Wipe on poly -- wipe off stain?


I have made a few projects from oak. The most recent projects I have used Minwax stain and finished them with Minwax wipe on poly. I used the wipe on poly primarily for the ease (at last for me) in achieving a run-free finish on vertical surfaces.
One problem I have is that when I wipe on the poly sometimes I wipe OFF some of the stain. This occurs primarily on, but isn't limited to, the edges. The stain was applied at least 24 hours earlier so I know it was dry. The humidity was low because my shop is in the basement and it's air conditioned.
Once I fix what I screwed up and get a uniform look with the first coat I have no problem with the remaining coats of poly. Sometimes it's a lot of work to get the first coat right.
What could I be doing wrong?
R.C.
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I know you have not had problems in the past but I don't use Miniwax products because of this reason. That said, if the stain was not properly wiped off and or if it was applied too heavily you may be dissolving and removing the excess stain that did not penetrate the wood.
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Richard Cranium wrote:
SNIP

SNIP .
One never knows, but it could be a couple of things that have more to do with technique than material. You didn't say what kind of stain, so I will assume from your problem that it is probably a solvent based pigment sold mostly at the big home improvment centers.
With oak, 24 hours may not be enough. Try staining, waiting a few days and then sealing. Some pieces of oak are so hard they don't get much of the stain color on them unless you leave lot of stain on the wood. Another problem that is prevalent with oak is the fact that with the open tubes in the grain it can absorb a lot of stain/solvent in these tubes and it will not dry in just 24 hours. When you hit it with a lighter solvent (in the finish) and rub across it with a pad full of said finish it will draw out the undried stain.
However, if it is mostly on the edges, I would suspect applicator (you) or applicator (device) as the problem. Depending on what you are using and how you use it to apply the finish could be the answer. It sounds like you are rubbing the stain (which may not be 100% cured) off. I pretty much use the throw away pads with the styrofoam handles on them for wiping finish and make sure I am going the right direction with them when applying. ( Some have a right and wrong direction for finishing.) DO NOT go over your work when you are pad applying.
Dip the pad, and apply the finish with enough pressure to leave a solid coat behind the pad, usually about 3 mil (thickness of a dollar bill) or so. Put on a line of finish, pick up your wet edge with the edge of the pad on the next pass, and move on. Going over your work is a recipe for disaster on a lot of levels, not the least being that that the stain softened by a solvent based finishes will move around and dissolve.
Just as a sidebar, I think it was a Jeff Jewitt article I read a little while back that he is now liking Scotch Brite pads for some wipe on finishes. I don't see why not.
Robert
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Robert,
You had a couple points that could be part, or all of my problem(s).
Next time I'll wait longer than 24 hours. Even with the air conditioning here in the mid-west it isn't dry like Arizona is so that could be part of the problem. The stain may not have been as dry as I thought.
I don't think the applicator (a cut up t-shirt) was the problem. On the other hand the applicator (me) could have rubbed too hard.
With a little longer wait and a little less pressure I hope to get better results on the next project.
Thanks, R.C.
On 12 Jul 2006 21:35:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Richard Cranium wrote:

SNIP
I hope it was of some help. Let us know here how you do on the next project. Good luck!
Robert
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On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 19:23:13 -0500, Richard Cranium

Last time I used Minwax poly over Minwax stain, I saw the same thing. If I do the poly-over-stain finish again, I'll apply a coat of dewaxed shellac as a barrier between the stain and the poly.
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Chuck Taylor
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I don't use poly much any more, but I "suspect" that wiping poly contains a MUCH higher mixture of poly and solvents which is how the wiping occurs.
This higher content of solvent is playing hell with your prior staining.
I would learn how to spray shellac and mix colors with the shellac. You get a beatiful finish and it's really easy to deal with.
Get yourself a "Critter" and play with spraying to find out how much better your finish can really be.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p 048&cat=1,190,43034&ap=1
This sprayer does NOT require a high end compressor and it is a piece of cake to clean up.
Spray the stain/shellac mixture on your project and then go back over the project with the poly.
Richard Cranium wrote:

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"Richard Cranium"

snip
snip
When staining, I generally use a gel stain. After applying the gel, I start wiping off the excess with a clean cloth. After the majority is wiped off, I go over the whole thing with clean cloth soaked in Mineral Sprits. This removes the remainder of the loose gel. I will not put my final finish on for a day or two.
Dave
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Richard Cranium wrote:

Richard, I have been using General Finishes wipe-on for several years and had the same problem with my stain. I now give a light spray with a minwax spray poly and this seems to prevent any stain from being removed and contaminent my wipe-on finish. Have not had any problem with any long term results. Norvin
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