Blotchy looking finish

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Forum topic by Tim & Candy Hicks posted 08-08-2008 05:26 PM 4032 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tim & Candy Hicks

331 posts in 3735 days

08-08-2008 05:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question spray gun finishing rustic

Well we have ran into a problem that we have not seen before. We are working with burled wood and some of these stumps are old, very old, they were standing when we cut them and have slabbed them into table tops. Anyway there are a few places of rot, the coloring is all uniform but the wood is spongier and softer than the rest. When we spray Polyurethane or polycrylic on the tops, these spongy spots are absorbing the finish and they look real dull when it is dry.

Can a person add a clear wood sealer or primer to this so that it does not absorb so bad? If so do you know of a good brand? I know tha minwax has a few wood sealers but i am not sure if they are what we are looking for.

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks and have a superb weekend


15 replies so far

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3738 days

#1 posted 08-08-2008 05:37 PM

what are using under your poly coat? i use tung oil first and then put a poly over it, works pretty well up here in the mountains.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

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Tim & Candy Hicks

331 posts in 3735 days

#2 posted 08-08-2008 05:46 PM

we arent using anything under the poly


View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4089 days

#3 posted 08-08-2008 05:59 PM

With the punky wood, perhaps a two part epoxy sealer coat. Sean Clarke, a professional finisher and frequent FWW contributor uses “Smith & Company’s MultiWoodPrime (also called Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer)” as a first step for outdoor projects. I would think that this might not sink in so quick and would reinforce the structural integrity of the punky wood. I’ve never done this myself, but I know Bob2 uses epoxy to reinforce punky wood during bowl turning and I’m just “thinking aloud” about your problem.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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Tim & Candy Hicks

331 posts in 3735 days

#4 posted 08-08-2008 06:08 PM

another problem that we have had with the punky wood is with inlaying. We usually take out the worst of the punky wood and fill with inlay, but there is a always some punky wood left. Anyway, when we are sandind down the stones the dust gets into the punky wood and discolors it. Should we try adding the sealer to the wood first before we inlay adn can you resand the sealer so that you get an even finish?


View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3792 days

#5 posted 08-08-2008 06:45 PM

Great suggestion Douglas. I have used CA to help seal punky wood on bowls as well. I think if you applied it prior to inlaying it would help stabilize it and minimize dust absorption while sanding.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

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Tim & Candy Hicks

331 posts in 3735 days

#6 posted 08-08-2008 06:59 PM

We do use the CA glue, but it seems to darken the wood and leave it looking wet.


View Harold's profile


310 posts in 3872 days

#7 posted 08-08-2008 07:12 PM

I recently milled up some macnut that had been poisoned, I tried Minwax wood hardener and it worked well in the punky areas….although I did coat the entire surface to prevent uneven coloration, the product soaked in well and was dry in about 2 hours, I kept applying it until I had a consistent sheen across the entire surface….smells nasty

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

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Tim & Candy Hicks

331 posts in 3735 days

#8 posted 08-08-2008 07:57 PM

I might of just had an Aha moment. I was just thinking that maybe a real simple fix is to use masking tape and place over the punky areas while we are sanding down the stone, I think this would eliminate most of the dust getting stuck…. what do you think?


View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4152 days

#9 posted 08-08-2008 08:44 PM

Hi Cindy:

I do rustic furniture from tree stumps and old wood, especially wormy wood.
I use Zinsser SealCoat shellac as a sealer and a stain/finish pre-treament.
You should be able to use it before doing the inlay.

It does help with the blochy problem.

You’ll need to experiment.

-- 温故知新

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Tim & Candy Hicks

331 posts in 3735 days

#10 posted 08-08-2008 11:44 PM

Thanks for the information this will truly be helpful, especially since it looks like we might have a few interested retailers. Now if we can get the bugs worked out then all should be good. Thanks again


View hap's profile


322 posts in 3814 days

#11 posted 08-09-2008 01:43 AM

candy in spongy wood i use white glue watered down.and put 3 or 4 coats on. it fills in the wood. if you put it on light and let it dry good between coats. it seems to not darken the wood as bad. hope this helps.
ps i use a blow dryer to speed up the drying.

-- hap, gunbarrel city tx.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3615 days

#12 posted 08-09-2008 04:07 AM

are you using anything as a sanding sealer? Why can’t you blow out the dust after sanding with an air nozzle?
I’d side toward the shellac side of the answers on here so far. It will be compatable with what ever finish you are using at least. You need to be carefull about using different products. For example, if you use target waterborne lacquer then use targets sanding sealer. ( this is an example and obviously not what you are using) You will run into problems with compatability if you aren’t carefull. But you will be fine with the shellac. As far as it penetrating more here then there, you need to seal the entire piece. A clear finish won’t discolor it anymore in one spot then it will in another unless you are putting something (like glue size) in the softer areas of your piece. You need to spray sealer until the surface looks even all the way across. Good luck

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Slacker's profile


178 posts in 3726 days

#13 posted 08-09-2008 04:19 AM

Cyanoacrylate (Crazy glue) is the stuff to use on the spongy spots. Saw David Marks use it to repair a spongy spot in a piece he was working on.

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4112 days

#14 posted 08-09-2008 04:26 AM

I’m working on a project now where I wanted to preserve the rotted edges on some aromatic cedar.
I am using 2 part plastic resin.
I’ve colored it with dyes to match the wood.
It’s still a work in progress (which I hope to blog) but I think I’m gong to be happy with it.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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Tim & Candy Hicks

331 posts in 3735 days

#15 posted 08-09-2008 04:52 AM

First off I want to thank you for all of the ideas and help, we are going to experiment with many of these ideas and see what works best for us. We ar not using anything as sanding sealer, never even thought about it. ONe of the reasons why we are having a hard time getting the dust out is when we are getting ready to inaly, we cover the edges that are surrounding the area we are going to inlay, with wax. The wax keeps the CA glue from discoloring and soaking into the wood. So if we get wax on the spongy part of the wood, then the dust gets pushed into the wax which gets pushed in to the wood and it wont blow out…. I though about shaping a piece of wax into sort of a pencil with a shap tip so we can better control where the wax goes and also placing tape over the spongy spots. I am sure it is an easy fix, we just need to find a method that works. Thanks again!!!


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