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Stain over sanding sealer?

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Forum topic by HandyHousewife posted 02-08-2018 09:10 PM 2688 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HandyHousewife

69 posts in 902 days


02-08-2018 09:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question alder finishing

This is probably a very stupid question, and I’m afraid the answer is going to be no, but I have to ask anyway. Can I apply stain over the sanding sealer?

I had decided originally that I kind of liked the natural color of the knotty alder we are using for an entertainment “shelving unit” thing. So I sanded it down, and then merrily applied the (Deft) sanding sealer in preparation to add the (Deft Semi-Gloss) lacquer over top. And then my husband saw it….he says it’s not dark enough (everything else we’ve ever made is out of pine stained with American Walnut by Rustoleum). The main body of each shelf is alder plywood banded with alder 1×2s.

I don’t think there is enough veneer left to sand too aggressively (also my fault), so I’m hoping that I can just add some stain over top of the sanding sealer? Also, I don’t mind darkening it a little, but I don’t want to cover up the cool grain patterns in this wood, so I’m open to color suggestions that would suit the peachy pink tint of the natural wood.

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)


18 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5048 posts in 2523 days


#1 posted 02-08-2018 09:39 PM

Test it on a scrap.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jbay's profile

jbay

2736 posts in 1071 days


#2 posted 02-08-2018 09:40 PM

Are you spraying or brushing?

-- “Hanging onto resentment, is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” (Ann Landers)......

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HandyHousewife

69 posts in 902 days


#3 posted 02-08-2018 10:38 PM



Are you spraying or brushing?

- jbay

Brushing. I’d like to spray the lacquer, but it says it’s for brushing, so I guess I’m brushing it too.

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

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HandyHousewife

69 posts in 902 days


#4 posted 02-08-2018 10:39 PM



Test it on a scrap.

- bondogaposis

Will the plywood react the same way as the 1×2s? Because we don’t have any scraps of it left, just the 1×2s.

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

View OpensideFlanker's profile

OpensideFlanker

11 posts in 480 days


#5 posted 02-08-2018 11:58 PM

You should be able to stain over the sanding sealer. Sort of like using a washcoat. I presume that you have sanded the sanding sealer, so I would just rub on the stain (are you going to use the same stain?), leave it on a couple of minutes, and wipe it off. The sanding sealer should prevent blotching and allow you to keep the grain patterns visible. You can do multiple coats of the stain until you are satisfied with the colour. I would remember that the final colour after the finishing will probably look more like the wet stain than the dried version.

I think that the raw lumber should model the plywood veneer. I would DEFINITELY test the staining on scrap and would use the raw lumber if that is the only thing you have. There is one question that I can’t answer, which is whether the stain will interact with the sanding sealer, but this should be very apparent on the scrap no matter what the colour result is. I usually use shellac as my washcoat under water based dye to avoid blotching but (dewaxed) shellac is pretty much compatible with anything…

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jbay

2736 posts in 1071 days


#6 posted 02-09-2018 12:40 AM

My experience is with spraying.
I can see brushing turning it into a mess, but again, no experience there.
The stain is not going to soak into the sealer, it’s going to sit on top of it.

If you can apply the stain and get it looking like you want, you need to spray some shellac over it without brushing it into a muck, then you can finish over the shellac without any trouble.

Maybe someone will offer better advice,
Good Luck

-- “Hanging onto resentment, is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” (Ann Landers)......

View marshallLaw's profile

marshallLaw

17 posts in 972 days


#7 posted 02-09-2018 01:03 AM

Don’t confuse “Sanding Sealer” with “Wood Conditioner”.
A “Wood Conditioner” will allow the stain to be evenly accepted by the wood without (or at least) minimizing blotching and uneven staining.
A “Sanding Sealer” – focus on the wood “Sealer” – that is what it does – Seals the wood and prevents the wood from accepting any stain.
According to industry reps of stains – once you apply a “sanding sealer” you are done – their stains will not be able to penetrate the sealer to get to the wood.

View LesB's profile

LesB

1838 posts in 3615 days


#8 posted 02-09-2018 01:13 AM

The sanding sealer is fine and you should be able to stain over it without a problem. I use it or a thinned shellac to control the stain on wood that tends to be blotchy when stained in the raw. You will need to sand it carefully with 220 0r 320 to cut the surface film and any grain that might raise.
If darker is what you want you may need to apply two coats of stain, let it dry between coats. I think you will need to experiment with sample pieces of wood for the color and possibly even mix your own combinations to get you desired results; Im thinking a cherry stain mixed with some maple or golden oak (I do it all the time, especially if I’m trying to match an older finish). Also check the final color you decide on by applying a coat of your top finish because that can cause the color to shift a little in it’s appearance.

-- Les B, Oregon

View HandyHousewife's profile

HandyHousewife

69 posts in 902 days


#9 posted 02-09-2018 02:19 PM



The sanding sealer is fine and you should be able to stain over it without a problem. I use it or a thinned shellac to control the stain on wood that tends to be blotchy when stained in the raw. You will need to sand it carefully with 220 0r 320 to cut the surface film and any grain that might raise.
If darker is what you want you may need to apply two coats of stain, let it dry between coats. I think you will need to experiment with sample pieces of wood for the color and possibly even mix your own combinations to get you desired results; Im thinking a cherry stain mixed with some maple or golden oak (I do it all the time, especially if I m trying to match an older finish). Also check the final color you decide on by applying a coat of your top finish because that can cause the color to shift a little in it s appearance.

- LesB

Thanks for the color mixing suggestions! I know I don’t want it quite as dark as our normal stain color—that would cover up all the cool knots and grain for sure, but maybe a lightened up cherry would compliment the already pinkish hue of the wood.

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

View HandyHousewife's profile

HandyHousewife

69 posts in 902 days


#10 posted 02-09-2018 02:22 PM


Don t confuse “Sanding Sealer” with “Wood Conditioner”.
A “Wood Conditioner” will allow the stain to be evenly accepted by the wood without (or at least) minimizing blotching and uneven staining.
A “Sanding Sealer” – focus on the wood “Sealer” – that is what it does – Seals the wood and prevents the wood from accepting any stain.
According to industry reps of stains – once you apply a “sanding sealer” you are done – their stains will not be able to penetrate the sealer to get to the wood.

- marshallLaw

In that case (and I don’t know for sure either way yet, I was thinking I’d try this afternoon when it warms up, brrr!) could I mix a little bit of say, a cherry stain with my first coat of lacquer (or as someone else mentioned a coat of shellac)? Just enough to tint it a bit? Or would that work?

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

View HandyHousewife's profile

HandyHousewife

69 posts in 902 days


#11 posted 02-09-2018 02:24 PM



My experience is with spraying.
I can see brushing turning it into a mess, but again, no experience there.
The stain is not going to soak into the sealer, it s going to sit on top of it.

If you can apply the stain and get it looking like you want, you need to spray some shellac over it without brushing it into a muck, then you can finish over the shellac without any trouble.

Maybe someone will offer better advice,
Good Luck

- jbay

Could I just color the shellac with some of the stain and then brush it on?

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2341 posts in 1394 days


#12 posted 02-09-2018 05:37 PM

As for top staining, Sealing the wood with any product will simply change how much stain the wood absorbs. Some raw woods absorb differently over their surface and will look “blotchy” unless you limit the woods absorption with a sealer.

Since a sealed surface will reduce the absorption of a stain, unless you compensate the color will end up not as “deep” versus a non sealed surface.

This effect is pronounced when using a traditional oil based stain since it relies on wood absorption to carry and hold the pigments which create the color (more pigments, more/darker color).

Gel stains are made to work with minimal absorption to help control blotching. In the case with sealed wood, a gel stain will still provide the full color even though the wood is not absorbing as much stain.

Basically, yes you can stain over the sealer. A traditional oil based stain will have a significantly lighter color versus unsealed wood and a gel stain will have very little change in color lightness.

As always, test on a scrap. You can use a piece of similar colored wood (pine perhaps) to highlight the color change between sealed/not-sealed if you don’t have any alder scraps.

View LesB's profile

LesB

1838 posts in 3615 days


#13 posted 02-09-2018 05:45 PM

Could I just color the shellac with some of the stain and then brush it on?

- HandyHousewife

That will work for adding color but it may obscure the wood grain you are trying to save.

I get the feeling you are trying to avoid making test samples. They are necessary if you expect to be satisfied with the final results. I would guess that at least 80% of us do it regularly.

-- Les B, Oregon

View HandyHousewife's profile

HandyHousewife

69 posts in 902 days


#14 posted 02-09-2018 09:28 PM


Could I just color the shellac with some of the stain and then brush it on?

- HandyHousewife

That will work for adding color but it may obscure the wood grain you are trying to save.

I get the feeling you are trying to avoid making test samples. They are necessary if you expect to be satisfied with the final results. I would guess that at least 80% of us do it regularly.

- LesB

I’m not trying to avoid making samples, I’m trying to avoid buying a bunch of different stains/shellac/etc. that may or may not work. I don’t have any of those things on hand (aside from the lacquer), so I am trying to narrow down what would be the best option before I go buy it. I wish there was a place to test these things before buying, but I don’t know where to do that.

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2450 posts in 4042 days


#15 posted 02-10-2018 01:54 PM

Since you have a coating on the piece, what you are in actuality doing is called “glazing” .
This is where a colorant is applied over a coat of finish,
it will add color , but not like it would if the wood was bare.
Brushing a tinted “anything” , be it shellac or water base or whatever is very “iffy”
you can get streaks and a patchwork very easily.. toned finished are definitely best sprayed.
the best thing you can use for a glaze is a good gel stain,
be sure to let it dry well before topcoating
be sure to give the sealer/finish a scuff sand with some 600 or finer, preferably in the direction of the grain, as the glaze will hang in the sand scratches , which will also help with color retention,
you can do 2 coats of glaze, drying well between, but after that , you need to seal it in with some finish before doing a third . Excessive coats of stain can hinder adhesion of finish coats .
oil base gels works the best .

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