Finish & Polyshade Help!!!!!

I have an oak table that I have been "trying" finish.
Essentially its the table from hell...i managed to get all the stains out (water, ink etc) but I can not get a finish to stick! All chems. have been neutralized etc.
I stained and COMPLETELY dried (at least I think??). Put a top coat of shellac....dried and began to sand with 220...all the shellac came off and so did the stain!!????
This was not my first issue...the first sign of a problem was my first coats of stain...I stained/and sanded with 320...again the stain came off...came off like you were sanding paint. The surface had been sanded with 80 but nothing held.
On my last go round (shellac and stain coming up) I got frustrated and grabbed a can of Polyshade Mahogonny...and "slapped" it on (not smart..but i was ticked!) The result was good color but streaky in some parts (again, ticked I brushed out certain areas with mineral spirts to try to even the color) needless to say I have uneven areas of uneven finish.
It's in the process of drying from my first "uneven coat"...what do I do!!??? Dry, sand and recoat..will this even up the color and finish.
Or do I drop back and punt....strip the whole thing and start from scratch!!
HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLP!!
Rick
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www.homesteadfinishing.com has a forum for refinishing & restoration, or a name close to that, and there is www.refinishwizard.com for another forum that might be helpful. PLEASE report back on resolution!

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If you want it done right strip/sand it down to the bare wood and refinish.
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mp wrote:

re-stripping is my plan of attack...but what then???...nothing is penetrating (stain) or sticking (stain or shellac)...in fact its been well over 12 hours since i polyshaded and (while i am guessing its not completely dry..it scrapes off easily with the finger nail
this will be my third stain attempt...i have never had this problem..i have worked with oak on numerous oaccasions...
i don't have alcohol stains nor are they available in my area...so my only other thought was strip it aa down...clean iot all up and then hit with danish oil
thoughts???
R
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rooster wrote:

I think I have this right:
Clean surface. Wipe or brush on oil based stain. Wait 15 minutes Wipe off with nice non-shedding cloth. Wait 8 or 12 hours.
BUT the stain should have a temperature and humidity range on the can. You can do the above steps over and over but if you are working in a very confined space so the excess (whatever it is) can't evaporate or the temp is too low or the humidity too high it isn't doing to dry and when you put the next whatever you want on top it will either stay wet or get gummy or get up and leave home.
If the stain isn't dark enough you can do the above steps all over again.
In my house, right now, in Virginia I've been staining and applying polyurethane (both oil based) and have had to put a heater in the kitchen (where I apply stain and poly) and in the dining room where I put things to finish drying. I tried this earlier without the heaters and had to remove everything with turps and start over. Oops, also keep the range fan on all the time, too.
Shellac is wierd and can't be used with the urethanes unless you use a de-waxed shellac that you buy especially from a mail order company and mix up yourself. There are internet descriptions for de-waxing shellac but I don't have time to test something like that now. Zinsser makes"SealCoat" that is unwaxed shellac in a can but I can't find it at Lowe's or HD and will try to order some from a catalog when I have time. If you are short of time, too, forget the shellac.
If you got two layers of stain down and dried you can apply a polyurethane oil-type finish on top. You aren't supposed to sand between coats of stain but you are supposed to sand between coats of finish. 220 seems to be the recommended paper. I keep the heaters on until I'm done the whole business, except for night time. I give each coat of finish a good 8 hours to dry, then sand, then wipe down, then re-coat.
Polyshade sounds frightening to me.
Josie
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Thanks Josie...
I have considered that this maybe a temp/humidity moisture issue. I am working in the basement ..NY. The basement is dry but it is clamy and the temp gets down to 50. I would think that stain should have adhered after 24 hours...but also know this not an exact science.
Polyshade is an "intersting" product....its colored poly..like a transluscent paint and it doesn't absorb into the wood.
I think I need to take a few steps back and start from scratch...and above all be patient.
But this the last time I put a finish on it...if it doesn't work...i won't have to worry about turning up the heat becuase the table will be fuel : )
So tonights agenda is to go home and emmerse my self in chemical stripper..neutralize and walk away for a day ..i am "supposed" to have this done by Christmas...
Thanks R
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rooster wrote:

I have the impression that it's a used table. Any possibility that someone doused it in silicone oil or grease at some point? If so, _nothing_ is going to stick to it (unless you want to get off into the esoteric art of adhesive bonding of silicone).
Considering that it seems to be behaving like Teflon, have you considered just leaving it unfinished?

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--John
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It is a "used", "antique" table that was lacking any finish and had been well abused. I have seen worse stains and was able to remove 90% of them without much effort.
Now with that said there is one stain which does fit into an oil or grease. It smells of wax but it is isolated area and does not cover the table. The whole piece has been pain...structurally the wood is in great condition and the stains did come up ..but something is preventing a stain.
It is either my lack of patients...or as you describe something much more sinster (my guess is a combination of both).
The orginal piece was stained a red oak (there are remainders of the stain bottomside). After stripping, cleaning, neutralization and drying the wood responded as normal (raised grain etc). I sanded with 60, cleaned and applied a light coat of stain. As it dried I noticed numerous tiny (pin) dark red puddles forming. They were as if someone took a brush loaded with stain and "flicked" it at the stop of the table. I immediately assumed that they were just excess stain and would remove upon rub and that's exactly what i did. However, more formed in different areas..wipe and more time past and they would form again ..in different areas?????
The wood is deeply impregnated with something and whatever it is..it doesn't like mineral spirits (stain base)?? (I applied straight MS to the bare wood and experienced the same results)
So, last night i stripped again...and decided that i would spend this evening concetrating on wood prep.
I did try a aerosol product sold at Lowes called Stain Stripper (i am old school, bleach, oxcylic acid, peroxide etc.) most new fangled stuff don't do snap.
However, this did something...on a visually clean/stain free area, treated, bleached, raised grain, dry area...it brought up something from depths??
It works fast .. Plus, it worked on that grease/oil stain (as described above).....brown red oozed from the spot. The wood still "feels" different in that area (you can't stick your nail into it as you can in the surrounding areas...it also feels slightly raised, smooth, dense) but it did make it better.
My guess there is something deep in the wood (in the spot and thru out the piece maybe oil...grease or stain???) and i need to warm up my work area and slow down! : )
R
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Over the weekend, I took my time and carefully prep the wood (solid oak). Once everything was good and driy I used 60-80 instead of my usual 100-120. Took my time and checked my work.
Plus I was able to heat up the basement to close to 70...while it didn't feel all that "warm" it did feel less damp. I allowed the piece to warm and applied my first light coat of stain (fresh can) and it went down without issue nice and even...good color..no pin puddles. I rubbed it out after 20 and let it stand for over 12 hours (keeping reasonably warm). I raised the temp and applied/rubbed my second coat without any problem. Again, I am giving it extra time to dry.
This evening, I will heat the place up again and make sure everything is dry and apply my first coat of shellac.
I believe what I orginally suspected is true...prep and heat/moisture issue. I also suspect that despite the traditional methods...that there was something I didn't get out of the wood (stain? moisture? ick?). The only reason I say this is..that despite how clean and stripped the wood was the Stain Stripper did draw something from the wood.
Bottomline..I needed to take more time and not take drying time, heat and moisture for granted. Common sense goes out the window when you get in a hurry. I should have considered the issues of moisture and temp more closely. Not only in the working environment, but drying times after oxylic acid washes etc. If the piece was already "damp" (stored in a "dry" shed : ) then I add more in the way of washes etc...its going to need extra time in "warm" dry enviroment.
Hopefully problems solved...shellac tonight..rub it out and see what happens : )
R
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First, I'd suggest not using the polyshade. The stain in it is very unmanageable. The stain builds up with each coat and if it runs, you have to sand if all off and start over.
You might want to try a dye instead of the stain. It sounds like there aren't any wood pores for the stain to imbed. Also, the shellac you used may have wax in it. That gets in the pores and it won't take a stain either.
Are you sure the top isn't laminate or such? Is the problem just the top? Have you tried to do a small section underneath the table top?
For what it's worth,
Thunder
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