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View SweetTea's profile

What to use after staining before applying water based poly?

by SweetTea
posted 09-14-2016 11:02 AM


24 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5539 posts in 2880 days


#1 posted 09-14-2016 11:41 AM

It kinda depends on what kind of stain you used. If it’s a waterborne stain, then you might want to seal it since a waterborne top coat can re-dissolve it and make a mess; if that’s the case dewaxed shellac works well. If it’s an oil based stain and you like what you have, apply the waterborne top coat right over it. The waterborne may raise the grain a little (or not, again depending on the stain), so just smooth it off after the top coat dries and you’re good to go for more coats or whatever is next.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2299 posts in 2376 days


#2 posted 09-14-2016 12:05 PM

Whichever type stain you used, a wipe down with 1:1 water/DNA is a good idea before a wb finish. Don’t flood it on, just dampen a paper towel or rag. Removes contamination on the surface.

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

428 posts in 1046 days


#3 posted 09-14-2016 01:57 PM

The stain was Shermin Williams charcoal, which I believe is an oil based stain.


Whichever type stain you used, a wipe down with 1:1 water/DNA is a good idea before a wb finish. Don t flood it on, just dampen a paper towel or rag. Removes contamination on the surface.

- OSU55

Would you mind explaining to me what purpose this would serve? You recommend mixing equal parts water and denatured alcohol then wipe it on with a rag?

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

428 posts in 1046 days


#4 posted 09-14-2016 02:02 PM

Thinking about adding another coat of stain (it has been over 24 hours since the first coat) because it honestly looks sort of blotchy. I probably should have used a pre conditioner. is there anything that I can do (such as adding another coat?) to make it less blotchy? I know that adding another coat will make it darker, but that is ok. I just want it to look more consistent.

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1230 days


#5 posted 09-14-2016 02:43 PM

Well, don’t use steel wool if you are going to use a water based stain or finish. It may show spots of rust.

If I am going to apply a water based finish and I am worried about raising the grain, then I apply a coat of Sealcoat, dewaxed shellac. It will seal the finish and dry in 30 minutes. It adds to the finish build and is less work than sanding down the raised grain. Dewaxed shellac is a very effective “primer” as it adheres well to almost all surfaces and almost all finishes adhere well to shellac.

But mostly is saves labor. It does not require additional sanding like a raised grain would and it takes the place of one coat of finish. I have not checked on the costs, but it is probably cost effective as a replacement of one coat of finish. It is not perfectly clear however and a very slight warming effect will occur.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5539 posts in 2880 days


#6 posted 09-14-2016 02:57 PM

The only sure way to tell if another coat of stain will help (or hurt) is to test it. If you have a scrap piece of the wood try your effort out on it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1581 posts in 3453 days


#7 posted 09-14-2016 02:58 PM

Not knowing your particular stain personally it depends. If the stain is oil based and the top coat water based and same manufacturer probably ok. If not all bets are off

To be safe, I’d scuff sand with 320, and wipe with DNA or something similar dry and hit with a coat of 1lb or 2lb cut shellac. It will stick to anything and anything will stick to it.

Biggest thing is (IMO) is keep the same MFG of coloring and top coat. Least chance of issues.

I personally, if going to color, prefer dyes (no binders).

Good luck post your final product would love to see it

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1406 posts in 3147 days


#8 posted 09-14-2016 03:03 PM

Yep, use shellac as a sealer between staining and the poly. Shellac is a wonderful thing for woodworking. It builds quickly with multiple coats as it dries quickly and it “chalks” when sanding (meaning it doesn’t clog up the sandpaper). It really does seal. It will stop sap bleed through when applied over knots in pine paneling. And it can be used as a final finial finish. Its only drawback as a finish is alcohol spills from mixed drinks will melt the finish if used on a table top (shellac is thinned with alcohol). I can get a glass smooth finish by sealing with two coats of shellac, then sanding, then two more coats of shellac, sanding again followed by fine steel wool (0000 grade), then applying the final finish, usually polyurethane.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5934 posts in 3200 days


#9 posted 09-14-2016 03:06 PM

I think most people get into finishing trouble because they don’t make sample boards. Or if they do, its just an un-sanded board with some stain wiped on. Take your sample boards through each and every step of the process, including topcoat. That is the only way to know how your finishing schedule will turn out.

Shellac Sealcoat mixed 50/50 with denatured alcohol makes a perfect pre-stain conditioner to prevent blotching (I realize that doesn’t help you now, but something to keep in mind for next time).

I never sand the stain coat. That is dangerous. With water based products I pre-raise the grain, and sand before staining.

At this point I would take some sample boards to where you are now in the finishing process. Try one with a coat of thinned shellac. Let that dry and scuff sand before applying another coat of stain. See if it evens out the color. This is not the ideal way (more of a glazing technique that simple staining) but it may help this project along.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

412 posts in 3858 days


#10 posted 09-14-2016 06:44 PM



The stain was Shermin Williams charcoal, which I believe is an oil based stain.

Whichever type stain you used, a wipe down with 1:1 water/DNA is a good idea before a wb finish. Don t flood it on, just dampen a paper towel or rag. Removes contamination on the surface.

- OSU55

- SweetTea

Data sheet : http://www.sherwin-williams.com/document/PDS/en/035777504956/

Always RTFM before starting. Always make a test board with ALL surface prep steps before diving into the project.

It is an oil based stain. It will likely have partially sealed the surface and so a second application won’t do much. Alternately you could put down a seal coat (1# or 1/2# of dewaxed shellac) and then use a gel stain as a glaze to darken and even things (some but not much, you are mostly stuck with the blotch since you didn’t deal with it in advance). Adding more stain will just start to obscure the wood grain.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View jwmalone's profile

jwmalone

769 posts in 1089 days


#11 posted 09-14-2016 06:55 PM

Sand it down to bare wood then follow pintodeluxes advice. If you don’t you’re probably just going to get a bigger mess and not be happy with the results.
planemans advice for between stain and sealer is good to.
this is just my opinion though.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2299 posts in 2376 days


#12 posted 09-14-2016 09:29 PM

Water/dna will remove oil or other residue left on the surface. For a dry ob stain, 100% dna could be used. Dont want any oils left when topcoating with wb. Dewaxed shellec with transtint added to make a toner is an excellent sealer/toner to even out the color. I use down to a 1/2# cut, sprayed. For next time blotch control.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1406 posts in 3147 days


#13 posted 09-14-2016 09:31 PM

You say your wood is hard maple. Blotchy stain results almost always are caused from the grain being wavy in the wood. The stain soaks deeper into whatever end grain that is showing on the surface and shallower into flat grain. This requires something clear to soak into the wood before staining to seal the grain. It needs to be thinned a lot so it soaks in just enough to seal the wood but not enough to prevent proper staining. I use thinned out clear shellac for this. Thin it out about 50% shellac, 50% alcohol or maybe a little more.

Maple often has a wavy grain, sometimes just slightly wavy sometimes very wavy. The very wavy grain is known a “curly” maple and in its most beautiful form is used for expensive musical instruments like guitars and violins. It also costs a fortune (I just bought some). This type of grain is probably in your wood to some degree.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

428 posts in 1046 days


#14 posted 09-15-2016 08:31 PM

Would it be possible for me to shoot some transtint dye over the stain before applying the poly? Would this give me a more consistent overall look for the color? At this point, I really don’t want to sand down to bare wood, and the color is really up to me. If this would be a viable option, (I have no experience with dye’s or toners), what is the best way to do this? Should the transtint be mixed with shellec?

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1406 posts in 3147 days


#15 posted 09-15-2016 11:24 PM

I really couldn’t recommend that. The Transtint dye would only soak into the end grain and not the flat grain as I mentioned above and increase the mottled appearance. In fact, I use Transtint dye to EMPHASIZE the wood grain in curly maple!!! It does a wonderful job of making the curly maple grain “pop”.

What you can do is apply some more wood stain AFTER you have sealed the wood grain with a sealer. The color will darken though. Its worth a test.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

428 posts in 1046 days


#16 posted 09-16-2016 09:27 AM



I really couldn t recommend that. The Transtint dye would only soak into the end grain and not the flat grain as I mentioned above and increase the mottled appearance. In fact, I use Transtint dye to EMPHASIZE the wood grain in curly maple!!! It does a wonderful job of making the curly maple grain “pop”.

What you can do is apply some more wood stain AFTER you have sealed the wood grain with a sealer. The color will darken though. Its worth a test.

Planeman

- Planeman40

Thanks for the advice Pianeman! So at this point, my best option to darken it up a bit and get the wood to look more consistent would be to wipe on a mixture of dewaxed shellec mixed 50/50 with denatured alcohol, let that dry for a few hours, then go over it with another coat of stain? Does that sound like the best idea to accomplish my goals? (

My goals are 1. Get the color to look more consistent with less blotchyness, and 2. Darken it up a bit.)

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

428 posts in 1046 days


#17 posted 09-16-2016 06:50 PM

so I think that I am going to brush on a coat of Zinser clear shellec, then buff that with either 0000 steel wool or 320 grit sand paper. Then apply another coat of stain in order to even out the color and give a less blotchy look. Then I may apply another two coats of the same shellec buffing in between each one. Then the final topcoat will be a sprayed waterborne poly. Does this sound reasonable?

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1230 days


#18 posted 09-16-2016 08:45 PM

As long as you are using a dewaxed shellac. I usually use their SealCoat because it is ready to use right from the can.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4557 posts in 4129 days


#19 posted 09-16-2016 09:48 PM

I don’t sand after staining.
I sand to 320 if I am staining a project so that I get a “repeatable” color, since stain sits in the scratches.
I would ‘denib’ with either kraft paper/ the back of a sheet of sandpaper of maye 400 grit after the first coat of finish to knock the dust and fuzz down, which is way way easier after that first sealcoat of clear finish.

The first coat “locks” that hair standing up, so the paper knocks it off clean – - I only sand it like 3-4 strokes

if you go after your fresh stain with steel wool you will scrub your stain out of the surface.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

428 posts in 1046 days


#20 posted 09-19-2016 09:17 AM

What is the most optimal grit sandpaper to use in between coats of shellec?

Will waterborne poly be ok to use after the final two coats of shellec? The writing on the can of Zinnser clear shellec says that it is not supposed to be used under poly, but, everyone that I have spoken with says that it be fine. So I am not sure if I can use the waterborne poly or if I should use something else. If not, what would you guys recommend as a final finish coat?

View BenjaminNY's profile

BenjaminNY

136 posts in 1789 days


#21 posted 09-19-2016 09:49 AM

Now that you have blotching you have a few options.

1) Sand the whole thing down and start over (probably best choice but most irritating)
2) seal coat of dewaxed shellac
3) Gel stain on top of what you already did. The Gel stain works well for blotching woods and stays mostly on the surface. You can then go over that with poly.

The best advice here though that everyone has given you is use a test piece before moving on. Recreate the stain on the maple scrap and then see which works best.

For sanding between finish coats use as high a grit as you like the feel of. 400-600 will work fine. Sand just enough to smooth it to the touch.

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

428 posts in 1046 days


#22 posted 09-19-2016 11:38 AM

I made a few scrap pieces to test some different ideas on as you guys suggested. The best method that I have come up with was to apply a coat of Zinnser clear shellec, then sand that very lightly with 220g and do a second coat of stain, followed by a second coat of shellec. Which is where I am at now. Overall, I am satisfied with the end result. The shellec really brings out the warmth that was missing.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1406 posts in 3147 days


#23 posted 09-19-2016 12:26 PM

Shellac is great stuff, isn’t it! A very old finishing method but nothing like it. Be aware that it has a relatively short shelf life in its liquid form. Zinnser has improved it to a degree, but always check it carefully before using if it has been sitting very long.

I use the hard flakes and beads as these store for a long time and mix them up with alcohol for use. You can buy these at places like http://www.shellacshack.com/ . If you use the raw beads that haven’t been processed, be sure to carefully strain the bead/alcohol mix through some fine material like nylon hose as they have pieces of Lac bugs and tree trash in them. I buy in bulk and keep it in a large sealed glass jar. Its a lot cheaper that way. Read all about shellac on that website.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1230 days


#24 posted 09-19-2016 01:04 PM

Before I spent a lot of time stripping or doing any extraordinary measures I would try a couple of coats of Minwax’s Polyshades.

I know that a lot of people detest this, but Norm Abrams (who I met at a hardware show) told me he uses it on pine and cherry to eliminate the possibility of blotching. I agree with Norm. On pine I’ve gotten good results with Polyshades.

It might be enough to just top coat the finish with the right tint of polyshades. It is worth the try.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

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