Spots in dye stain with African Mahogany

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Forum topic by AgentJohnson posted 02-16-2020 03:58 PM 197 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 42 days

02-16-2020 03:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mahogany dye stain general finishes

I put a coat of general finishes water based dye stain on African mahogany last night and noticed light speckles in the finish that correspond to the pores of the grain.

I sanded with a ROS starting with 120 and then moved to 180. After this, I spritzed water on the surface and knocked down the grain with 320 until it was no longer raising. Once dry, I wiped on a liberal coat of dye stain and then wiped the excess after a few minutes. Is this a normal thing for this wood or did I do something incorrectly? The dye looks consistent aside from the speckled appearance.

2 replies so far

View Rich's profile


5346 posts in 1260 days

#1 posted 02-16-2020 05:05 PM

If you use a pigmented stain on a porous wood, the solids will settle into the pores. Sometimes it’s a look you want. Since you didn’t want that look you should have used a regular dye. TransTint is one, but there are many others. They do not contain solids.

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

View CaptainKlutz's profile


2622 posts in 2165 days

#2 posted 02-17-2020 03:36 AM

What happened is normal behavior. Sorry, if that is not want you wanted?

WB pigment stains have had time getting into pores of wood. A solvent based pigment stain usually penetrates little better into pores. Note it can take some serious rubbing to push the pigment into pores, which can make a much darker color than intended?

My preference is a NGR dye stain using alcohol/acetone carrier with a lower surface tension than water, that can reach into most large grain woods. Small grain woods like Mahogany can still be challenge for dye stains as the pore size is too small for most solvents to penetrate easily without extensive rubbing.

If you want pores to have color, try using NGR dye stain like Behlen’s Solar Lux/Mohawk Ultra penetrating stain (same stuff); they contain both pigments and dyes. Another option to fix the white holes is to use a grain filler before adding color. Most WB grain fillers (Timbermate, Behlen’s, Elmer’s, etc) will easily absorb NGR dye and achieve a uniform color. Stay away from clear grain fillers as they don’t absorb color.

This mahogany finishing link from a local supplier might help you:

Hope this helps.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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