help with prep/staining pine

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Forum topic by jeff posted 12-09-2011 04:05 AM 1832 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1112 posts in 3640 days

12-09-2011 04:05 AM

today i applied Mini-Wax pre-stain conditioner per instructions,then applied Cabots wood stain per instructions but the result showed some minor blotchyness.for best results Cabots recommends 2-4 coats with sanding in between and this was the first coat.i pre-sanded down to my question is am i going in the right direction with this?.i didn’t think to test on a piece of scrap,a rookie move.thx.,Jeff

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

7 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5105 posts in 4135 days

#1 posted 12-09-2011 06:03 PM

There is an inherent blotch problem with some woods. Pine is one of ‘em. I use a shellac seal coat, but since the Min Wax stuff is on it, you’ll have to work thru by staying with the Cabot’s instructions. If you don’t get past the blotch, you might want to use a dye such as Trans Tint in the actual finish as a “toner”.
What will your final finish be? Are you going for a high gloss finish?
Before ya get too far into the project, you might want to step back and work on a test piece


View jeff's profile


1112 posts in 3640 days

#2 posted 12-10-2011 05:14 AM

Bill, Thx for the reply.the pre-stain conditioner has been applied to the whole project,but i only stained the shelves so far.not sure on the final finish.i will continue on per Cabots instructions and see how this works on one of the shelves.this is a small hanging shelve project with only two shelves so if i had to start over it wouldn’t be so the way it did pass the wife test.thx for the advice.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 2542 days

#3 posted 12-10-2011 08:19 AM

yep..good luck…l have never had any luck with staining pine. 1 sure fix is to paint it…how long after the conditioner did u apply the stain… because pine is so porus it soaks in heavy in some spots. the last time i did that i applyed the stain right after the conditioner while the pors were still full


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1112 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 12-10-2011 09:40 AM

kizerpea,i applied stain within 30 minutes.directions stated apply within 2hrs.the pre-conditioner soaked in immediately,i did not have to wipe off any access.overall it does look nice.again i wasn’t so sure how much blotchyness there should be.the pine does look pretty but i think i will choose another type of wood for my next project.onward…thx…jeff

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4167 days

#5 posted 12-10-2011 10:01 AM

Jeff when staining pine I have always had the best luck using a 4 part system but sense you already use the pre stain we can adjust it to 5.

Step 1 pre stain (optional) I say optional in case anyone else wants to try this you already did this so go with it.

Step 2 use a normal stain this will color the wood and helps out later on. (this is usually my step one)

Step 3 use a good shellac on the project and let it cure.

Step 4 use the same color gel stain. gel stain is nice because you can control where you are leaving the color during the wiping off part thus evening out the blotching.

Step 5 clear coat with your top coat of choice.

I know this seems like a long process but in the end it renders very beautiful results.
Hope this helps I know it isn’t a simple solution someone may have a simpler solution but I finish lots of furniture and folks dont pay me for simple

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

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1112 posts in 3640 days

#6 posted 12-11-2011 09:19 AM

doyoulikegumwood, thx for the help.i will give this a try.i have had to work so i have not made into the shop yet. Jeff

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2535 days

#7 posted 12-17-2011 02:49 PM

Good lord I’m glad I found this post. I was going to use the same process on my reclaimed pine farmhouse table I just built. I had a big ol’ can of the minwax stuff waiting to go.

I would be curious to hear everyone else’s process like Doyoulikegumwood’s for staining Pine.

Seems like this is a reoccurring question on a lot of wood forums (by a lot I mean two that I read). Might be good for someone to write a how to in the blog section once a verdict is reached for Pine :)

-- Steve

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