Staining goof - please help!

Old 09-25-04, 10:46 AM
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Unhappy Staining goof - please help!

Please don't laugh. I have been refinishing an oak table for a couple of weeks now. The table has two leaves. I am not sure if I sanded the leaves too much or what but the Red Mahagony stain took different on the leaves which appear less grainy and have more sheen than the end pieces. I also sanded (I know what an idiot) between stain coats because I had some fingerprints (I have no idea how they got there - just showed up after first coat of stain) on an area so I used 220 on entire table top. Now you can see the sanding marks. What a mess:

1. What can I do about my two tone table top - I've already put one extra coat of stain on the leaves (third coat) with no results. Are the woods just that different? Should I sand the end pieces (which have alot more grain) all over again to see if I can get them to look like the leaves?

2. Will the sanding marks go away after poly or what should I do?

Would appreciate any help!!!
Old 09-25-04, 12:53 PM
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stain took different on the leaves which appear less grainy and have more sheen than the end pieces
Wood is a natural product and tends to give natural results. The variations in the wood may well account for the difference in appearance. Did you stain all the sections at the same time? From the same mixture?

To detect contamination of a wood surface prior to staining, wipe the surface with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. The fingerprints, glue, and whatnot will show up as light colored places. Having found these, you can clean the surface prior to staining. These contaminants will leave poorly stained or unstained places on the piece. Mineral spirits will not damage the surface and evaporates without leaving a residue.

Fingerprints come from fingers! Always clean a piece prior to staining, no matter its source.

Spot sanding will cause uneveness. For resolving spot sanding, sand the entire piece uniformly.

Sand with the grain. 220 paper is too fine for the last grade prior to staining. Try to end with 120 or 150.

Will the sanding marks go away after poly
Whatever is there prior to the polyurethane will be there afterwards.

Balancing the variations in the color of the pieces will require that they be stripped and stained afresh.

Hope this helps.

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