Accidentally Left Stain On Too Long - What to do?

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Forum topic by beeffedgrass posted 01-11-2019 03:44 PM 505 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 279 days

01-11-2019 03:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

Hey all, I’m refinishing up a desk that has been a labor of love for the past 3 years. It’s survived a move, a pregnancy, and a bumbling toddler. I’m finally getting a chance to get back to back to it with more focus and dedication.

I sanded down everything, cleaned everything with mineral spirits, put on wood conditioner and put on my first coat of stain (Minwax espresso, oil based). I wanted it darker, so I put on a second coat, but then forgot to take it off due to bumbling toddler, and it became so dark in some areas that the wood grain patterns didn’t really show through. I wanted that to come through, so I lightly sanded with 220 grit to get rid of some of the old stain, and then restained the legs, and wiped off each part after 15 minutes. However, the legs now have these weird splotchy areas, and I’m not sure what to do. Here are some pictures of it:

I really don’t want to sand it down again, and I’ve read I can take some mineral spirits to wipe off some excess stain. Is there a better way, or should I sand it down again (please woodworking gods, no). Thank you in advance!

-- Ami

2 replies so far

View dbw's profile


312 posts in 2145 days

#1 posted 01-12-2019 11:39 PM

I’ve taken stain off using Lacquer thinner, a course non-abrasive pad, and lots of elbow grease. there are no guarantees as to what your desk will look like using this method. You might want to do this in an inconspicuous area first.

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View beeffedgrass's profile


5 posts in 279 days

#2 posted 01-13-2019 09:51 PM

Hi, thank you for the advice! I’m going to try that out and see what happens. I tried it with the mineral spirits on a hidden part, and it seemed to help even it out as well. I’ll give it a go with the lacquer thinner, though!

-- Ami

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