Can I fix flaws in stain after wiping poly off

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Forum topic by 98102via57401 posted 05-13-2014 02:55 PM 1074 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 98102via57401's profile


6 posts in 896 days

05-13-2014 02:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stain finish poplar polyurethane fix it getting old

Go easy…attempting my hand at creating furniture and posting questions like this makes me realize I am becoming more and more like my father’s kid!

Long story short, I joined 3 pieces of 8.5”x2” raw cut Poplar (I’m cheap, just like my dad too!). Applied wood conditioner (the test area proved splotchy without it). Waited 3 hours. Applied a couple coats of stain which came out perfectly. Waited 6 hours. Applied satin poly (without thinner).

I used a terrible brush, had a couple bristles fall off, and tried to carefully grab them (not easy). Having never learned this lesson before…I tried to wipe off the messed up poly’ed area so I could rebrush it. MISTAKE. As you can see in the photo, there are 2 areas (middle left and right) that I wiped off noticeable amounts of stain.

I stopped applying poly immediately and called it a night.
Can I fix the missing stain areas easily?
Do I have to start over?

Thanks everyone.

for reference, the table before poly application.

2 replies so far

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1140 posts in 1054 days

#1 posted 05-13-2014 02:59 PM

6 hours dry time on stain is not enough.
I wait 24. You wiped off stain because it wasn’t dry, and the poly wiped it off.

No you can’t fix the missing stain areas without stripping it all down. And sanding it off.

If you were experienced you might be able to hide it with dyes in poly, while you sprayed it on.
But that would be very tough.

When finishing, rushing is always a problem. There are ways, but not for those of us that don’t do finishing often enough.

-- Jeff NJ

View RogerM's profile


747 posts in 1819 days

#2 posted 05-13-2014 03:19 PM

Not sure what kind of stain you used but I am assuming that it is oil based (like Minwax). If this is the case grab some mineral spirits and start wiping. The sooner the better. When dry (at least several hours) resand and start the process again.

Take your time when finishing. I suggest sealing after staining with a very dilute coat coat of shellac (Like dilute Seal Coat). Rub out the sealer coat with 320 to 400 grit sandpaper or steel wool then rag on polyurethane diluted with (at least) an equal part of mineral spirits. I usually do 3 to 4 coats with 2 hrs between coats. Allow final coat to dry at least 8 hrs. then rub out with 600 – 800 grit sand paper or 000 – 0000 steel wool. Apply finishing wax with 0000 steel wool and buff.

Good luck!!!!!

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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