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Fir Blotch Control

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Forum topic by cherk3 posted 03-12-2017 06:33 PM 619 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cherk3

14 posts in 278 days


03-12-2017 06:33 PM

Can any of you fine gents, help me out with blotch control and staining on V.G Fir veneered plywood? I am installing some wood paneling (board and batten style) in an office.

I have read many of your previous posts and have found the info to be very informative, but looking for an update or see if anyone else had something to add. So much so, I just joined LumberJocks.

I have been testing many samples with different pre-stain wood conditioners for the past few weeks and I am still not truly happy with the results. In a small section, things may look ok, but in a 12’ x 12’ room with 9’ walls, every little blotch shows up. This is from experience as I ummmmm…... just tore down what I just did and started again. Aside from the costs and time I just wasted, I really destroyed my pride and ego. There was no way I was going to walk thru this room for the next 20 years and not like it. I understand that I am working with wood and that no two pieces are the same, but my expectations are very high and I think my 101 year old house deserves better. I seem to learn best from trial by error and this project has been no different. I gotta change this somehow.

Another challenge that I have found with pre-stain blotch control, is the staining after and the poor results. What stain product has worked best for you in the past? My results have shown me after blotch control, the colour is much lighter and certain stains seem to look like a solid stain, with no grain definition.

I appreciate any information, answers and comments.
Thank you all in advance.


11 replies so far

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

16929 posts in 1693 days


#1 posted 03-12-2017 07:14 PM

I’m afraid you’re never gonna be happy with the fir. Blotching happens because of different rates of takeup of stain in different areas. Pre conditioner aims to even out the take up. Unfortunately that means reduced take up all over. My best suggestion right now is have you tried sanding to 220 before staining?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1424 posts in 1826 days


#2 posted 03-12-2017 09:02 PM

You weren’t specific with what you have tried for blotch control – here is info may find informative if you haven’t seen it. You are correct about conditioning the wood affecting the resulting stain color, but really only the dye part of the stain, not so much the pigment part (you didn’t specify what stains or dyes you are working with). With fir, the conditioner methods I prefer could affect how much pigment lodges in the surface because the solids left behind may create a smoother surface using the same paper grit. Regardless the amount of penetration of dye and the amount of pigment retained by the surface can be worked out through testing.

As for ending up with a lighter color after conditioning, there are 2 ways to go: 1) darker color, 2) toner coats. I use toner coats a lot. A toner coat is a translucent coat of the desired color. Typically it will be the same or darker than the stain but it all depends on the situation. I use very thin shellac, 1/2=3/4# cut, with transtint dye the most, but also tint topcoats of waterbased finishes and solvent lacquer with it. Toner coats really need to be sprayed to look good. As for grain definition, the conditioning method can have a lot to do with it. It can be a balancing act of just enough penetration to see grain changes, but then too much and it looks blotchy. I also use dyes, no pigment stains anymore. Welcome to the world of finishing wood!

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cherk3

14 posts in 278 days


#3 posted 03-15-2017 05:33 PM

firefighterontheside:

Do you recommend 220 grit prior to wood conditioner or after? Some of the water based conditioners raise the grain and need a quick sand after being applied?

Thanks

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3650 posts in 2146 days


#4 posted 03-15-2017 05:47 PM

Your “Link” says page not found.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View cherk3's profile

cherk3

14 posts in 278 days


#5 posted 03-15-2017 05:53 PM

OSU55:

I have tried store bought Minwax H20 and oil based conditioners as per instructions and have also tried 2 coats letting them dry, prior to stating. I have also tried 1 and 2 coats of a 1# cut of shellac and Methyl Hydrate mix. I have also tried a homemade mix as per PJones46 on Lumerjocks. This consists of a 1-10 or 1-8 mix of Gorrilla Glue and distilled water mix.

Personally, I have seen the best results from 2 coats of the homeade mix. and GF gel stains. I just cannot find the correct color. I have tried the GF H20 stain and certainly did not like the end product. It was blotchy, but also looked like a solid stain.

I tried to get your info from the link above, but it did not work. Please send it again if possible. I have zero experience with toner coats and really need to learn about them. I am also not familiar with transtint dye. (Yes, you are seeing a pattern here) LOL.

My project is waiting for me to finish, so I await any more information.

Thank you kindly

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OSU55

1424 posts in 1826 days


#6 posted 03-15-2017 07:52 PM

Try this link . Not a lot different than what you have tried, but there might be something that grabs you. Both diluted wb finish and white glue work very well for me. Sometimes it takes a lot of testing to find just the right conditioner dilution and stain/dye mix. A key with conditioning is a long enough open time so the wood is fully saturated, then wiped off. Same with dye/stain – control with concentration, not application (does depend on the wood & desired result – spaying h2o or alcohol dyes can work well).

Search for transtint – you will get a lot of hits. Metalized dye concentrate for h2o or alcohol. There are other brands. Mixes directly into shellac, lacquer, and wb finishes. Toner coats are like putting on rose colored (or whatever color you use) glasses. Brings more of the desired color. Search for toner coats. Imagine putting a thin colored translucent film over the wood surface.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3650 posts in 2146 days


#7 posted 03-15-2017 07:57 PM

That works, thanks

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

27071 posts in 2175 days


#8 posted 03-15-2017 08:22 PM

Talk Charles Neil. He is a member here and teaches classes on finishing.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

16929 posts in 1693 days


#9 posted 03-15-2017 09:06 PM

I would sand before conditioner to help even out take up of stain.
Are you staining after conditioner has dried completely or while it is still wet?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1424 posts in 1826 days


#10 posted 03-15-2017 11:53 PM

Always want to sand after conditioning, especially wb to remove raised grain. I typically sand lightly by hand with the next higher grit.

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cherk3

14 posts in 278 days


#11 posted 03-16-2017 04:31 AM

Thanks for all the great information. I am quite pleased with the white glue/H20 conditioner and the GF gel stain on the VG veneered Fir plywood I am working with. I still have not found the correct color of stain and I am still in the testing phase. I have ordered some Aniline dyes from Lee Valley and am willing to give them a try. I also ordered a small sprayer from Lee Valley and may try spraying a colour or finish. I would certainly need to practice this prior to doing an entire room.
I will update this post once I do.

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