splotchy stain on pine


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Old 10-03-05, 08:52 AM
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splotchy stain on pine

I just stained some new unfinished pine bi-fold doors and the finish is very uneven. I did use a wood conditioner before staining them but they still turned out with dark splotches. I stained another pine door from a different manufacturer at the same time with the same products using the same technique and it looks great. This is not my first staining project and I have never had problems like this before. Could this be the result of the door being sanded incorrectly at the factory when it was made or what? I did use the correct type of wood conditioner and applied the stain within the correct time period. I applied three thin coats of stain, waiting the correct number of hours between each one. I did not sand the doors either before staining or between stain coats. ( I assumed they were sanded at the factory.)

If I strip off the stain with a paint stripper to start over, does anyway have some recommendations as to how I should prepare these doors so that they will stain correctly this time. I also want the stain to be as dark as possible to match other woodwork. Would I be better off with a tinted poly on these doors instead of the stain followed by poly? I really appreciate any ideas!
 
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Old 10-03-05, 09:05 AM
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It sounds like lack of sanding. Unfortunately, you can't assume the factory did their job correctly. Any unfinished wood should be sanded to prep it before staining.

Another (remote) possibility is the blotchy door got wet before you got it. This can cause a wide variation in how stain takes, even if the door has completely dried.

Remedy for either:

Strip the stain, sand the piece and apply a thinned coat of finish to act as a sealer before re-staining. This should help uniform the color of the stain.
 
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Old 10-03-05, 09:18 AM
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Will I have problems getting the stain dark if I apply the thinned coat of poly? Would I thin it with mineral spirits? What ratio? Also, I want the stain as dark as possible. The first time, I used a standard Minwax oil-based stain. Would a gel stain be better? Also what grit do you recommend for the sanding to avoid sealing the pores?

Thanks much!
 
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Old 10-04-05, 04:41 AM
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Mineral spirits (paint thinner) would be appropriate for thinning. 2:1 thinner to finish.

The Gel stain can be applied to give a darker stain than the regular liquid. It's also easier to 'even out' color depth variations.

On pine, I wouldn't use anything smoother than 120 grit sand paper. If you're sanding white pine, you can actually go a little bit rougher, say 100 grit. If it's yellow pine (with a pronounced grain) I'd stay with 120.
 
 

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