I'm staining a couple of new oak stair treads. I sanded down to 320,
and filled the grain with Behlen water-based filler. I waited over
night, then sanded it back to 320 (Behlen says to wait overnight
before using solvent-based finishes). I applied Minwax Provincial
stain, waited a few, and wiped it off. So far so good - looks nice,
good grain pattern, even-ish color (the treads are edge-laminated, and
the wood color varies some).
After a couple of hours I went back downstairs to do something else,
and to my horror, there are beads of drying stain all over the
surface. It looks like the stain is welling up from in the wood in
spots. I used a clean rag to wipe the surface, smoothing it out and
blending the color again, but even before I finished doing the second
tread the first one was beading again.
What the heck did I do? The workshop is at a normal temp & humidity -
about 75 degrees, inside-of-the-house conditions.