6 coats of stain!!!!!!!!!

I saw a varathane ad for stain. They say that you must use 6 coats of their competitors' stain, but only 3 of theirs to obtain a proper finish.
I use one coat. In fact, the one time I was too light and tried a second coat it, didn't seem to do much of anything; I had to sand and go with a darker stain.
Am I missing something, or is varathane crazy?
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Maybe both? I don't like stain at all for most projects - there's so much natural beauty in the color and grain of many hardwoods - why would you want to obscure that with stain? The times I have used stain, however, (before I really came to appreciate wood on its own), you're right: one coat has been plenty. Andy
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Toller wrote:

If you do it right with those types of stains, once the binder of the first coat seals the surface additional stain doesn't do much except wipe off the pigment from the previous coat.
The only time I've seen additional stain coats make a huge difference is when I use "pro" stains, like Mowhawk, Behlen, or M.L. Campbell, with barrier coats in between to lock the pigments in place.
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B A R R Y wrote:

But the additional coats do wonders for Varathane's bottom line :-).
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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Actually gel stains will tend to build and darken.
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Toller wrote:

If the first 'coat' of stain is properly applied subsequent applications should do nothing.
According to Bob Flexnor, author of _Understanding Wood Finishes_ the proper way to apply stain is to wipe it all over the wood and then wipe off all the excess, wiping in the direction of the grain. This should fill the pores with the pigment. Consequently if you apply stain again, it should all wipe off as the pores were already filled.
Since that is the way Mr Flexnor does it, any other way is wrong. At least, that is what one garners from his book.
Multiple applications of a film finish, can have a cumulative effect, this is called toning.
You can also dyes before staining the wood and the dye and stain will each have an effect. Dyes soak into the wood fibers and color them, stains contain finely divided solid pigments.
_Understanding Wood Finishes_ is an excellent book and Mr Flexnor is an excellent teacher. He is also strongly opinionated and not prone to waste time or words equivocating. That is to say, he is not dull.
--

FF


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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

Flexn_e_r, if you're searching for his writings. <G>
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That is kinda old technology and correct for Pure Stains. Today many stains and gel stains have a varnish built in and will get darker with extra coats.

;~)
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Leon wrote:

Which means they're not stains, they're colored film finishes, the use of which is toning, not staining.
Better, IMHO, than staining.

--

FF


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Gel stains tend to not be the final finish. They tend to have a dull appearance until you add a varnish over them.
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Leon wrote:

Yes, it is typical of toning to apply a very clear, tough topcoat, such as one that can be buffed to the desired sheen. Mr Flexner, refers to that final step as 'finishing the finish'.
He may put six or seven finishes on a single piece, each one different. E.g. a dye, a grain filler, a stain. a sealer, a couple of toning coats, a glaze, and a topcoat.
Often I would prefer the look of a simple a oil finish or just rubbed shellac to his work, but I'm not his customer. It probably takes him less time to put those seven finishes on the piece, and finish the finish, than it would take me to put on a couple of coats of tung oil.
He really doesn't care for oil finishes, partly, I suspect, because they're too easy. He likes finishing.
--

FF


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On 9 Dec 2006 10:57:54 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

A good musician knows many songs. <G>

In the commercial realm, most non-woodworkers expect a finish to provide at least minimal protection. Oil's pretty weak, protection wise.
I use oil finishes, but I also know how to dye and pigment stain, rub out varnish, shellac, and lacquer, French polish, and spray, as well as paint.
Some of my finishes include oil, shellac, _and_ a lacquer or varnish top coat, but no stain. It all comes down to the preference for a film, and customer education and preference.
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You mention "to obtain Proper Finish". Stains are not a finish by themselves. That said many manufacturers add a stain to their varnish and that may very well require multiple coats as do most any varnish finishes. Minwax come so mind.
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Toller,
Maybe they are learning something from the shampoo manufactures. The last time I read the directions on a bottle of shampoo it said I should wash my hair twice???? I am confident this was a ploy to sell more shampoo. Hell I'm too lazy to wash my hair twice let alone apply stain 6 times. he he he.
cm

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cm wrote:

lather. The second time around you'll notice lots of suds! :)
Dave
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Using MinWax Rubbing Oil & Stain, subsequent coats definitely darken the finish and increase the sheen.
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