In my experience, I find it helps to at least sand to around 600 before
staining. Then do your finer sanding afterwards. Restaining or touch up
staining followed by very fine sanding to finalize may be in order. But also
keep in mind the characteristics of different stains. Myself, I like to use
Minwax, Provincial Stain without poly. I never use the poly included stains
unless I am doing small scroll projects that does not matter about details.
I find that minwax has the best covering stains and always use a lint free
I'm doing my pine panel doors with Minwax Puritan Pine. Two
gallons of elbow grease for every gallon of stain. Two coats,
a good rub after the second coat seems to take care of most of
the blotching. Whats left is character.
Use cherry instead of pine ? 8-)
Pine varies in its absorbency, so any "stain" (meaning a pigment that
soaks _into_ the timber) is going to end up blotchy.
Instead you can pre-condition the pine with a coat of thinned shellac,
then apply a glaze instead of a stain (a pigment that sits on the
surface of the timber).
I'll second the shellac recommendation - it is good for sealing knots
in particular. If you don't use some kind of sanding sealer or sealer
coat before your stain, it will almost definitely end up splotchy on
Test on scrap as always.
Well, you can't. But you can minimize the blotches...
use light stains, such as honey pine
use gel stains
use a wood conditioner or spit coat shellac
use less stain on the end-grain areas
avoid excessive use of glue
practice on scrap pieces
I use Spruce/ Pine almost exclusively. I use a Minwax natural (clear)
as a base, then a Minwax stain , then the finish. The clear evens
out the wood for staining, knots and all including areas of the wood
that may be spalted. Put the clear on, wait a day before staining.
The clear will show up any obvious areas that need more sanding almost
as well as a stained coat will.
I do pretty much all my projects in pine. I recently gave this product a
Its almost like a waterbased gel stain. A bit pricey, but it covers very
well and doesn't blotch at all.
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