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Forum topic by MN1987 posted 02-05-2020 02:33 PM 881 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MN1987

9 posts in 165 days


02-05-2020 02:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood cherry

A question about cherry. I am about to put a finish (Rubio) on this future coffee table — legs not pictured. I’m not too happy with the current look of the cherry wood, which I know darkens over time. It has this mottled almost cloudy appearance, seen below with some mineral spirits after 80-120-180 ROS sanding. I’ve had some luck sanding the heck out of one side with a belt sander to brighten it up, but it’s hit or miss and I’d rather avoid such aggressive sanding this late in the process. To the extent there is still a mottled or uneven look in places, is there anything I can do? Or maybe it looks fine and I’m overanalyzing it?


26 replies so far

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

705 posts in 2501 days


#1 posted 02-05-2020 03:01 PM

Do you think it’s something other than just the normal Cherry blotching?

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MN1987

9 posts in 165 days


#2 posted 02-05-2020 03:06 PM

I don’t have any stain on it. Does blotching typically occur even on raw wood (with mineral spirits)?

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Andre

3556 posts in 2576 days


#3 posted 02-05-2020 03:23 PM

Have you tried a card scrapper to clean up the grain, the difference between a sanded finish and a cut finish is quite amazing.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

705 posts in 2501 days


#4 posted 02-05-2020 03:26 PM

As soon as you wipe it on you would most likely see it.

For Cherry, I normally use de-waxed shellac (Zinser Seal Coat) or an oil-based sealer (e.g. MinWax pre-conditioner) prior to applying my finish—which is usually just oil and poly.

Pine is another wood that also tends to “blotch” or accept penetrating finish inconsistently.

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Bill_Steele

705 posts in 2501 days


#5 posted 02-05-2020 03:35 PM

Here’s a great blog post by OSU55 that explains blotching.

View MN1987's profile

MN1987

9 posts in 165 days


#6 posted 02-05-2020 03:40 PM

@Andre—I considered this, but haven’t tried yet (partly because I need to sharpen my scraper). I should probably try it though, since taking a block plane to a small section brightened it significantly.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3730 posts in 3118 days


#7 posted 02-05-2020 04:05 PM

+1 – Bill

Pre-conditioning will help with the blotching. You can also sand to a finer grit (220 or 320) to decrease the porosity of the surface and apply the pre-conditioner.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

639 posts in 1455 days


#8 posted 02-05-2020 04:07 PM

i too suspect it’s just blotching – it’s simple enough to try a quick sealer coat on a scrap or hidden area to see if that solves the issue, otherwise just sand it off

View MN1987's profile

MN1987

9 posts in 165 days


#9 posted 02-05-2020 04:17 PM

Thanks, all. What would I want to use for the pre-conditioning and/or sealer coat? And will that be OK with the Rubio topcoat?

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

1639 posts in 317 days


#10 posted 02-05-2020 05:24 PM



+1 – Bill

Pre-conditioning will help with the blotching. You can also sand to a finer grit (220 or 320) to decrease the porosity of the surface and apply the pre-conditioner.

- EarlS

Or you could use 0000 steel wool to get the same outcome.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: Because cheese isnt a healthy source of cheese, I will use grated cucumber to top off this raw food vegan pizza.

View Andre's profile

Andre

3556 posts in 2576 days


#11 posted 02-05-2020 05:55 PM



@Andre—I considered this, but haven t tried yet (partly because I need to sharpen my scraper). I should probably try it though, since taking a block plane to a small section brightened it significantly.

- MN1987

Yeah the setting up can be fun, over rolling the edge sometimes (always) makes things worse. Bearkat has a good video as well as Paul Sellers, sometime less thought makes things easier?
I have ordered one of Bearkats scrappers, appears to have disappeared in transit? Was curious as to rolling an edge on the curved side.
I avoid sandpaper as much as possible but the last step is always a card scrapper!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

109 posts in 917 days


#12 posted 02-05-2020 06:21 PM

Maybe the conditioner would help even out absorption. We have knotty alder cabinets and seeing other’s homes and their knotty alder cabinets, they look very splotchy and uneven due to the nature of the wood grain and knots. However ours are not like that and I believe they used some conditioner on it prior to staining.

I’ve used conditioner on pine coffee table that I stripped prior finish off of. I was going back with a dark stain and it came out very even.

View JP4LSU's profile

JP4LSU

109 posts in 917 days


#13 posted 02-05-2020 06:22 PM

I actually don’t think it looks bad. I wouldn’t have walked into your home and seen the finish and thought anything of it. I would’ve been looking at the joints. LOL

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5746 posts in 1344 days


#14 posted 02-06-2020 05:46 AM

Yeah a wash coat of Shellac will fix that mottle. Do it on some scrap, and you will see.

Cherry, Maple, Poplar all the same. Blotchy.

-- Think safe, be safe

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2385 posts in 2473 days


#15 posted 02-06-2020 02:28 PM

I think you stated you sanded to 180. Isn’t that still a little coarse? I would sand to 220, maybe even 300.

Sorry, just read some other responses and the is what Bill said…. So I agree with Bill.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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