Staining


All, I am looking for advice on the best way to stain a large surface. I have a fairly large table top to stain. I want to avoid splotches/uneven appearance. I am leaning toward spraying the stain vs. using a brush, roller or rag. The stain I will be using is necessarily water-based. (The final finish is a water-based poly....) Do I just do it in manageable sections or flood the entire surface and wipe up with rags quickly?
I have succesfully stained smaller project but a table top is going to offer a totally new experience for me.
Thanks, as always, in advance....
Philski
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Philski wrote:

Depends on the type of wood. What is it?
Just better not be Cherry or the "Stain Police" will run you in.
If it is Maple everyone will suggest aniline dye -- see Lee Valley or others. I have a collection here I use for unusual effects in carved scroll work etc.
I have used Minwax pre-stain conditioner if I think that a finish will "splotch" due to color additives. It works for me.
I have done large surfaces with the Danish oil/Tung Oil type finishes. No problems with color etc.
As far as water based goes.... I find that they are a PITA - I would rather use oil/solvent based wipe on poly. Had great luck with that.
Did a desk suite with water based -- won't do it again. Too many bubbles - too much care required. I would rather put on my nice organic vapor mask and use wipe on poly or an oil based finish.
$.02 please -- I need the cash :-)
--
Will
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WillR wrote:

The wood is white oak. Veneered in with 1/8" strips of Wenge. It actually a desk top. But as big as a table top. A little more background - I have been trying to keep my postings to a smaller size as I am at work (and on a 50K dial-up vs home on broadband :( ). I have already stained all the drawer fronts, the pedestals and center drawer supports. The smaller items are easy to stain and all look great. Then I stained the desktop only to find that it was badly streaked and splotchy. I sanded the top back down to bare wood. I have intentionally filled the pores using a Behlen grain filler too. The top is baby-butt smooth - sanded to a 320 grit finish. I have never sprayed a stain to date and I am using ProCoat waterbased semi-transparent stain. Anywhere I overlap brush stroke leaves a markedly darker streak when I wipe the stain off the surface to allow the grain to show through. I can wipe it on with rags I guess but I have to adhere to following the grain closely or it looks like hell. So.....spray? I do have an expensive gun (I used to paint cars) in my tool crib. I was looking for advice on avoiding the crappy look I so far have been getting.
TIA!
Philski
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Philski wrote:

Try the Minwax pre stain conditioner on a small sample piece. I suspect it will help.
Even Pine stains ok after a coat of that stuff. Just follow the directions on the can. -- about $12 CDN even.
Beyond that -- there are people more expert than I on spraying...
I have some (quarter sawn) white oak here for a project -- think I will stick to a wipe on oil now. :-)
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Oak shouldn't need pre-stain conditioner.
WillR wrote:

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David wrote:

That's what I would say -- except that there is a problem. Hence the suggestion.
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WillR wrote:

Pardon the late entry, but one can be used effectively to minimize/reduce the effect of the porosity to make differeng effects...
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Spraying vs wipe on vs brush will only make a minimal difference. Even surface prep is a big part of what will happen. Honestly, going to 320, especially on a hard wood like WO is probably too fine. At this fine of a surface then the variances in the density of the wood will show more prominately, ie possibly blotchy. With a rougher grit, you are creating more places for the stain to reside and the color of the stain will be stronger and more even.
I'd wet the suface and let it dry, then do a light sanding with 150. I know is seems sacreligious (sp?) but you will get a better more evben tone. Just add a few more coats of the final finish and it'll flatten out just fine.
Also, my experience with water based stains is that I like to really sloch it on and grind it into the suface followed by almost buffing it out to relly get it even.
WO should not be generally be blotchy.
If you could match the color sufficently, you could go with a premixed NGR stain. Once the alcohol is gone, you can go water based over it. It will give an even color on anything (in my experinece). However, lapping marks are hard to avoid so it's kind tough for big surfaces. Although I do it and just feather in any lapped areas with another wash of stain. You can get this from the nice folks at Wood Finish Supply.
BW
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Spray it on like you are applying finish. Don't ever flood a waterbased finish on.
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Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Try Watco Danish oil stain, goof proof , compatible with water based top coat, let dry a couple of days before topcoating.
Apply with a rag try to keep top wet let set for 5-10 min. then wipe off with grain. Follow instructions easy as pie.
Ken

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Ken wrote:

I have used Watco a million times in the past. It is a nice finish but I want something more substantial therefore the preference for a stain vs a Danish Oil.
Philski
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I have no problem with large surfaces when using quality Gel stains. I typically use Bartleys gel stains. Simply wipe on a generous amount to an area and immediately wipe it off. Wipe on more and wipe it off. Practice a bit on a scrap.

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what kinda wood?
Philski wrote:

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David wrote:

White Oak
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You shouldn't have any problem staining it evenly with water based stain. Whether brushed, sprayed, or wiped on (and wiped off).
Dave
Philski wrote:

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Philski wrote:

What kind of wood?
What kind of stain?
Barry
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Philski says...

If you are getting unacceptable splotches, try a gel stain. Even the MinWax ones are thick as jello and won't absorb deeply and cause splotches. The downside is the stain doesn't come out very dark
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