LJ Challenges #13: >>>>>FREE DRAW!!!! <<<<< deadline Feb. 14/14

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 02-06-2014 12:15 PM 3204 reads 2 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: >>>>>FREE DRAW!!!! <<<<< deadline Jan. 31/14 Part 13 of LJ Challenges series no next part

Hendrik Varju is a well known furniture designer/craftsman who operates “Passion for Wood” near Toronto, Canada. He also offers woodworking courses and seminars and has been widely published in woodworking magazines in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. In 2007, Hendrik started producing DVD courses and he has offered to provide some of them as prizes in Lumberjocks’ contests. You can see the full list of all of Hendrik’s DVD courses here:

This week, the prize is Hendrik’s fifth DVD course called “Surface Preparation and Staining”. It is 9 hours long and focuses on all the surface preparation you need to do before staining and finishing, as well as staining information and techniques for hand application. It also has a long and detailed bonus section on tuning and sharpening card scrapers and scraper planes. You can read more about this 5-DVD set here: It is valued at Cdn. $94.95 + taxes and shipping.

To enter to win this contest, just post a comment giving your answer to this question: “In your opinion, what is the #1 pitfall most people fall into that prevents them from achieving a successful stain application on a furniture project?” Post a comment by Feb. 14th and Hendrik will choose his favourite answer. Then we’ll let you know how to claim your prize. Hendrik will ship it directly to your home at no cost to you.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

45 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3809 days

#1 posted 02-06-2014 12:26 PM

making sure you have sanded the piece very well will make the surface ready to the point of possibly using a filler, some woods are very porous and should have a grain filler used and sanded to a smooth finish, making sure the surface is clean of any debris, i also like to do a small test of the stain on a test piece to see how it will turn out then depending on how it turned out make adjustments, its time to put on the first coat of stain or finish.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View CharlesA's profile


3386 posts in 2303 days

#2 posted 02-06-2014 12:31 PM

Not understanding the specific characteristics of different species of wood and therefore using the same type of stain and same staining technique every type of wood.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3901 days

#3 posted 02-06-2014 12:32 PM

For me, my worst failures in staining have been caused by lack of preparing the wood for the stain. That includes careful glue removal, sanding, cleaning and conditioning. Few finishing processes are as demanding as staining and though I don’t especially like to go through those steps, they are the most important on the way to a good finish.

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16190 posts in 3124 days

#4 posted 02-06-2014 12:33 PM

Fail to take steps to ptevent blotching, or uneven application of stain.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View jdmaher's profile


461 posts in 3085 days

#5 posted 02-06-2014 01:34 PM

Insufficient knowledge, resulting in inadequate surface preparation.

Surface preparation may require cleaning, sanding, filling, conditioning, all or none of the above. What’s required depends primarily on type of wood, type of stain and desired result.

That’s several factors and several potentially required activities, giving us LOTS of opportunity to screw it up.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Skylark53's profile


2712 posts in 3566 days

#6 posted 02-06-2014 01:45 PM

Sanding. Failing to sand properly and completely in prepping the wood for the stain and finish.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View hairy's profile


2927 posts in 4038 days

#7 posted 02-06-2014 02:00 PM

There is no one size fits all . Some woods are oily, some are ring porous, each has it’s own needs.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View Ampeater's profile


441 posts in 4253 days

#8 posted 02-06-2014 02:46 PM

For me, it is the lack of patience. There are so many decisions that have to be made and completed during the process. For many of us, woodworking is a hobby, so we lack the knowledge and experience to complete the staining and finishing on our projects.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View MrFid's profile


896 posts in 2410 days

#9 posted 02-06-2014 03:01 PM

Overstaining, or not wiping off enough stain after application. For me, this leaves blotchy patches especially on oily woods. This is probably tied into a lack of patience and wanting a darker color in fewer coats that results in this.

Also, I confused ‘spilled beer’ with ‘stain’ for my first few woodworking projects. Thanks!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1354 posts in 2140 days

#10 posted 02-06-2014 03:42 PM

Probably not checking their work before they stain.
Using mineral spirits to highlight imperfections, or using a bright incandesent light at a high angle.
For blotchy woods not using a shellac wash coat to seal the wood from blotching.

-- Jeff NJ

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 2233 days

#11 posted 02-06-2014 04:22 PM

I believe lack of planning is the #1 Pitfall.
Surface prep is a given, but if you haven’t planned what type stain or your method of application, or when or what parts need to be stained, then when you get to the end of your project your choices are limited.
Planning your stain, color and type, also needs to be done before hand by making samples.
Sum it all up, planning your stain needs to be as big of a part as planning your build.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3392 posts in 4218 days

#12 posted 02-06-2014 06:44 PM

Ms. Debbie,

When is the deadline? [“Post a comment before (insert contest deadline here)”]


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 2233 days

#13 posted 02-06-2014 06:51 PM

Hi lightweightladylefty, She has Feb 14 in the title.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3392 posts in 4218 days

#14 posted 02-06-2014 06:55 PM

Thanks, Kevin. I guess that was just a little too obvious for me!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4666 days

#15 posted 02-06-2014 06:55 PM

oops … multi-tasking and missed that part.. .
Feb. 14th (it’s in the title, at least.. phew)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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