stain problem question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by GSwoodworker posted 04-07-2011 03:34 AM 1016 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View GSwoodworker's profile


74 posts in 3527 days

04-07-2011 03:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing oak

I am helping a friend (who has very little woodwork experience) build a entertainment center out of red oak. It is a mix of solid wood and plywood. I told my friend that I have never really been that happy with any of the finishes that I applied on my projects (I am my own worst critic). He talked to a salesman at Sherwin- Wililams and bought some stain from them. We had a really hard time applying, it never really seemed to absorb into the wood. Itjust layed on top of the wood, The stain is thinner that a gel stain but thicke than most other stain I have used. Has anyone experienced these same results, or did I miss a step.

5 replies so far

View CampD's profile


1741 posts in 3722 days

#1 posted 04-07-2011 04:28 AM

sometimes with hardwood, the stain really never absorbs as much as you want.
You need to be patient and let it dry (I know I have a hard time waiting to) even over night and then try wiping it down. And if need be, add a second coat.

-- Doug...

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3278 days

#2 posted 04-07-2011 07:02 AM

I have never stained red oak that I can remember. But it is one of those woods that can be a PITA. On most woods that I stain I give it a good sanding, wipe it clean with green mineral spirits, and apply the stain when the wood is still damp from the mineral spirit. I use MinWax stain most of the time, have not tried the SW stain. You can give it a go on some scrap if you have some. Just my combination to staining and I get good results.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4058 days

#3 posted 04-07-2011 01:33 PM

I have never had any problems getting red oak to take a stain. Light golden oak is my usual go to stain if I am just looking to add some color to the wood. For a darker color I would recommend using dyes rather than stains.

Just guessing I would assume that you were putting on an oil base stain. These are designed to be flooded on the surface and the excess removed with a clean cloth/paper towel after a 5 to 10 minute period. Usually one coat will do the trick. One issue that I have seen in applying stains is that the wood needs to be sanded to only 150 grit. If sanded to higher grits the wood pores will be closed off and this will inhibit absorption of the stain.

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

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 3013 days

#4 posted 04-07-2011 01:48 PM

From my experience, stains are more topical, dyes soak in. The thicker the stain, the less absorbtion, becomes more like a paint or grain filler depending upon when you wipe off the excess.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3305 days

#5 posted 04-07-2011 02:31 PM

Is the S-W stain one of those all-in-one stain/finishes? Those need to be applied differently than the typical penetrating stain.

They usually need to go on in thin, even, coats with a light sanding between each coat. The first coat is often pretty light and you build up additional coats until you get the desired color.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

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