Staining Question

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I have stained quite a bit of oak and will say that I always sand just before staining. If the piece has been handled much between the sanding and staining I would advise you to sand it again. Actually I would advise you to sand it anyway so that "you" know that it has been properly sanded to the correct grit and on all surfaces. I would not trust something that has been so called "presanded". Typically sanding will do away with oily fingerprints. Unless you actually see oily fingerprints I would not be too concerned with contamination if you resand yourself.
Should you seal it? Do you want to add protection to the finish? I always add a varnish 3 coats of some sort to a stained project. Keep in mind however that some stains have a finish mixed in already. I would still advise adding a coat or two for a consistent sheen/finish. Typically a coat of any varnish is not enough, the coat in the stain is not going to be either.
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On Tue, 02 Feb 2010 07:09:39 -0800, the infamous Evodawg

If you're going to stain it and Varathane it, why worry about anything? That's more abuse than a fingerprint. ;)
- Yea, though I walk through the valley of Minwax, I shall stain no Cherry. --- http://www.diversify.com NoteSHADES(tm) laptop privacy/glare guards
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