep. This is certainly something to consider.

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OSU55

1792 posts in 2076 days


#7 posted 03-12-2017 12:29 AM

Did you sand down to bare wood? From the pics, it appears old finish was left on the surface, both on the front of the body as well as the edges. Did you wipe the stain with a cloth while it was still wet, or leave a film thickness of stain on the surface and let it dry? it appears there are a few different things going on with the stain. There might be blotching, you may have left too much stain on the surface, there may have been old stain left on the surface giving the appearance of blotching. Pretty sure the problem with the edges is old finish.

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Whoashutitdown13

5 posts in 528 days


#8 posted 03-12-2017 01:50 AM



Did you sand down to bare wood? From the pics, it appears old finish was left on the surface, both on the front of the body as well as the edges. Did you wipe the stain with a cloth while it was still wet, or leave a film thickness of stain on the surface and let it dry? it appears there are a few different things going on with the stain. There might be blotching, you may have left too much stain on the surface, there may have been old stain left on the surface giving the appearance of blotching. Pretty sure the problem with the edges is old finish.

- OSU55

Hi OSU55,

It was bare wood when I applied the stain.

All of the lacquer & dealer were removed 100% yoyo 150 grit.

I used a lint free cloth and I was trying to wipe right after I applied. One problem I had is when I dipped the stain, that first initial contact came out much darker and the wood totally absorbed it all no matter how quickly I’d try to wipe it.

Ive included three more pics. One of the guitar before I worked on it, one after I heat gunned the paint, but the sealer was still on and lastly of the wood right after I wiped it down with a mineral spirits rag.


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Whoashutitdown13

5 posts in 528 days


#9 posted 03-12-2017 01:51 AM

The darker area around the horn and arm bend on the front are from when I wiped it down.

What would be your best recommendation?

I’m willing to start over, but I want to go about the right steps.

I appreciate all the help.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5737 posts in 2900 days


#10 posted 03-12-2017 02:55 AM

There are two things that can cause these results…
1. Contaminants left over from the previous finish.
2. Stain being lifted off while wiping on the topcoat. Color transfer onto your rag or brush is a telltale sign.

Luckily both problems can be solved with a washcoat of shellac as a pre-stain conditioner. Get some Bullseye shellac Sealcoat and thin it 50/50 with denatured alcohol. Brush it on with a chip brush (disposable brush with light colored bristles). The sealcoat will dry very quickly. Scuff sand it with a very fine soft sanding sponge. Then apply the stain. Wait 24-48 hours at 70 degrees to apply the topcoat (this is the most important step).
Once the stain is fully dry, apply your topcoat.

If you have samples of the same wood you could experiment a bit. You will find that the 50/50 mix works for a lot of projects. If the mixture is thicker than that (relatively more shellac) you won’t be able to get a very dark color. If the mixture is thinner (relatively more denatured alcohol) you can get blotching.

Sometimes I use 3:2 denatured alcohol to shellac sealcoat if I don’t need a dark finish. Since you are going for a dark finish, I would mix it at 50/50. Make sure to get Sealcoat, and not regular shellac. Sealcoat is already thinned some.

Good luck with it.

Of coarse you will have to strip the finish again to fix the problem this way, but that’s what it usually takes. Cry once and do it right. You will be happy in the end.

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

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OSU55

1792 posts in 2076 days


#11 posted 03-12-2017 12:31 PM

The pics really help. You did a good job of prepping the wood, at least on the body. It’s hard to tell about the edges. I’ll make the assumption they were completely stripped.

Unfortunately, you get to do it again for the best looking finish. The issue is blotching, which is uneven stain penetration. Here is info on blotch control. There might be some stain lifting as well.

The difficult part is having material to practice with. I’ve never worked with agathis, but it sounds like clear pine might be a good stand in for practice. Some large popsicle sticks, found in the crafts section at wally world, can actually help a lot. A more sizeable board should be used to go through the complete finish schedule before moving on to the project.

The mixture ratio and # of coats of conditioner control absorption of dye stain. Since you are using a stain with both dye and pigment, the final grit used in sanding prep effects how much pigment gets trapped in the surface, affecting the final color (finer grit traps less pigment). The look of end grain can be affected significantly by conditioning and sanding to higher grits. MW stains vary in the color and amount of pigment vs dye. The stains are easy to apply once the surface is properly prepped – wipe or brush on for several minutes letting the wood absorb all it will and wipe off. Make a final pass with a dry cloth to make sure no “film” is left on the surface. Let the stain dry 24 or so hours and apply poly.

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