Wood doors: wood conditioner vs sand&sealer


Old 02-16-01, 08:30 PM
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I've been having some trouble with blotching when staining soft wood doors. I sand the doors well and use wood contitioner befor staining. I've been hearing that the trend is leaning to using sand & sealer before staining. How is the dry time of the stain effected?
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Old 02-17-01, 08:16 AM
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Sealing the wood prior to staining will produce different and milder effects since the stain will not soak into the wood. To answer this question correctly, exactly how are you applying and wiping down the stain?
Old 02-17-01, 06:14 PM
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After conditioning both sides of the door, I hand stain with a rag. Leaving the stain on about 5 min, then remove excess stain with a clean rag. Top coats have been 2 coats of sand & seal or poly.
Old 02-18-01, 07:58 AM
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I myself do not use wood conditioner unless the wood it is giving me a problem first, lightly sanding with a 220 grit is nesasary sometimes but you must sand it evenly and entirely, missing no spots, sanding will slightly rough the grain and if not done properly can create blotches. Also I never leave the stain on for any longer than it take me to apply it and wipe it off, if it needs to be darker, I use a darker stain. The longer it sits the more it is going to set up and harder to wipe off or out of the grain, thus creating blotches.

Try this on one, lightly sand the entire surface, by hand (absolutely no machines) leaving the sandpaper flat on surface as possible, missing no spots, with the grain only, useing a 220 grit. If you know what to look for you can use a light and shine it across the surface at an angle, you can see if it needs sanding at all, little shiney lines are present and are caused by other wood or objects rubbed against the wood tightening the grain but not producing a scratch, thus producing a light streak in the stain, remember you can lightly sand these areas out but the entire door must be sanded if any sanding at all is done. OK, if you will, try a faster method of applying the stain, use a short napped roller, or sponge roller to apply the stain, miss no spots, then immediately wipe the stain back off with clean dry rags, if the rag gets saturated get another. (Do not use regular rollers to apply the finish, it can leave fibers, sponge roller is OK but must be brushed out) Be sure to cover the floor, rolling does creat a mess. If you want to keep useing the rags to apply then make sure you have plenty of stain in the rag (basically dripping) apply the stain re-dipping the rag and keeping it saturated, when done wipe off stain imediately. This too is messy, as you know. Do not sand until AFTER your first coat of sanding sealer. Most woods are going to stain slightly inconsistant, where the grain is tighter, aroung knots, where there is more or less grain, etc, but the above instructions should not creat the noticable dark blotches. I think you were leaving the stain set too long before wipeing it off.

One of the formans that works for a company I used to be employed by was staining these BIG expencive oak cabinets in a new printing company, many many cabinets. He was spraying the stain and had helpers behind him wiping down, well he got going too fast and the helpers couldn't keep up, thus the stain sat too long and created "blotches" all over, it was terrible. He ended up having to wipe all the stain out with lacquer thinner and starting over, this guy is good to, he just wasn't watching.

Hope this helps.

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