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Problems with 2nd coat of stain

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Forum topic by NewfieDan posted 04-05-2015 03:27 PM 701 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NewfieDan

50 posts in 2113 days


04-05-2015 03:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I am building a coffee table out of both birch plywood and solid birch. I am using a Minwax Espresso stain (very dark), but I am having trouble with the second coat. Because of the potential for blochiness, I used a Minwax conditioner.

The trouble I am having is that when the second coat is put on it seems to remove the first coat not giving me any more/richer colour. I want the second coat, because with the conditioner a single coat is very light. It doesn’t seem to matter how long I leave the first coat to dry. Even drying overnight I have the same issue.

Everything is sanded to 220 grit. The instructions say to leave for 4-6hrs. Leaving it, as per instructions makes no difference, it still turns out basically the same as having a single coat. The only way I can seem to get a darker colour is to turn the table on its side and apply the stain so thick it looks more like paint than stain.

The stain is mixed thoroughly, both shaken before I brought it home a couple of days ago, and stirred before and during use.


6 replies so far

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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#1 posted 04-05-2015 03:54 PM

Is the stain you are using compatible with the conditioner? Maybe a dumb question as they are both Minwax products, but it sounds to me like you are having a problem with the finish adhering to the piece. Can you wipe the dried finish (first coat) off relatively easily?

Only other thing I can think would be you went too heavy with the conditioner. It is basically a film/pore filler if I am thinking of the right stuff. It will absorb more where the wood will naturally try and take more finish, and less where the wood takes less, all in an attempt to even out the surface. If you sealed off the whole thing maybe the stain is sitting on top of the conditioner and not sticking. You could sand back to maybe 150 or so and see if that helps. Try it on a small piece or hidden part of the project.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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NewfieDan

50 posts in 2113 days


#2 posted 04-05-2015 04:02 PM

Even on scrap wood with no conditioner I have the same issue. It sounds weird, but is 220 too fine? Should I have only sanded to 150?

The dried finish only seems to come off when I apply the second coat. The second coat is acting like a thinner for the first coat.

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Logan Windram

303 posts in 1926 days


#3 posted 04-05-2015 04:07 PM

thats the issue with washcoat, it’s going to limit the amount of pigment that you will get into that wood. In a perfect world, you could spray a toner to get that deep dark look you are aiming for, but I don’t know if you’re setup to spray.

Did you try to stain the birch without the wash coat to see what the look was? If you are looking for very dark look, some blotching might not even be an issue. I don’t know enough about Birch to know how it takes stain, but I’d experiment with different washcoats, different color option like stain versus dye, and think about tinting your clear coat.

Experiment, experiment, experiment.

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Logan Windram

303 posts in 1926 days


#4 posted 04-05-2015 04:11 PM



Even on scrap wood with no conditioner I have the same issue. It sounds weird, but is 220 too fine? Should I have only sanded to 150?

The dried finish only seems to come off when I apply the second coat. The second coat is acting like a thinner for the first coat.

- NewfieDan

The solvent from the second coat will probably activate the pigment from the first, but in theory more pigment should stay behind and you needs only to make sure you wipe evenly.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4030 posts in 1815 days


#5 posted 04-05-2015 05:28 PM

Another option to experiment with is to use a coat of garnet shellac, as that will add depth and a certain amount of darkening and because the solvent used is alcohol it won’t lift the underlying stain. Make sure you use de-waxed shellac if you intend to put something over it. You can also add alcohol based dyes to shellac. As always do your experimentation on scraps before you commit to a finishing schedule.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

690 posts in 1262 days


#6 posted 04-05-2015 07:07 PM

I think what you are experiencing is the conditioner and first coat has closed out the cells of the birch.Its only my guess.Sorry I don’t have your solution.Aj

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