Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Not wiping off excess stain.

  1. #1

    Not wiping off excess stain.

    Hello All,

    I am a tech ed teacher and was asked an interesting question by one of my student's today, which I do not have an answer too. A few students of mine are making some gavels for extra credit and they turned out really well. They decided to stain them a dark mahogany color however, they forgot to wipe the excess stain off of their projects. After about 8 hours the stain is almost dry, but obviously still tacky in some areas. I told them they could use some lacquer thinner and wipe off the excess, and the stuff that did soak into the wood would be ok. This is what I usually do when this happens, as you can imagine it is pretty common that 13 year olds forget to wipe off the extra.

    However, this student said they liked the way it looked and wanted to wait for it to dry. Is there any reason we can't just wait for it to dry a day or two, and then clear coat over it like any other stain? I can't figure out why this wouldn't work, but the can does warn against leaving the excess stain on the project. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    P.S. I called minwax and they said that it would craze (sp?) any clear coat for some reason. I'm not sure why it would do that if it was dry....

  2. #2
    I'm a hobbyist, but here's my experience: If it dries, then it's fine. The only risk would be that the surface appears to be dry, while underneath it hasn't dried completely. This can cause problems in the top coat like blisters/bubbles or it could even prevent the top coat from drying. It depends how thick the stain is. I think your plan is probably fine. If in doubt, wait another day.

    I've used stain in between top coats as a glaze coat. That's just dabbed on and not wiped off either. It dries fine.

    FWIW, instead of lacquer thinner, I use mineral spirits to relieve 'gummy' stain or boiled linseed oil. It softens the undried stuff a little less aggressively than LT.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Tomball, TX (30 miles NNW Houston)
    Gel stain will be fine. Regular Minwax stains can cause finish problems down the road if left without wiping. Amount of stain left on the project is going to be the biggest factor. If you can still see through it and it dries with a day or so it will probably be OK.
    Last edited by Scott Holmes; 05-26-2011 at 12:09 AM. Reason: spelling

    Finishing is an 'Art & a Science'. Actually, it is a process. You must understand the properties and tendencies of the finish you are using. You must know the proper steps and techniques, then you must execute them properly.

  4. #4
    They we're minwax stains. I think I'm going to recommend that they just wipe them down with some Lacquer thinner like I usually do. I would rather have them do that than have it get ruined later on. It's a rare occasion that kids will want to come to you for extra work. The last thing I want is for their project to be ruined and leave them with a sour taste in their mouths

  5. #5
    Be sure to have them wear chemical resistant gloves when wiping down with lacquer thinner. It will be absorded through the skin and is quite toxic.
    Last edited by Rob Sack; 05-26-2011 at 12:15 PM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
    Just take the minwax stain and soak the gavels once again and then wiped down completely. This will take off the excess pigments on the surface. If there are to many pigments on the surface you will have adhesion issues with the clearcoats.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Southport, NC
    >>>> After about 8 hours the stain is almost dry, but obviously still tacky in some areas.

    If the excess stain is not wiped off, the stain will not dry properly or completely and any finish applied over it will not dry either. Rather than rubbing it down with lacquer thinner, use mineral spirits applied with a 3/0 steel wool. Wipe off the resulting gunk with paper towels. Let the items dry overnight and see how they look. If they look OK give them another overnight rest and then continue with your finish plans.

    Minwax stains are not paint and can't be used like they were. They will never dry properly. Minwax is correct that leaving a think, non-wiped coat of stain will cause problems.

  8. #8
    I second Howard's advice to use mineral spirits rather than laq. thinner. I suggest using a green scrubby instead of steel wool.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts