Stain changed colors

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Forum topic by Straightpiped posted 11-03-2008 03:54 PM 945 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Straightpiped's profile


89 posts in 4058 days

11-03-2008 03:54 PM

Newbie here with my first question. I am building what would appear to most as a china cabinet. To keep a long story short, I stained part of it one day and another part three days later. The were completely different parts with natural breaks seperating them. When I stained the second part the stain changed horribly different. It is a MinWax stain, can’t remember the name but its like Walnut color. Which the first stain turned out great. The second turned into a real dark red color. I am trying to find out what caused this so I make sure it never happens again. Both staining sessions were done in the same place.

Thanks for any advice…

-- T. Nelson

7 replies so far

View lew's profile


12907 posts in 4322 days

#1 posted 11-03-2008 04:18 PM

Hate to ask to obvious, but did you stir the stain both times? The oil based stain pigments settle out aand could cause this to happen.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4279 days

#2 posted 11-03-2008 04:22 PM

lew is right if the pigments seperate and you don’t mix it again you get different colors.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Straightpiped's profile


89 posts in 4058 days

#3 posted 11-03-2008 05:38 PM

I did mix them both times. I guess I could have not mixed it well enough. I have already thought about this and wasn’t sure if this was something that just happens sometimes with Minwax.

-- T. Nelson

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 4276 days

#4 posted 11-03-2008 06:35 PM

that or sanding to the same grit. normally that only affects the depth of color rather then the color its self. I have used the minwax conditioner and it helps on some woods, though if you forget on one piece it will come out much darker (don’t ask how I know that) it keeps one piece of wood from absorbing more stain than another

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4652 days

#5 posted 11-03-2008 07:13 PM

There may be a couple of things happening. First, what type of wood are you useing? Some woods react with sun and or light and begin to turn color naturally. such as Padauk and Cherry. 3 days don’t sound like enough time for this option. Could be diffence in grain direction, but I dont’ think this is likely as well.

Second, were you using any other products in the same area? Using a product such as WD-40 from an areosol can can sometimes leave a resude on peices near by from overspray (this happen to me before.)

If you used a stain, not a dye. the color should be fairly shallow in the wood. you should be able to sand off down to the same grit and restain. If you used a dye, it will take a bit more work.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4694 days

#6 posted 11-03-2008 07:13 PM

Other than frequently stirring your stain:

  • Is the grain and cut of the wood consistent?
  • Did you prep all the wood the same way, especially using the same sandpaper grit?
  • Did you precondition the wood with a sealer?
  • Did you use exactly the same technique on all parts?
  • Did you test the stain and your process on some scrap wood from the same project?
  • Did you follow the directions for the stain?

Just some thoughts…

-- 温故知新

View Straightpiped's profile


89 posts in 4058 days

#7 posted 11-03-2008 07:37 PM

I see alot of the points that your all making.

There wasn’t anything even close to it that could contaminate the stain.
Its is all the same type of wood bought at the same store at the same time.
No Preconditioner.
Same techniques throught the entire process from cut to finish.

Maybe I need to eat this one up as not properly mixing the stain each time.

-- T. Nelson

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