Wood won't take stain, can I re-sand?

Old 10-31-07, 05:13 PM
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Wood won't take stain, can I re-sand?

I bought a bookcase from a store that sells unfinished furniture. It was already sanded, but I sanded it again with 120, then again with 220. I removed the saw dust and applied a wood conditioner, since it said it would make for a more even stain. 30 minutes later I applied stain to some areas of the bookcase. I could only do some areas at once because I had to apply the stain horizontally, so I had to wait for some areas to completely dry before turning the case over.

I am using a Minwax ebony stain on Pine, and have had to apply at least two coats to every area, because the wood does not take the stain completely and there are patchy areas of the yellow pine that show through. The inside of the bookcase is not taking the stain very well at all. Could it be because I had to wait 4 days after sanding to apply, and the grain of the wood has since sealed up? Is it okay for me to resand the area with 120 and immediately apply a lot of stain, or would that ruin it? I used a random orbit sander.

Thanks for any help!
Old 10-31-07, 05:22 PM
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Applying a wood conditioner always makes it harder for the wood to obsorb the stain, it's main purpose is to prevent the lighter/darker areas that can be a problem with soft woods like pine.

Sanding with 220 also compounded the problem as it also helped to close up the grain. Ebony is a dark stain and it may be difficult to get it stained as dark as you wish. Sanding with 120 grit should help.

I've never been fond off applying more than 1 coat of stain. The first coat for the most part seals the wood. This makes it harder for the second coat to soak in and dry. I usually use a tinted poly [like minwax polyshades] when I need to make it darker than the stain will allow.

Tinted polys can be a little tricky to apply - they must be applied evenly. Thin or missed spots will be too light and lap marks, runs, or any area that has more tinted poly will be darker.

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