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Arm Seal Blotching on Chestnut

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Forum topic by Jordan123 posted 02-14-2018 02:29 AM 2548 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


02-14-2018 02:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: arm r seal finishing charles neil varnish chestnut blotch conditioner

I sanded up through the grits to 220 and applied one coat of arm r seal. I left the area and came home 3 days later and was really disappointed in how blotchy it looked. Does anyone have experience with this or some advice? I am thinking of sanding off this first coat and using the CN Conditioner and trying again.

Will it even out with more finish?


16 replies so far

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

576 posts in 1554 days


#1 posted 02-14-2018 04:02 AM

Those areas look like there was oil or some other kind of contaminate or chemical spilled on the wood before you even started working it. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Arm-R-Seal.

I doubt there’s anything you can do about it since it appears to have penetrated deeply into the wood.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


#2 posted 02-14-2018 12:57 PM



Those areas look like there was oil or some other kind of contaminate or chemical spilled on the wood before you even started working it. I don t think it has anything to do with the Arm-R-Seal.

I doubt there s anything you can do about it since it appears to have penetrated deeply into the wood.

- William Shelley

I know that I did not get any chemical on it. I used some MS to wipe down everything but that should not have done anything. Do you think that all hope is lost? Or do you think a conditioner may hide it? Or will more coats hidde it?

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1787 posts in 2074 days


#3 posted 02-14-2018 01:09 PM

Not typical blotching. Adding more ars wont help and its too late for a conditioner. Remove the ars by sanding or planing, use a conditioner – how to make your own – and next time test your finish before starting on the finished product.

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Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


#4 posted 02-14-2018 01:12 PM

Not typical blotching. Adding more ars wont help and its too late for a conditioner. Remove the ars by sanding or planing, use a conditioner – how to make your own – and next time test your finish before starting on the finished product.

- OSU55

I did test on a small section and saw no blotching. I’ll remove this finish and use the CN conditioner I just bought and see what happens. MR Shelley may be right though in that the blotching could be from a chemical agent.

Also do you think a conditioner would help control blotching with a varnish. I thought they were more used for a stain/dye.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2426 posts in 3955 days


#5 posted 02-14-2018 01:39 PM

The issue is any oil or solvent will migrate into the softer grains.
The solvents in either oil or solvent based products , react with the tannin’s in the wood and darken them.
Thus the areas where the oil migrated and became heavier, the darker it becomes and you have blotching .
This is the same reason most oil based prestains can also blotch the wood them selves .
The Arm R seal has pretty well dried by now , so sanding or if it were me I would try a chemical stripper, because the
oil will be in deep , gonna take alot of sanding to remove it , but then again you dont have the harsh, hazardous
chemicals.
I would sand a small section , apply 1 coat of blotch control and see what you have , ya might get by.
Chestnut will lighten over time , and amber some, as with any wood that has the word “nut” in it .
Keep us posted

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Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


#6 posted 02-14-2018 01:45 PM



The issue is any oil or solvent will migrate into the softer grains.
The solvents in either oil or solvent based products , react with the tannin s in the wood and darken them.
Thus the areas where the oil migrated and became heavier, the darker it becomes and you have blotching .
This is the same reason most oil based prestains can also blotch the wood them selves .
The Arm R seal has pretty well dried by now , so sanding or if it were me I would try a chemical stripper, because the
oil will be in deep , gonna take alot of sanding to remove it , but then again you dont have the harsh, hazardous
chemicals.
I would sand a small section , apply 1 coat of blotch control and see what you have , ya might get by.
Chestnut will lighten over time , and amber some, as with any wood that has the word “nut” in it .
Keep us posted

- CharlesNeil

Thanks Charles—- I ordered your blotch control. Thanks for getting it out so quick haha. I am leaning towards sanding only to avoid the chemical process. I’ll let you know this weekend what it looks like.

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CharlesNeil

2426 posts in 3955 days


#7 posted 02-14-2018 02:02 PM

If you need, Here is my Email charles.cnw@msn.com

Will help if i can

Nice table , love chestnut , used it many many time’s

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Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


#8 posted 02-14-2018 02:31 PM

Thanks. Ill send an email if I run into any trouble.

Its my first reclaimed chestnut piece. Suffice to say I was pretty disappointed in how it came out. Hopefully I can save it.

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CharlesNeil

2426 posts in 3955 days


#9 posted 02-14-2018 04:58 PM

one thing i forgot to mention, be sure to get the color even when sanding , the oil, which has ambered the wood, has to be sanded even, because the BC will not change the color, , wipe it with a damp cloth to be sure the color is even under a water base product,

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Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


#10 posted 02-14-2018 05:02 PM

Are you saying before applying the BC make sure all the Arm R Seal has fully been sanded off and to use some water to make sure the Arm R Seal has been consistently removed?

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2426 posts in 3955 days


#11 posted 02-14-2018 05:12 PM

yes sir… you got it

View Jordan123's profile

Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


#12 posted 02-14-2018 05:14 PM

thanks. I’ll post an update this weekend

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CharlesNeil

2426 posts in 3955 days


#13 posted 02-14-2018 05:17 PM

be sure you finish the underside of that top as well ..doesnt have to be as nice as the top but it needs to be sealed , you have to keep it “balanced”

Despite what the internet say’s .LOL

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Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


#14 posted 02-14-2018 05:23 PM

Yep I agree. Same coats for top and bottom.

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Jordan123

32 posts in 187 days


#15 posted 02-19-2018 02:45 PM

So it seemed to work. I also moved the table down into my basement which may have also been the cure. I took all the finish off and applied the CN blotch control as directed. I was worried about putting oil based on top of a water based but eveything seemed to work out. I cant answer if the bloth control or being inside was the difference but one of them worked.

Now to decide whether to final coat satin or semi gloss

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