Stain is blotchy on oak

Old 08-22-05, 08:10 AM
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Stain is blotchy on oak

I am refinishing an oak dresser and the new stain that I put on is very blotchy. The original dresser was whitewashed. I removed the old finish with Formby's. The new stain is Minwax English Chestnut (a dark stain). There must have been spots on the wood that were more porous than others because when I wiped off the stain, some areas don't even look like it absorbed at all.

The options that I can think of are to remove the finish with something like Formby's again, then put a stain controller on first, or use sandpaper to rough up the surface a little before putting on a stain controller.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix it?

Thanks much.
Old 08-22-05, 04:51 PM
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You may have encountered some old clearcoat that hasn't been removed. I refinished an old table that was painted white, but was previously a clear coat before being painted white. Had I not known it was clearcoated and belt sanded it nicely before I stained it, I may well have had a similar issue.

Sounds like you will need to remove most of the english chestnut and pre-seal it first. Also, I've noticed that alkyd based stains don't quite blotch as much (though they do some), usually found at paint stores and not your typical home improvement place. The nice thing about alkyds is they dry in, usually, 30 mins to so.

Also be sure to sand everything as evenly as possible. Having one area sanded a bit more than the rest can cause a difference in the way the stain colors it. I personally wouldn't bother going higher than 150, and 120 is really good enough. I would spend a bit more time sanding the final sanding on oak since it's a lot harder than, say, pine or cherry.
Old 07-29-12, 12:24 PM
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Thumbs up Fixing problems with oak staining

I read in the Family Handman how to Stain wood evenly without getting blotches or dark spots. Go to that Website for instructions. The recap of the instructions is to mix sealer with mineral spirits to still allow stain to go through. It explains different tests to select mixture strength. Maybe half of each is good
Old 07-29-12, 01:05 PM
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Daddy's Girl, welcome to the forums! You answered a 7 year old thread, so it fell on deaf ears, I'm afraid. Check the dates on your responses so they stay current.
Old 07-29-12, 01:38 PM
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the instructions is to mix sealer with mineral spirits
That's called a 'wash coat' It's basically the same thing as the commercially mixed 'wood conditioner'

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