What is this blotch and how do I fix it?

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Forum topic by ChunkyC posted 12-29-2012 08:18 PM 1771 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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856 posts in 3863 days

12-29-2012 08:18 PM

I built a nightstand / bedside table to go with the bed that I made. Today, I found this:

I’m not sure how I could apply a coat of stain, 4 coats of finish and two coats of wax and never notice this! I’ve used the same combination of stain / finish / wax on other projects and never had a problem.

Stain: 1 coat of Minwax Golden Oak Stain 210B – applied with a cotton rag

Finish: 4 coats of Deft 10901 Satin Water Wood Finish – applied with an HVLP sprayer

Wax: 2 Coats of good ole Johnson’s Paste Wax

Any idea what may have caused this but more importantly, how should I approach fixing this eye sore? Am I going to have to sand the top and edges and reapply the stain and refinish? I’ve seen articles posted in the WW mags on fixing finishing problems but I don’t know where to find one of them at the moment. If you know of a good one, please let me know.

It almost looks like a glue blotch but I can’t see how it could be. After I glued up the top panel, I planed it to thickness, flat and parallel, scraped it and a quick hand sanding @ 220. I’m at a complete loss as to what happened.

Thanks for your help.


I uploaded a video to YouTube of the bedside table. I made it for my Mother and Father, they like to keep up-to-date with the goings on around here, so it’s more of a “hello mom and dad” type of video than a woodworking video but it does show the blotch.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

13 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 2896 days

#1 posted 12-29-2012 08:39 PM

You may not have noticed it if it were not visible until you finished it. Something caused the pours to close making the finish not as intense in that spot. Depending on what you used to finish it, you could resand it, but ask the pro’s because some finishes can’t be matched and you’ll always see the fix.
Charles Neil is one who’s advise I would trust.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View ducky911's profile


237 posts in 3398 days

#2 posted 12-29-2012 09:15 PM

it almost looks like there was something wiped on that area and then not sanded off good…like glue smear. i do not think it is bloch….to bad and odd it showed up late…no easy fix that i know.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2906 days

#3 posted 12-29-2012 10:17 PM

To me it looks like moisture tried to migrate out of the wood after it was finished. Not much to do but refinish or live with it.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3413 days

#4 posted 12-29-2012 11:03 PM

Almost looks like a hand mighta grabbed it while it was wet..I really don’t know what would be the easiest fix.. Don’t know if you have enough of an overhang to cut the edges off the whole top, and glue some other wood onto it, round it over, or whatever, etc. Sorry, just a thought. Good luck with it. I’m sure you’ll figure out somethin.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3113 days

#5 posted 12-29-2012 11:08 PM

You may want to ask our resident finishing expert, Charles Neil.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3863 days

#6 posted 12-29-2012 11:55 PM

@Roger: Looks like to me too. Almost fits my hand to a tee. P) I just can’t figure out why I hadn’t noticed until today. I stain it on 12/15 and finished the top on 12/25. The stain would have surely been dry by then. Call the Hardy Boys, I have a mystery for them to solve.

@dhazelton Not going to live with it that’s for sure. The options as I see it is to sand/scrape it to bare wood and re-finish it or build a new top.


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6789 posts in 3803 days

#7 posted 12-30-2012 12:08 AM

Damn Chunk…...where you been…? Haven’t heard anything out of you in a coon’s age…I thought you fell off the world…..Regarding the stain, it looks like a cat got up there and pissed on it, or a dog hiked a leg on it…...that’s the best answer I can come up with for now…..!!!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3294 days

#8 posted 12-30-2012 12:20 AM

you live in Iowa, I live in Wisconsin. looking from here, I don’t see any flaws at all.

I personally would leave it alone for a period of time to see what happens…judging from the end-grain of the board I would say that it is in the wood. the fact that it only shows now is IMHO that Min-wax Golden oak is barely a stain at all (I would say “subtle”).

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3863 days

#9 posted 12-30-2012 01:54 AM

@Rick: Been here most every day lurking keeping an eye on the new projects and the reviews. The hound is a female so I doubt she could aim it that high. :) Although she could have drooled on it, (BIG, stinking and drooling bloodhound she is.) She drooled on it once already on the inside but I caught that one and it was easy fix.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View Willardz's profile


59 posts in 2919 days

#10 posted 12-30-2012 02:59 AM

Maybe try to wipe a small amount of denatured alcohol. Could have bloomed in that area. Or lightly sand with some naptha until spot is removed, and spot repair with finish, and wax. I would not give up on it.

-- I have Carrie, food, shelter, and wood to turn. What else do I need?

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4186 days

#11 posted 12-30-2012 04:12 AM

To answer you question, blotch appears on some woods that have a combination of hard and soft woods making it so finishes soak in the softer woods faster than the hard woods absorb stains and finishes,this creates blotch. This occurs in a number of woods like.pine.maple,cherry and other woods. The best way to prevent it is to use a conditioner on those types of woods before finishing them. Charles Neil makes a blotch control I find is that is most effective.


View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6789 posts in 3803 days

#12 posted 12-30-2012 05:20 AM

Well…..I guess that would rule out the hound as the culprit…...You’ve prolly been on here more than me, as I’ve been fishing all spring and summer, so not much time for woodworking….also, a couple of other forums I belong to, so just a little “spying” ever now and then…...Carry on…...!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6040 posts in 3422 days

#13 posted 12-30-2012 10:20 AM

It looks too uniform to be a natural variation of the wood. It looks as if glue was wiped away with a wet rag which limited the stains absorption.
I have never been happy with Minwax stains. They are too thin bodied. I prefer Rodda stains.
I have used Deft lacquer with good results, but not their water based products.

Good luck with the mystery.

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

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