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White Spots in Grain After Finishing

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Forum topic by RedWoodworker posted 11-23-2017 01:03 AM 260 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RedWoodworker

7 posts in 25 days


11-23-2017 01:03 AM

Hello all,

Yesterday I finished a bandsaw box made out of walnut and zebra wood (my second one ever). Today, I noticed that there are a bunch of white spots that appear in the grain of the wood throughout the box. I have attached a photo as an example.

I had this exact same problem on my previous box, but I thought it was caused by the wax I used (briwax), which was 4+ years old. This time, I used a new thing of Howard’s Citrus Shield Paste Wax, but the result was the same.

I’m hoping someone can help identify what is causing the white spotting so I can avoid making the same mistake in the future.

Here is the process I used to finish (copying the method suggested by the Drunken Woodworker):
1. Sanded to 220 (RSO), then up to 0000 artificial steel wool
2. Applied a coat of equal parts BLO, Minwax Wipe-on Poly, and Mineral Spirits, wiping extra off
3. Let dry for 24 hours, rub with 0000 artificial steel wool
4. Repeated this process 4 times (so 4 coats, letting each dry for 24/hrs, except for the last which I let dry for 48 hours)
5. After 48 hours, I used the 0000 artificial steel wool, and added two coats of wax, and buffed.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!


6 replies so far

View tomd's profile

tomd

2122 posts in 3608 days


#1 posted 11-23-2017 01:23 AM

Both woods have open grain and I believe the wax is getting into the grain openings. You will either have to fill the grain or not use wax. On a project like that I would use a wipe on poly or a clear spray finish if you do not want to fill the grain.

-- Tom D

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Aj2

1177 posts in 1636 days


#2 posted 11-23-2017 01:41 AM

Yep it looks like dried wax in the pores. I’ve not had good luck with oil finishes on exocits, I use shellac on most everything now. Once you get the hang of it never look back

-- Aj

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RedWoodworker

7 posts in 25 days


#3 posted 11-27-2017 06:14 PM

Thank you very much for the information, Tom and Aj. I didn’t even realize that open grain woods should be treated differently, so this info will come in handy in the future. Thanks again!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4479 posts in 2189 days


#4 posted 11-27-2017 07:22 PM

Use Black Bison wax instead.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1426 posts in 1828 days


#5 posted 11-27-2017 09:23 PM

I use paste wax tinted with dye. This will cause lighter wood to have darker pores. I use both Transtint and wd lockwood ob dyes. You dont need the blo in your finish. Just thin the poly 1:1 with ms.

View RedWoodworker's profile

RedWoodworker

7 posts in 25 days


#6 posted 11-27-2017 09:31 PM

I thought about using wax with a dye in it, and actually tried light-brown BriWax on a piece of scrap, but I didn’t like how it darkened the zebra wood.

I think I will try to remove the current white-spotted wax with mineral spirits. I will then probably leave it as is (just the poly/blo finish), unless anyone has suggestions about what would look good on top of that.

Thanks again everyone!

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