Staining single pieces of unfinished red oak


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Old 06-01-15, 12:27 PM
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Staining single pieces of unfinished red oak

Hi all,

I am looking to install two thresholds. The rest of my floor is installed and refinished. My question is what are the sanding steps for a single piece of unfinished red oak? I have a palm sander. My first test piece I sanded down and stained, let it sit for a few minutes and wiped off the excess. The test piece did not come out as good as the floors look. Kinda of looked blotchy is some areas (hard to explain).

Thanks for the advice
Bill
 
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Old 06-01-15, 12:39 PM
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What grit sandpaper did you use?

There was no finish on these pieces previously?
 
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Old 06-01-15, 12:45 PM
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Also you have to remember that stain alone won't look like your finished floor, it takes a few coats of poly to bring the color out. I'd suggest staining the back side of the threshold and applying a coat of poly to see if that brings it closer to what you are looking for.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 12:54 PM
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Oak is an Open Pore Wood, such as Mahogany and Walnut . It will soak up stain and the finish coat.

Hopefully you have more test pieces. Try a sanding sealer, followed by light sanding, stain and finish coat.

Another technique is to use paste wood filler (Jasco or Bartley's). You apply it with a plastic blade, let sit, and wipe off excess with burlap or other rough rag. Follow that with light sanding, stain and topcoat.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 01:07 PM
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The pieces were unfinished red oak and I used 80,120 and then even 220 when the first piece didn't go well.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 01:11 PM
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I wouldn't apply sanding sealer before stain as it will seal the wood making it all but impossible for the wood to absorb stain. On soft woods it's sometimes beneficial to use a wood conditioner [I make my own out of sanding sealer and thinner] but it's rarely needed on oak.

The filler Brian mentioned can be beneficial although I doubt it's needed on a threshold. The lack of poly [will take 3 coats, sanding between coats] is my best guess for why it doesn't look right.

edit;
220 grit is too fine for raw wood as it closes up the pores making it hard for the wood to absorb the stain, 120 or 150 grit is fine enough
 
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Old 06-01-15, 01:16 PM
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Not sure if you're doing this but keep in mind stain works by soaking into the wood and subsequent coats can't soak in due to previous coats - you get one coat per piece of wood unless you strip or sand it all off before applying another coat.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 01:26 PM
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220 grit is too fine for raw wood as it closes up the pores making it hard for the wood to absorb the stain
I must agree on this point. By sanding too fine, you will have some wood pores accepting stain and some not, causing the blotches. I learned to lay off the 220 grit in all but very special cases.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 03:36 PM
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I agree, uneven sanding will cause that.
120 or 150 grit is fine enough.
I never use conditioner on oak. I also will never use 80 grit on oak, it scuffs the wood up too much, so if you have blotches, it's probably where you got carried away with 80 grit. I generally use 120 when using an orbital, and that's all. If sanding by hand, maybe 150.

If you spent 2 minutes sanding with 80 grit, (for example) you probably should have spent 4 minutes sanding with 120 grit. Many people do the opposite because they get impatient and get tired of sanding. So they spend 2 minutes sanding with 80 grit, then only 1 minute sanding with 120 grit. That leads to areas where the sanding was inadequate. Darker areas would indicate a rougher surface that absorbed more stain.
 
 

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