Bleading stain

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Tennwood posted 09-26-2011 06:09 PM 1353 views 1 time favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3381 days

09-26-2011 06:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stain finishing

I have been having a problem with stain that I have not experienced before. I am staining red oak with minwax stain and find that the stain is bleeding up along the grain as it drys. Small spots of dark stain puddle or spot randomly over the board along any grain lines. I wipe it down but a few hours later it spots again. It takes about one to two days until it fully dries before it stops, and I have to keep wiping it down every few hours so the spots don’t become permanent.

The wood is from different sources and it is all doing it, so I don’t think it is just particular batch of wood. I am staining in the basement so the temperature and humidity are pretty constant, and same conditions as I have stained before and not had a problem.

I didn’t use any sanding sealer, but normally don’t when I work with oak and have not had this problem before.

Could it be from bad stain? It is a can I have used before, maybe 6 months old. Would a sanding sealer prevented the problem?

Any ideas what could be causing the problem and how I can prevent it in the future?


-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

3 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4418 days

#1 posted 09-26-2011 06:20 PM

I have had this happen with maple. It’s usually a sign that the stain is not being fully absorbed into the wood. Did you sand the wood extremely smooth? If so, the pores are probably closed.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5124 posts in 4160 days

#2 posted 09-26-2011 07:23 PM

Red oak is notorious for this. Sand to 220, seal with shellac “Seal Coat”.
All the open pores in the oak will bleed for a while. Might wanna use a dye instead of an oil based stain.
MinWax is my least favorive product.


View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3325 days

#3 posted 09-26-2011 08:07 PM

My basic White vs Red Oak knowledge bits. White Oak has major amounts of tylosis: chemicals and left overs from the Xylem layer which close and harden cell in the heartwood. This is why White oak is used for boats and Red Oak is not. Red Oak leaves very little tylosis in the heart making an open cell structure. The stain is bleeding through the open cells which are already hardened, so it absorbs less liquid.

Fascinating how Red and White differ. White grows slowly and long lived, does not require lots of water, makes the growth rings closer together and finer cells. Red does require lots of water grows quickly and has very wide growth rings. I have read (but not verified yet) that trees with pointed lobed leaves are all quick growing water hogs… hmm.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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