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Blotchy stain issues along with orbs.

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Forum topic by Grampa_Doodie posted 06-15-2019 06:57 PM 182 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Grampa_Doodie

163 posts in 2713 days


06-15-2019 06:57 PM

Greetings again. Same project with yet another staining issue. I’ve been staining projects for many, many years and have not come across this issue until last night. My homemade crown moldings stained perfectly, but the plywood is giving me all sorts of issues.

Please know that I used a Min-Wax stain sealer along with brand new Min-Wax stain.

Here’s my issue: (See photos.)

I’m building an upper cupboard and lower cabinet out of oak plywood. I ever so lightly sanded all four sides with 400 grit, cleaned up all dust with a shop vac, sealed all four sides with Min-Wax Pre-Stain Sealer per instructions. I wiped off the excess (also per instructions) and then applied a liberal coat of Min-Wax “Provincial” oil-based stain. (I’m now wishing that I would have cleaned all plywood with something to take any foreign crud off the surface of the plywood…which unfortunately, I did not.)

After about 15 minutes I wiped all stain off with clean rags. (The 15 minutes was tried on several scraps of solid oak earlier in order to get the proper and near perfect match to the existing oak cabinets in our daughter’s kitchen.)

The horizontal streaking you see in the photos were most likely caused by me not applying the sealer properly and/or not wiping it off properly. (Not too sure how I could muck up such a simple task.) That’s my only guess as to why the horizontal streaks appeared.

My second issue is that on the right side of the upper cupboard these perfectly round orbs showed up. I’m fairly certain that they somehow were in the plywood before purchasing the oak. Either way…they’re there and I need to deal with removing them if possible.

I tried to lightly sand one orb away, but it did not help. I also tried applying another coat of stain for 15 more minutes in hopes of things evening out in shade…but that did not work as well.

I’m guessing that none of this is repairable and that I just might have to think about adding stick-on oak veneer…which I really would rather not have to do.

I can honestly say that I have never had such a horrible experience in 50 years of finishing woodworking projects as I have with this one.

Your thoughts or solutions are appreciated very much.

Thanks, Dale.

-- If at first you don't succeed...DO NOT try skydiving.


5 replies so far

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therealSteveN

3044 posts in 989 days


#1 posted 06-15-2019 09:34 PM

Hard to really tell from those pics, but if I was to guess it looks to me like someone, and their buddy sat down some sweaty cans of some kind of beverage, and it affected the plywood. Whatever it is, it’s not the stain, with the exception of those 2 fairly round looking areas, looks like you got good uptake of the stain.

-- Think safe, be safe

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CaptainKlutz

1486 posts in 1909 days


#2 posted 06-15-2019 10:11 PM

Hard to tell without seeing this in person, but:
The defects on the panel below looks sort of like ‘shop rash’ damage.
You know those little drops, dents, and dings that happen when plywood is handled rough?
Like maybe the panel was set on top of the lid to some solvent can?

I see some darker scuffs opposite the rings at ends of your arrows, that look also like scuff or sanding issue with plywood at factory.

FWIW – Scuff/scrape/dent damage to veneer ply will usually show up when you wipe down the panel with mineral spirits before you start finishing. The rough areas take in more solvent and get darker or stay darker longer, just like the stain. This also helps show if you need more or less blotch control.

Since the defects are darker than surrounding area, you might be able to ‘buff’ dark spots with 400 or scotch brite pad to lighten up the color, then even out color using rag damp with solvent compatible with oil base stain?
If you fail, another way to fix it, is to hide the damage by making the whole area much darker by leaving extra stain on surface. It’s not as purdy, as it makes the whole area ‘damaged’. LOL

Best Luck.



- Grampa_Doodie

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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Grampa_Doodie

163 posts in 2713 days


#3 posted 06-17-2019 07:27 PM

Thanks for the great replies and tips.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the two right sides of my project are too much of a mess to repair. I’m now moving on to preparing a couple pieces of 1/4 inch oak plywood that will go over the two messed up sides. I can make that work.

Before I do so, I have one last question for the group:

What do you use to wipe onto bare oak plywood before stain sealer and before stain in order to hopefully pronounce any strange affects like the ones I’ve experienced?

Thanks, Dale.

-- If at first you don't succeed...DO NOT try skydiving.

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SMP

1149 posts in 321 days


#4 posted 06-17-2019 07:39 PM


What do you use to wipe onto bare oak plywood before stain sealer and before stain in order to hopefully pronounce any strange affects like the ones I ve experienced?

Thanks, Dale.

- Grampa_Doodie

That’s what the Captain was getting at saying to wipe down with mineral spirits. Its kind of a temporary “sneak preview” of what will happen to the finish, but disappears as it evaporates.

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Grampa_Doodie

163 posts in 2713 days


#5 posted 06-17-2019 07:48 PM

Perfect…thanks, SMP!

Dale.

-- If at first you don't succeed...DO NOT try skydiving.

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