gel stain problems

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by tylert posted 07-08-2017 06:50 PM 946 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tylert's profile


2 posts in 1094 days

07-08-2017 06:50 PM


this is my first ever project and have built a tabletop for the firehouse i work at. I have applied 1 coat of general finishes gel stain “nutmeg” color. Overall considering my experience level I am happy with the result but cant finish the project until I resolve some issues. i used birch plywood for the inside of the table and maple hardwood for the perimeter. There are some spots that will not take stain on the plywood and its brought me to standstill. I tried to use a stain pen with less than desirable results. my questions are:

1. any idea as to how to fill the bare spots in with stain?
2. im afraid to sand the plywood as i dont want to sand through the top layer

like I said I have ZERO experience so forgive me if these questions are elementary but I could really use direction at this point as I cant topcoat this with those spots still there. thanks in advance for your help

3 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8908 posts in 3349 days

#1 posted 07-08-2017 07:05 PM

Welcome to Lumber Jocks and the learning curve.

Looks to me like glue spots, irrespective of that, I’d cut those out and splice in some scrap pieces and blend
them in.

That’s why I finish my pieces first before gluing, just tape off your joinery parts, apply a seal coat or finish it,
then glue it up.

Beautiful looking table tlyert.

View Rich's profile (online now)


5609 posts in 1361 days

#2 posted 07-08-2017 11:01 PM

Those must be really small, since I can’t see any evidence of them in the full shot. What’s the table going to be used for? If it’s for display, just be sure something is sitting on top of them to cover them up. If it’s for serving, use place mats, or a table runner.

Mohawk does sell graining pens with very fine brush tips that would definitely do the trick — one for the background color and one to paint in the grain — but I doubt you’d want to mess with it. I did a review of them here, and is a good source for ordering if you care to give it a go.

Other than that, I can’t think of any easy way to deal with it that would blend in with the rest of the surface and not stand out.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View tylert's profile


2 posts in 1094 days

#3 posted 07-09-2017 04:24 PM

Thank you I appreciate the feedback.

The table is going to be our mess table and I just can’t stomach the thought of looking at those spots every day. I’m not sure if it matters but I will put a top coat on the table then apply our station logo and finish it with a bar top epoxy.
As far as cutting it out and splicing it in I’m not sure if that’s a possible as the table is two sheets of plywood thick and have been screwed together and I used loctite heavy duty as well. (Should have included that in original post) I watched the videos on the markers and that could be a possibility as well. I’m guessing you agree that sanding isn’t the best option as I run the risk of going through the veneer? Is there a chance that I have already done so in those spots and that’s why the stain won’t take?
Thanks waho6o9 it’s taken me forever to build it and hope it’s well received!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics