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Thread: Red Oak And Minwax Early American 230 Stain Problem?

  1. #1
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    Red Oak And Minwax Early American 230 Stain Problem?

    I stained some red oak with the Minwax Early American 230 stain. I had sanded it down with 220, and let the stain sit for about 10 mins before wiping off. So I came back hours later to find these little black wet looking dots on the surface, stain coming out of the pours. I've been wiping it down for about 4-5 days, still some dots.

    Will it ever stop? And suggestions for next time?
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 07-13-2021 at 9:15 AM. Reason: Defaulted text so it's readable on large monitors

  2. #2
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    I never sand oak beyond 150 or 180 when applying a film finish. Also, make sure the last grit of sandpaper is fresh, not worn, so that it cuts the wood fibers. Worn sandpaper tends to burnish the wood. Lower final grit and sharp sandpaper will leave the wood structure and the pores more open to absorb the stain. I can't remember ever leaving stain on for 10 minutes. One to five minutes max. should do it. This will prevent the pores from absorbing more stain than they truly can hold and then spitting it back later. If one coat of stain doesn't give you the hue you want it's better to apply a second coat after the first is completely dry than leaving one heavy coat on longer.

    John

  3. #3
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    I had that problem on kitchen cabinet doors, probably because I seem to rush things a bit. My solution was to put the doors in the sun for a couple hours, wiping every 30 minutes or so. The heat made the stain bleed out, and I sprayed them the next day with poly.

    I don't know if this was a no no or not, but that kitchen has been in for 25 years and looks great.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I never sand oak beyond 150 or 180 when applying a film finish. Also, make sure the last grit of sandpaper is fresh, not worn, so that it cuts the wood fibers. Worn sandpaper tends to burnish the wood. Lower final grit and sharp sandpaper will leave the wood structure and the pores more open to absorb the stain. I can't remember ever leaving stain on for 10 minutes. One to five minutes max. should do it. This will prevent the pores from absorbing more stain than they truly can hold and then spitting it back later. If one coat of stain doesn't give you the hue you want it's better to apply a second coat after the first is completely dry than leaving one heavy coat on longer.

    John
    I had a problem sort of like what was described but not because of the final grit. Pretty much stick to 180 as a final grit on oak.

    I think my problem was being a bit lazy between the grits and particularly after the final and not doing something to clean the sanding dust from the pores. Acted like little sponges full of finish.

    While things didn't bleed for days like described, it did seem like I had to wipe things down more than seemed reasonable. Ultimately not a big deal since having a little extra color down in the pores isn't bad and the overall color seemed even enough.

    Wiping down a bunch of times as the surface starts to feel tacky but little dots are still appearing is disconcerting. I make it a point to vacuum between all grits now and haven't had a repeat.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

  5. #5
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    So, after about 10 days of wiping, the oak quit releasing the stain.

  6. #6
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    Red Oak is porous and I suspect capillary action pulled a great deal of stain into the pores. It was just releasing thru the same capillary action. Did you blow the pores out prior to staining the piece?
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  7. #7
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    If your sand to 180 G normally, sand the end grain (only) to 240G - 320G. Using post cat lacquer I mix up a sealer coat, this stops the problem you're having and prevents most blotching from grain difference when staining. I mix the mixed lacquer with 85% thinners as told by manufacturers rep.

    Cut a wood test piece with the same panel angle to use as a test piece. If you use Poly, try the same mix ratio with the manufacturers recommended thinner than try on a test piece. Seal test piece, apply your stain then finish with your top coat.

  8. #8
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    OK, new problem. After 2 weeks, in my non-enviromentally controlled shop, the stain has not fully cured on the real oak pieces. Still a slight sticking feeling, kinda a warm crayon feeling. The oak plywood has dried nicely.

    I want to finish with GF High Performance Water Based topcoat.

    How should I proceed?

  9. #9
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    You cannot apply any kind of waterborne finish over that stain until the carrier is fully cured. Get the parts into conditioned space where temperature and humidity are conducive curing. If it still doesn't fully cure, then I'd suspect an issue with the product you used...age or quality.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W Pugh View Post
    So, after about 10 days of wiping, the oak quit releasing the stain.

    When open pore woods like red oak are flooded with finish they will weep for many days. I used a flooding technique with BLO on some red oak once and it was weeks before I could stop wiping away the droplets.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  11. #11
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    Is only stain, or a stain polyurethane combo? I can't think of any scenario where stain feels like a warm crayon after two weeks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob McBreen View Post
    Is only stain, or a stain polyurethane combo? I can't think of any scenario where stain feels like a warm crayon after two weeks.
    Pigment stains like Miniwax have a "binder"...which is an oil based finish that's pretty dilute. That's why "old" stain is one possible reason for something like this, but there can be other reasons it's not curing, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    I wiped everything down with mineral spirits (suggestion from internet), put a fan on them. Hopefully this works. I never stain anything, may never again in the summer here.

  14. #14
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    One solution is switch to dye instead of stain. I find it much easier to control the color & get a much more uniform finish.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W Pugh View Post
    I wiped everything down with mineral spirits (suggestion from internet), put a fan on them. Hopefully this works. I never stain anything, may never again in the summer here.
    Seems to be working.

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