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having issues with the stain on maple

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Forum topic by wlandymore posted 198 days ago 667 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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wlandymore

8 posts in 329 days


198 days ago

Hey guys,

I have a maple table top that I’m working on and after reading a lot about the issues with maple I did the following:

finished up to 220 grit sandpaper
applied a wood conditioner to the table top
20 minutes later applied a gel stain to it

However the results are pretty bad in my opinion. I’m wondering what I can do now that the stain has been put on. Is there any way that I can sand it with something higher like 320 and then apply another layer of stain, or maybe even another layer of stain right over the other one?

I’ve never finished maple before but I felt like I read a lot about how to battle the blochy-ness of it, but without success. Is there any way to save this table top and make it look good now?


17 replies so far

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CharlesNeil

1116 posts in 2474 days


#1 posted 198 days ago

Salvaging after the fact can be difficult , however we will see what we can do .Any chance of getting a photo and the exact products you used. Time can also be an issue, If the products have dried they can be much more difficult to remove easily and effectively .

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wlandymore

8 posts in 329 days


#2 posted 198 days ago

Yeah, I took a couple of pictures. one of the pre-stain conditioner and gel stain that I used, and the other of the table top. I would like to think that there is something I can do at this point besides taking 80.00 worth of maple and heaving it in the garbage… :)

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CharlesNeil

1116 posts in 2474 days


#3 posted 198 days ago

Ok, this is going to sound a little drastic, but take some lacquer thinner and wash as much off of it as possible, you will need to get it wet , let it soak a bit then clean it off. Of course be care ful, lacquer thinner is quite flammable and be sure to wear gloves and a respirator, and have plenty of ventilation , you dont want the fumes getting in your house. Then show us what you have and we will go from there, but I think we can save it.

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keninblaine

128 posts in 206 days


#4 posted 198 days ago

Is there any reason you can’t sand off the surface, or is the veneer too thin? I have a similar issue with maple plywood and have carefully sanded off the stained surface and am experimenting with using toner plus stain as recommended by the cabinet maker that made the other cabinets in my house that I’m trying to match.

-- Ken, Blaine Washington

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Bill White

3352 posts in 2564 days


#5 posted 198 days ago

First mistake? Using a MinWax product.
I’d wash it down as best ya can with a solvent, use a wash coat of shellac, dye for color.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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CharlesNeil

1116 posts in 2474 days


#6 posted 198 days ago

You can sand it off but with the Gel stain and the oil Pre-stain, ( BLO & mineral spirits) , It will probably be pretty gummy unless allowed to dry for a week or so and even then it’s still a mess. Washing off as much as possible with the thinner, will pull as much off as possible as well as dry what remains. Hopefully we will get back to a clean enough surface to redo , or at least get to a surface much easier to sand.

I have to agree with Bill , Minwax has some decent products,but these are not amoung them.

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wlandymore

8 posts in 329 days


#7 posted 198 days ago

I know. I didn’t want to but there are so few options around me I figured it probably wouldn’t be that big a deal. Guess it was…

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CharlesA

1113 posts in 401 days


#8 posted 198 days ago

I’ve used a few brands of gel stain, and minwax is the worst. General Finishes a lot better. I’d look into Charles Neil conditioner. That being said, I think Maple looks great with just Arm-R-Seal on it, but it would be a lot lighter, of course.

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DrDirt

2367 posts in 2346 days


#9 posted 198 days ago

I know it is after the fact – but you really wanted to DYE the maple not Stain it.

Differnce – the dye penetrates, while stain sits in the scratches.
you sanded to 220 then sealed the grain with the conditioner – - so the stain doesn’t really work so well, as there is nowhere for the ‘grains’ of pigment to go.

use a NGR Dye (non grain raising) I find a trigger plant spray bottle works great.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

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CharlesA

1113 posts in 401 days


#10 posted 198 days ago

As I recall, General Finishes recommends only sanding to 120 for their Gel Stain.

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wlandymore

8 posts in 329 days


#11 posted 198 days ago

I’ve seen so many things recommending what grit to go to. Some were saying no more than 120, some up to 150 or 220, I even saw a few that said 320! The unfortunate part about the internet is that there is tons of bad information with the good. :)

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CharlesA

1113 posts in 401 days


#12 posted 198 days ago

Yes, there is. This is what GF says:

USE: Interior and Exterior
COLORS: American Oak, Antique Walnut, Brown, Mahogany, Candelite, Colonial Maple, Georgian Cherry, Golden Pine, Java, New Pine, Nutmeg, Prairie Wheat.
ALWAYS test color on hidden area to make sure it is what you want.
SHEEN: Satin.
SANDING: 120-150 grit on bare wood. It is optional to sand stains before topcoating.
COATS: Normally 1-2 (additional coats can be applied to deepen color).
RECOAT/DRY TIME: 6-12 hours under ideal conditions (70° and 70% humidity).
CURE TIME: Cure time for all General Finishes products is about 14 days.
APPLICATION METHOD: Wipe on, natural bristle brush, foam brush, or paint pad applicator.
TOPCOAT: Use Gel Satin Topcoat or Arm-R-Seal.

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wlandymore

8 posts in 329 days


#13 posted 198 days ago

No, I wasn’t saying that there wasn’t good information out there, heck, that’s why I’m here. :) I was merely saying that it can be tough for the novice to know what to trust where there are many conflicting opinions out there.

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CharlesNeil

1116 posts in 2474 days


#14 posted 198 days ago

Wlandymore.. I couldn’t agree more.. but I can assure you , I know how to handle this . I do woodworking for a living, and have finished a few pieces in 40+ years . We just need to go one step at a time.

In as much as sanding goes, here is an excerpt from my book that Apollo used in their newsletter, as we speak the “read more” link doesn’t work but they are correcting it . http://www.thefinishingstore.com/newsletter-144/
it may answer some of your questions , scroll down its the “sanding can make a difference thing” .I will further say, if your looking for a super quick magical finish, it doesn’t exist, finishing like woodworking requires some knowledge and effort. Sorry to break the news !

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CharlesNeil

1116 posts in 2474 days


#15 posted 198 days ago

CharlesA ,

Stay tuned :) ..I am a huge GF fan , but..well let just say ” This will be interesting ” , and hopefully helpful to many .

Ps thanks for the CN Blotch plug, and it will probably be the answer, but thats not my goal here. I want to get this guy out of trouble .

DRdirt.. You on the right track , definately .

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