I sanded my knotty pine, purchased a very small container of a color
called Natural Minwax number 209. I wanted it a light as possible. I
don't know if this was a problem but I stained a day after sanding.
The color was great, nice and light. OK, now the sanded wood has been
sitting open to the air for about two weeks now and when I put on the
same color, it came up a lot darker that the original. I used an old
sock to apply the stain. If I sand lightly before I apply will I get a
lighter finish? Thank you in advance.
Anytime you restain it will go darker, Put some paint thinner on it
that will be the color with a finish on it. Oil products will darken
it and continue to darken, pine itself will darken alot over time, if
you want it as light as possible use an acrylic finish and dont
restain it , it will darken over time. If you want it as light as
possible why are you restaining it.
I think the OP only stained a sample spot then sanded the unstained project
in preparation for a final staining this week.
Sanding may opene up the wood pores and allow more stain to soak in. The
dryer wood (assuming it was wet originally) will certainly absorb more
Secondly, knotty pine is a very variable and soft wood. The stain will take
up differently on different portions of the wood. Staining often increases
the contrast between the wood and knots. Its hard to get an even tone with
this kind of wood.
To correct for this, you should use a pre stain wood conditioner which is
basically an untinted stain which evens out the absorption of the tint coat.
Minwax has a product for this, see their website, it is quite full of advice
and has a forum where you can get better qualified answers than here.
In general if you want to lighten the tint of a stain you have only a few
1. Put less on, wipe off quickly
2. Mix with mineral spirits (or appropriate thinner per directions)
3. Blend with another stain
4. Precondition the wood to prevent over penetration of tint.
Why stain if you want it light. Often it is to even out the overall color
of the wood. Some stains (actually bleach) can lighten a species natural
color. It also stabilizes the color and offers protection from drying out.
Yes, thanks, I see now what he did...sanded, stained an area,then stained
another area mtwo weeks later.
In addition to the possible causes which you listed for the newly stained
area being darker than the old one is the fact that the raw wood itself
darkens with exposure to light....stain it and it will be darker than an
area stained shortly after sanding.
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