EEK! Seeking Advice on a Big Smear Showed up after stain!

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Forum topic by CueballRosendaul posted 04-13-2015 08:10 PM 726 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 1562 days

04-13-2015 08:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

So my guitchair is in the finishing stage now. Just stained it last night and there’s what appears to be a glue type smear on the top back. I used hide glue, and was careful not to get too much of it anywhere else, and I’m sure this stain wasn’t from my doing, but prior finish and abuse the chair saw before I picked it out of a trash heap.

I wiped it down with mineral spirits the days before finish to find any spots that might need a little more sanding and didn’t find anything; however as I was laying on the stain, this shined through.

I think it’ll be less noticeable with the finish applied, but is there anything you might advise to minimize the chances of making it worse or perhaps make it better? The stain is Michael’s Cherry which is commonly used for mission style furniture, and I really had to drench it with one coat to get it into some deep grain pores. I could apply another coat which would darken it up quite a bit.

The chair had been in the trash and had some rot, splits, stains, paint, sun damage, etc. when I found it. I have a series in my blog about the restoration:

The picture makes it look a lot worse than it actually is. Here is a snapshot of the chair from the back

I left a lot of scars, plugs, and wood filler to give the chair some character, but I’d like to minimize this blemish. Any advice?


-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

7 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


3972 posts in 1773 days

#1 posted 04-13-2015 09:26 PM

Sand it back to bare wood and try other solvents such as alcohol and/or lacquer thinner. They might be able to lift the stain. No guarantees, especially because you don’t know what is causing it. Depends on how much it bothers you.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 951 days

#2 posted 04-13-2015 10:53 PM

Looks like a spot from a wet rag.The water raised the grain and it took more stain. Just sand it back a little to even the grit and re-stain it and you should be fine. Fix it before you apply any finish

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View BurlyBob's profile


3484 posts in 1688 days

#3 posted 04-14-2015 01:46 AM

That had to be heartbreaking! Been there and have to agree with the others about sanding. It sure sucks to have to do that, but that’s a real handsome chair and deserves to be done right.

View ChefHDAN's profile


798 posts in 2272 days

#4 posted 04-14-2015 12:35 PM

Matt, I got almost the exact same problem on this project, My solution was to rewet with mineral spirits pretty liberally, and then using a clean dry rag rub the stain out to even the coloring, it was not a perfect repair, but it’s mostly only noticeable if you’re close enough and know where to look. I think I just had some of the stain dry before I could wipe off but it may have been from the sanding points raised by Bondo, I tried the quick fix before sanding out, and if it was something id look at every day i probbably would have sanded it out.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 1562 days

#5 posted 04-15-2015 12:41 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I’ll try some vigorous rubdowns with mineral spirits and maybe some acetone or lacquer thinner and steel wool before sanding it bare. At least I can isolate the refinishing or fixing to that one whole slat, unlike a table top or something broad. It definitely needs to be fixed though because I’ll have to look at it every day and now that the stain is pretty dry it’s really obvious. I’ll post pix once I fix it.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View Nubsnstubs's profile


811 posts in 1152 days

#6 posted 04-15-2015 01:36 AM

IWUD4U has it right. Looks just like some water stains that got onto several things I did when I was in the woodworking business. Sand it to bare wood, stain it, check it out. If the stain is still there, repeat until it’s gone. ....... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2226 days

#7 posted 04-17-2015 06:03 PM

The chair still looks gr8.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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