finist problem

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Forum topic by Dan Hux posted 04-02-2009 01:14 AM 826 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan Hux

577 posts in 3552 days

04-02-2009 01:14 AM

I need some help please..I built a console/side table, it’s made of the oak you buy at lowes. I did the finish in Minwax “red mahogony” stain. I let the stain sit for about 35 or 50 minutes. I wiped it down with paper towls and let the table sit for 24 hours. The next day I put a very thin layer of Minwax clear poly on top of the stain. All was fine for the first hour or so, then stain or something started bubbling up in the heavier grain areas of the wood on the top only. The legs, drawer fronts and sides(aprons) didn’t do it. I didn’t take any pictures, i’ve sinced sanded it all down. We had 3 days of rain, could that oak have soaked up that much humidity from the rain.

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

4 replies so far

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3703 days

#1 posted 04-02-2009 01:33 AM

It’s not from humidity in the wood. It’s probably because you put the stain on too thick. The main ingredient in minwax stain is boiled linseed oil, which doesn’t cure fast, and if put on too thick can take a week to cure. If I’m not mistaken, the directions say to wipe off after 15 minutes which in my experience is even too long for oak due to the open grain soaking in the stain.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4000 days

#2 posted 04-02-2009 01:39 AM

Dan, is the problem you are having stain or air bubbles? Oak is a porous wood and air will often be entrained in the wood. Once a topcoat is applied it can release the trapped air causing the topcoat to trap air bubbles in layer of poly. The remedy to this is to lightly sand the topcoat in order to level the finish and continue applying additional layers of poly.

The same process can occur with stain as well. With oil based stains a 5-15 minute application is the normal time that the stain is applied to the surface of the wood before wiping the stain off. If you have excess stain accumulating in the open pores then it is entirely possible that it is bleeding out of the wood into the topcoat. The solution here is to give it more time to cure out and wipe off any excess stain that happens to surface. If this were my project I would then seal it with shellac and then topcoat it with polyurethane.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3538 days

#3 posted 04-03-2009 12:13 AM

one rule i stick with that helps.. if i use oil base stain i use water base for the next coat.. then if i want oil poly i switch back.. since oil and water don’t mix, neither does my stain and poly…

that red oak at the box stores is so open grain that it’s hard to get it right. a good bet, if you want darker wood.. wall lumber ships small amounts very cheap..

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

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Dan Hux

577 posts in 3552 days

#4 posted 04-03-2009 01:34 AM

thanks for the info guys…i’ve rubbed on a very small amount of the same stain on with a cloth, i’m gonna let it sit until this Saturday. I’ll try the top coat again. Maybe this time it will behave better. LOL..

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

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