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Posted on Stain over sanding sealer?

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4054 posts in 2106 days

#1 posted 02-09-2018 05:37 PM

As for top staining, Sealing the wood with any product will simply change how much stain the wood absorbs. Some raw woods absorb differently over their surface and will look “blotchy” unless you limit the woods absorption with a sealer.

Since a sealed surface will reduce the absorption of a stain, unless you compensate the color will end up not as “deep” versus a non sealed surface.

This effect is pronounced when using a traditional oil based stain since it relies on wood absorption to carry and hold the pigments which create the color (more pigments, more/darker color).

Gel stains are made to work with minimal absorption to help control blotching. In the case with sealed wood, a gel stain will still provide the full color even though the wood is not absorbing as much stain.

Basically, yes you can stain over the sealer. A traditional oil based stain will have a significantly lighter color versus unsealed wood and a gel stain will have very little change in color lightness.

As always, test on a scrap. You can use a piece of similar colored wood (pine perhaps) to highlight the color change between sealed/not-sealed if you don’t have any alder scraps.

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