Magic smooth wood feel...

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by drpdrp posted 12-05-2013 04:21 AM 1295 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View drpdrp's profile


150 posts in 2047 days

12-05-2013 04:21 AM

I do most of my work in pine (and also I am still pretty new to all this) and I love love love the way the wood feels once it is sanded to a fine grit.

Like, I rub it on my face I love it so much.

But after I stain it, it looses that goodness. But if you sand post stain- it ruins the stain. I’ve experimented a bit with clearcoats- but even though you can make it smooth again- it doesn’t really feel like wood anymore.


10 replies so far

View JonHitThingWithRock's profile


97 posts in 1723 days

#1 posted 12-05-2013 04:29 AM

the only way i know of to keep the wood feel is to use something like danish oil (which does come in a limited number of stained varieties), and that’s because it doesn’t build a film like poly or water-based finish does, also, it doesn’t offer much in the way of protection. What I do with pine is stain it, apply topcoat, lightly sand with 220, apply another coat, sand with 320, and on and on until the last coat, which i wet sand with 1000, then 2000, using water with water-based finish, or mineral spirits/mineral oil with poly/varnish, which feels just as good to me once it’s all said and done.

View bondogaposis's profile


4733 posts in 2352 days

#2 posted 12-05-2013 04:42 AM

I don’t stain pine, it’s too tricky to get right. Arm r seal and wax gives the best results.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20489 posts in 3106 days

#3 posted 12-05-2013 05:03 AM

I have found that Formby’s tung oil give the wood feel and look pretty good and it comes up to a good sheen after three coats. I sand with 400 and water between coats even though they say to use steel wool.

Be sure to blow all the dust off the wood before you stain. You would be surprised how much dust gets in the pores when sanding. When you stain over it, it leaves it pretty rough. That could be part of what you are seeing. I read the finishing techniques of a guy that uses tung oil and he vacuums his pieces before finishing with anything.

I think oil finishes will leave the wood more natural than poly which builds to a more of a “plastic” finish.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tony1212's profile


190 posts in 1735 days

#4 posted 12-05-2013 03:32 PM

Do you wipe a wet rag over the wood before you stain the wood? Trees are really good at getting water from the roots to the leaves. All wood (pine especially) is a sponge that soaks up water.

I will sand a project to final grit then wipe it down with a damp cloth. That causes some of the wood fibers to absorb the water and swell up. This is called “raising the grain”. I let the wood dry completely and sand with the final grit again. Then use whatever finish I want. This way, the wood fibers that would absorb the finish have already been sanded smooth. Some fibers may still swell a bit, but it will be much easier to knock them down without ruining the finish.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View ZacD's profile


34 posts in 1760 days

#5 posted 12-05-2013 07:05 PM

If you are staining with water-based stuff, I definitely second what Tony is saying. Otherwise, you are getting the wood raising effect from your stain, which some people prefer (I don’t). Some oils will also cause wood to raise up a little, ruining the smoothness.

If you are wanting a polished look on unsealed, stained wood, pine probably isn’t the best choice, but just keep wetting and sanding, probably up to 600 grit. Then apply your stain, wait a day or two, then wet and sand it again, restain. May work out alright, may not. Try it on some scrap. Pine just doesn’t easily stain with a high quality finished appearance, in my experience.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2691 days

#6 posted 12-06-2013 01:57 AM

Shellac is my favorite finish for pine. It can be tinted with dyes if you want some added color.

I usually brush on a coat or two, then sand it smooth and continue shellac application with a rubbing pad and tiny drops of mineral oil (like a French Polish but easier and quicker).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2438 days

#7 posted 12-06-2013 05:16 AM

There are just too many jokes that could be made about rubbing wood on your face, but I can’t post them! LOL

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View drpdrp's profile


150 posts in 2047 days

#8 posted 12-06-2013 10:10 AM

tefinn- I am the FIRST guy in line to make that joke normally… and it was a total accident! hahaha

View drpdrp's profile


150 posts in 2047 days

#9 posted 12-07-2013 06:41 AM

I am running an experiment with wetting the wood, sanding, drying, and repeating. Curious to see if after X rounds the grain stops raising. Thanks for the suggestion!

View jumbojack's profile


1676 posts in 2625 days

#10 posted 12-07-2013 07:13 AM

gfadvm has the method I use. Again I dont normally stain pine, but the method works for all lumber. I am a lacquer guy, it is my main finish. A couple of thin coats and then a light sanding. The wood fibers that are sticking up through the finish can be safely sanded off. Now you have a fiber free surface. The next couple of coats really seal the material. Then another sanding smooths everything out and a final coat just for good measure.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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