Staining & gluing help

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Forum topic by Shopsmithtom posted 2583 days ago 1169 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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780 posts in 2827 days

2583 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: glue stain

This is going to sound pretty elementary, but since I’m not beyond asking about basic things…so here goes.
I have always, probably because I learned it that way from my dad, glued projects together and then stained them, because I was led to believe that the stain would weaken or even ruin the glue bonding if it’s in the joint.
I guess what I’m wondering is: is that really always true? Are there some stains (i.e. water or latex based) that, if you stain everything, even the joint areas, when you apply glue, will not interfere with the bonding process?
It would be a lot easier to not have to be as careful with the glue cleanup for staining.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

5 replies so far

View edp's profile


109 posts in 2592 days

#1 posted 2583 days ago

I have never considered staining before gluing and probably wouldn’t even if the packagign said it would be OK. There is so much riding on a solid glue joint, why risk the integrity of the joints rather than excersing a little care and clean up?

-- Come on in, the beer is cold and the wood is dry.

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 2876 days

#2 posted 2583 days ago

I agree with edp, if a joint isn’t quite up to snuff and sanding is required then you have to get the stain to match previous stained areas.

Stain before glue

-- Joel Tille

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 2943 days

#3 posted 2583 days ago

I wouldn’t stain before glue up unless the area will be a monster to do later and if so, I would tape up any area where glue will be applied before staining. If the joint is off a smiggin, like Joel suggested, then only a very little staining will be required to touch up such areas.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 2681 days

#4 posted 2583 days ago

I tend to be a stain after glue person. There are only three instances where I will stain/finish first.

(1) When the project size would be hard to handle if it were stained/finished after glue up. Case in point is the set four almost eight foot tall bookshelves I am working on right now. I will be bursting at the seams in the shop until I can get the carcases in the house. I could not imagine trying to maneuver these monsters around for staining and finishing in my shop after they were assembled.

(2) When I don’t want one piece to stick to another. I there is a situation where I absolutely do not want one piece to stick to another piece, I will stain/finish first. The most often seen case of this is a solid wood panel in a frame and panel situation.

(3) When the look of the finished product may be jeopardized. This again is the case with frame and panel construction. I will almost always finish the panels before inserting them into the frames so when the contract with humidity changes I do not get a line where the finish ends.

Other than these situations, I much prefer stain/finish after I glue.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View Aubster's profile


131 posts in 2660 days

#5 posted 2583 days ago

I’m with Rob. There are some situations were I would stain first then glue, and like osconer said I would tape up the joints before staining.

Oh. I would like to add one more situation to Robs list. I have had some situations were I had to use two differents color stains on parts that has to be joined together.

-- A man who moves mountains starts one stone at a time.

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