Best blotch control.

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Forum topic by Carloz posted 08-20-2017 05:51 PM 469 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1147 posts in 1400 days

08-20-2017 05:51 PM

I’ve been struggling with staining maple with water based dyes for a while now. All chemical solutions works more or less but come with cons that sometimes overweight the original issue.
Thin cut shellac works great but makes the stain much lighter. Commercially available prestain conditioners range from having little effect but keeping the original color saturation to having good effect but making the color lighter similarly to the shellac option.
Home made PVA based conditioners, including Charles Neal’s solution work very well for its main function – the blotch control, but come with significant drawbacks. They change the color itself, not the saturation but actual color. GF medium brown for example becomes very orange. Also water based dyes dissolve the pva coat in 10 seconds or so after applying so if you do not finish wiping off by then your dye turns into one sticky slurry that is impossible to take off the board and render less than professional results.

I accidentally found a perfect solution that no doubt was known to most of you ( but not me).
instead of wiping on off the stain, spray it with a spraygun. Any cheap gun will do. The trick is to spray in a sequence of very thin coats, not letting it to saturate the wood. That way you get no blotching and have much more control of the color intensity of the finish. Plus save time and money.

2 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6181 posts in 3621 days

#1 posted 08-20-2017 06:15 PM

Spraying stain without wiping it off is a commercial technique often used to make low cost hardwood look like walnut or cherry. It does get dark, however it tends to obscure the grain pattern.

Try a wash coat of shellac made from Bullseye Seal Coat thinned 3 parts denatured alcohol to 2 parts Seal Coat. This will let the stain stay dark, yet won’t obscure the grain.

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

View Rarebreed68's profile


148 posts in 1109 days

#2 posted 08-20-2017 06:20 PM

We have run into this problem in the past. One solution is to suspend your stain in lacquer and spray it. This works best if your gun has an agitator.

-- EARTH FIRST! We'll log the other planets later. Trust your neighbors, but brand your calves. Opinion worth price charged.

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