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Apprentice Member
raincheck1129
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-23-2011
0

Repair uneven wood finish

On a new interior pine door I followed the directions and applied a oil-based stain that resulted in 2 blotchy areas. I tried to fix with scrapping, sanding and steel wool but now seems worse with a few small bare areas. I feel the sanding may have sealed any pores and it can't take new stain. Any suggestions? Gel stain?
Thanks, jim
Honored Advisor
Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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Welcome…

Jim;

 

…to the WOOD Magazine Forums, particularly to the Finishing & Refinishing Forum. I hope you will visit often. You will find a number of accomplished woodworkers and finishers here who stand ready to assist you with your finishing and refinishing questions.

 

Pine, as you have learned, does not take stain well.  It is, by virtue of its cell structure, prone to uneven staining (blotching).  You don’t tell us which stain you used, but if it was one of the OTC “penetrating stains” that contains both oil-soluble dye and pigment the issue of blotching is more of a problem.  Gel stains are easier to use on pine but they are still not immune to the blotching problem.

 

A possible solution at this point would be to apply a coat of shellac (Zinsser SealCoat® would be a good, fast drying option) and then apply a heavy bodied gel stain as a “glaze”.  Because of the shellac the gel stain will not come in contact with the wood; but, will produce a more uniform film on top of the shellac.  This will allow you the feather the stain leaving just a bit more in some areas than in others thus evening the color.  Using a dry, natural bristle brush to manipulate the stain will help prevent wipe marks and will make it easier to achieve more uniform color coverage…

 

Steve

Finishing & Refinishing Forum Host
Apprentice Member
raincheck1129
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-23-2011
0

Re: Welcome…

Thank you very much. This sounds like a reasonable option, and I guess I would need to do the whole side of the door, not just the troubled areas to get a match. Originally, I used minwax polystains. Can you rec'd a gel stain? Someone suggested stripping the bad areas with Peel Away and redo...? Thanks, jim
Honored Advisor
Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0

Ah yes, PolyShades®…

Jim;

 

…or, in the words of my good friend and former host of this forum, “…the worst thing ever to happen to the can…”.  That explains a lot.  This stuff is virtually impossible to apply without some level of streaking and/or blotching.  It is a combination of stain and finish (polyoneverythane) all put up in a single can.  Presumably this is intended to make life easier for folks who don’t want to take two steps to apply their finish.  Just slather this stuff on and your done in a single step.  It has been the source of numerous problems on this forum.  It has too much pigment to function as a stain since the excess cannot be effectively wiped off as should be done with a pigment stain; and, it has too little pigment to function as paint.  As a result you are left with the worst of both worlds.  If you are serious about your finishing I would urge you to avoid this stuff in the future.

 

Had you not sanded you might have been able to apply a heavy bodied gel stain directly over the PolyShades® since it is, in effect a “finish”.  However, since you have apparently sanded through the finish in some areas I will still recommend the shellac to insure a uniform film finish to prevent the gel from coming into contact with the wood.  Any, yes, it should be applied to the entire door.

 

One other suggestion; see if you can find a source other than Minwax for the gel stain.  General Finishes, Old Masters and Wood kote all offer excellent (and superior) alternatives...

 

Steve

 

Finishing & Refinishing Forum Host
Apprentice Member
raincheck1129
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-23-2011
0

Re: Ah yes, PolyShades®…

Ya, should have known better. Thanks so much for your wise help. And stripping the problem area and redoing is not good..? I do have more pine doors to do so your method sounds best. Regards, jim

 

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