Wood Stain Sweating Problem


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Old 09-14-07, 06:33 PM
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Wood Stain Sweating Problem

I have a problem with the drying time and process when staining doors. I use Minwax stain and perform the normal preparations, however, after appling the stain and waiting for more than 12 hours, the stain still isn't dry. I have been moving the doors out into the sun to dry, thus the stain starts to sweat. I have had to re-strip doors in the past due to the stain not being completely dry under the varnish. Can anyone help? Bill
 
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Old 09-15-07, 04:32 AM
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After applying the stain did you wipe off the excess?
Are you applying the stain to clean raw wood?
 
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Old 09-15-07, 05:33 AM
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When you say sweat do you mean that the black colorant is coming out of the grain? this is probably an open grain wood like oak with a stain that has a somewhat dark grain strike. What you are seeing is the Gilsonite coming out of the grain. Gilsonite is basically carbon and is used to create that dark grain strike, it is carried by xylene. This is why I tell my customers to NEVER use minwax stains, the gilsonite load is too heavy and they take forever to dry. I have contacted minwax to ask when I can apply a finish over their stains (by finish i mean lacquer) and I was told 3-4 days. the best thing for you to do is to let it dry and occasionally wipe the excess stain off.

again, NEVER use minwax
 
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Old 09-15-07, 05:43 AM
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I've used many gallons of minwax stain and maybe twice as much store brand stains and have never noticed a lot of difference between there application and drying properties. MInwax does seem to have a longer shelf life than a lot of the others.

99% of the oil base stains that I've used have been top coated with either sanding sealer & varnish or polyurathane. It would be my guess that the majority of diyers top coat with an oil base finish and not a lacquer.
 
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Old 09-15-07, 05:45 AM
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I've noticed this too, especially when working with white and red oak. The stain will slowly continue to wick out of the deep pores even after you wipe it. It also seems like the darker Minwax stains I commonly use (Provincial, Special Walnut, Dark Walnut, Jacobean) are more prone to this "sweating" or bleeding. I haven't ever noticed it with the lighter stains.

One suggestion I would have is avoid flooding the surface with stain- put it on as thin as possible and wipe it as quickly as you can. On a door this may mean doing a partial area, then wiping it before continuing to the next area.

Sunlight and heat seems to make this problem worse. In the winter, if I turn the heaters on in our warehouse to help the stain dry, it always seems to make the stain bleed as opposed to just letting it dry in a cool place.

I also have quit staining wood at the end of the day. What has happened to me is that I stain the wood, wipe it down... it looks dry... but then I come back to work in the morning and there are all these little dried spots of stain on some parts of some of the wood. But if I stain in the morning, and can come back frequently to check and wipe the trim again, then there's no problem.

I've also taken a rag dipped in lacquer thinner and lightly rubbed the areas that continue to bleed- this seems to stop the bleeding from returning again.

I've never tried mixing a little lacquer thinner with the stain, although I've thought of doing that to speed the drying process.

And I never go by what the can says regarding drying time- 8 hours is never enough for those darker stains. I always allow 24 hours minimum (longer if the trim can wait a day or two), unless it has to be a speed job and I'm making an exception so as to quickly coat it with lacquer. Even then sometimes the stain will bleed out. I remember one time I put up some trim that I had quickly stained and lacquered 1 hour later. The window trim was above a kitchen sink that had a florescent light. The light put off enough heat to make the top piece of casing bleed right through 3 coats of lacquer. Pretty crazy. I try not to do that any more than I have to... it's kind of for "emergency trim" only.
 
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Old 09-15-07, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bclacquer
(by finish i mean lacquer)

again, NEVER use minwax
sorry forgot to finish my thought coherently, I had a baby in my arms trying to type.

I have found that if you use minwax varnishes, you will still have this issue of the stain leaching or bleeding out, but the chemists seem to have taken this into account as the minwax finishes seem to allow some of the solvent to pass through as the finish dries. Keep in mind that Xylene has a very long drying time and as this is the only chemical that will carry gilsonite, there is a lot of xylene in minwax stains. Any other company who makes finishes (either stuff for professionals or DUYers) will tell you not to use minwax stain under their product. Mainly because the finish will pull the colorants into the finish and lead to a problem with adhesion. for the most part P&L, Old Masters, HPM, SW, BM, PPG, can all be topcoated with just about any varnish or poly.

this is why I say NEVER use minwax. Too many times I have seen the finish, any finish, fail over said stain. It may seem strange, I have only been in the painting industry for ten years yet seem to have come across an excessive number of failures that involve minwax stain. The topcoat used varies from minwax to many many other brands. the universal factor is that minwax stains were used.

I understand that Minwax has a great marketing department and is one of the top selling stains worldwide. However, their quality control is one of the worst in the industry. how many times have you taken a 1/2 pint of minwax stain and found it does not match the gallon. every time I try this with customers we get a different color. grab a 1/2 pint of stain and a gallon of a different batch and check the color. 9 times out of 10 they will not match.

sorry, I got into a rant.
 
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Old 09-15-07, 11:51 AM
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Sweating Problem Response

I now understand the chemical make-up causing the bleeding. I have a lot of Minwax stain on my shelf, so it would be expensive to switch right now. What I have found as an intrem soultion to the problem is to let the doors dry overnight and them pull them out into a warm sun. Not a real hot sun. I have a fan blowing on the doors to keep them cool. I have to watch on a regular basis (ever 10 minutes or so) for the bleeding and wipe off before it drys. I find after about six or so hours, the stain quits bleeding and is completely dry. I have left them out in the sun for about an hour after I have noticed they are not bleeding anymore and find no further problem. They varnish up quit well.

Comments, suggestions? Thanks Bill
 
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Old 09-15-07, 07:06 PM
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I've used mostly Dura Seal stains on floors but have also used Minwax stains....Dura Seal will dry in normal conditions in 3 hrs, but when I've used Minwax, I try to let it dry for 24 hrs. I've pushed that a few times but never had a problem putting poly over it on floors.
 
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Old 09-23-07, 09:55 AM
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Door stained out to dark.

I am working with 2 bi-fold doors that were finished in our shop
3 coats of stain, 3 coats of poly, when we got them to the job we saw that one had stained out much darker than the other, we had to take them back and are trying to figure out how to darken the other one up, stain/poly tinting? total refinish?!?

Thanks for reading
 
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Old 09-24-07, 04:07 AM
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Welcome to the forums Woodwarrior

You can apply a tinted poly over the light colored door. Tinted polys can be difficult to apply - it must be applied evenly with NO runs, puddles or missed areas. Any area that has too much tint applied will be darker and ofcourse missed areas will have no added color.

You either buy a commercially tinted poly [like minwax polyshades] have the paint store tint poly for you or add some of the pigments from the bottom of the stain can to the poly to color it.
 
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Old 10-05-07, 04:50 PM
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Back to the original topic of this thread...

Here's a photo I took of the stain "sweating" problem that was being discussed, in case anyone wanted to see what it looks like.

 
 

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