I am having big problems with staining table purchased from a unfinished
furniture store. My mother in law bought the dining table (30 in square top
and skirt, four very nicely turned legs) for about $150. The wood looks
very much like cherry in grain, but is a light pink color, and about the
same weight and hardness as cherry.
I suspected troubles with staining, based on the texture of the sanded
surfaces, so I applied a wet coat of Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner. In
some areas, the conditioner absorbed VERY quickly, so I brushed on more in
these areas. (First warning, right?) After 15 min, I wiped the whole peice
dry with a shop towel.
After another 30 min or so, I applied Minwax Wood Finish, Provincial 211
(which is more of a stain than a finish) which is quite thin and very dark.
I brushed on the stain, let it set for 5 minutes, and wiped it off. In most
areas (80% of the peice) I got just the color I was looking for. However,
there are very dark areas all over, and on inspection, these are the areas
where the grain is not parallel to the surface of the wood (big surprise)
and the dark stain went well into the wood surface. I mean, this was REALLY
bad -- worse case I have run into so far.
OK, so what went wrong? Several things come to mind.
1) The stain could have been too thin; maybe a thicker stain would not have
been as likely to absorb so quickly.
2) If the wood conditioner helped, it didn't help much. I have used a lot
of Minwax Wood Finish as stain, and have had mostly good experience with the
wood conditioner, and have had **
issues in the past, but nothing like
So here come the questions:
1) Any advice on how to consistantly get even stain are appreciated. I
DAGS on the several versions of the topic, but someone else's personal
experience is always invaluable.
2) Any way to lighten the dark areas? I tried a rag and mineral spirits to
no avail. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
3) If I start over (a real damn possibility here) what brands and/or types
of stain, or staining technique, have given better results?
Thanks in advance. This group is a great resource, even for lurkers like me