eveneing out black stain

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by michael crawford posted 01-05-2011 04:13 PM 1050 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View michael crawford's profile

michael crawford

19 posts in 3034 days

01-05-2011 04:13 PM

im using general finished water based black stain for a set of kitchen table chairs. the chairs are mede of white oak that has been sanded to 320.

the first coat came out very blotchy, and bery uneven. woundup raising the grain a considerable amount. so i resanded the chairs with 320 again to smooth them back out. sanded off a lot of the finish to do so.

what im wondering is how to get a nice, even coat of color with this stain, while keeping it from liiking like paint.

application process is brush it on with a synthetic 2 inch bristle brush, wipe off after a few minutes.


6 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3157 days

#1 posted 01-05-2011 06:24 PM


I’d tone it by mixing your stain color with your chosen topcoat and then spraying it on. There will be a balance between evening out the color and concealing the grain, but it will definitely accomplish what you want.

-- jay,

View Big Ben's profile

Big Ben

87 posts in 2889 days

#2 posted 01-05-2011 06:51 PM

You might want to using wood preconditioner prior to staining, this might help.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3540 days

#3 posted 01-05-2011 06:56 PM

Sanding to 320 might be your problem. I would have sanded to 100 or 120 max and then put the stain on. 320 and higher sanding is for the top finish, not the bare wood, if a color stain of some sort is going to be used…

my $.02

-- Childress Woodworks

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3820 days

#4 posted 01-05-2011 07:32 PM

Michael, I agree with Childress. If you were to bring the chairs in their current condition into my shop I would sand all of them to no more than 150 grit. Sanding to higher grits will only inhibit the absorption of the stain. As Childress said, sanding to higher grits should be done with the finish coats, not the bare wood. After removing the dust I would mist them with water to raise the grain and, after letting them dry overnight, I would re-sand with 150 grit. Anytime a water base stain or finish is going to applied the wood needs to have the grain raised by applying a light water misting before application of the stain/finish. You only need to do this once just prior to starting the application of the water base stain.

And, as always, I highly recommend taking some scrap pieces of oak, sanded to the final grit as your chairs, through your complete finishing process before tackling the real pieces. I have found it helpful to make up a “story pole” in order to detail each step in the finishing process with these scrap pieces.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View michael crawford's profile

michael crawford

19 posts in 3034 days

#5 posted 01-05-2011 07:58 PM

ok, thanks.
i normally sand to 220 (i buy cheap paper from my buddy the autobody guy)

ill go find some 150, resand, and reapply.

would you reccomend going with the grain, or circular? (reason i ask is that my main hobby is restoring cars, and im more familiar with finishing autobody than wood)

will i be running into a lot of problems with the pieces i already stained going back down to 150?
will i need to get all the stain off before i restain?
thanks for all the help so far. finishing in the thing i am the least good at with woodworking, and these chairs are the best things ive made yet. id hate to screw them up now.


View Loren's profile (online now)


10391 posts in 3646 days

#6 posted 01-05-2011 08:35 PM

You may be able to bring the surface to a uniform 150 grit
finish a bit faster by scraping with card scrapers or razor blades
held on edge, then sanding.

Oak scrapes pretty nicely – you may even have success with
a scraper meant for stripping paint.

I would probably, if I were trying to stain oak black, do some
tests with dyed grain filler as a first step to fill the pores. After
that I’m not sure – I’ve used aniline dyes before and found the
color pretty consistent as long as the grain is filled and the surface
uniform, which can take some work in porous woods like oak.

I lost the book some years ago, but at one time I had Bob Flexner’s
book on finishing and it was excellent stuff including some great
advice on ebonizing different woods.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics