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  • Staining

    When I stain soft wood with a dark stain the end grain always gets very dark. Its very dark on raised panels also. I've tried pre-stain without any change, still dark. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Re: Staining

    First tip, always sand the end grain finer than the rest of the wood (finer sanding means less stain will be absorbed).

    Also try putting a thin coat of clear shellac on the end grain before staining.
    Last edited by tomapple; 11-21-2010, 09:35 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Staining

      I've gotten good results with carefully applying some Zinser Universal Sanding Sealer to the end grain before staining.

      The best method I've used though is the one tomapple suggested as IMO it's given me the best results overall. I always send one grit finer on the end grain than I do for the rest of the piece.
      I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


      • #4
        Re: Staining

        Some times it will always be darker, but I have found a couple things that minimize it.

        First, fine sanding on end grain (that includes raised panel bevels, radii, etc) I go to 320 grit, but the trick is to go through all the grits until the end looks shiny. A faster way is with a sharp block plane for flat end grains. If the grain does not look shiny, (even pine) it will suck up stain and top coat.

        2nd, as far as sealers go, put two coats on the end grain, and let it all dry overnight (unless it is a shellac based sealer, in which case it does not take near as long. Zinser is a shellac based sealer and dries quickly. Multiple coats are easy. Minwax is oil based and needs to dry overnight.)

        Practicing at practical wood working


        • #5
          Re: Staining

          look at using a dye, instead of a stain, and if you have it use a spray gun to apply,

          gel "stains" are usually combination stain and dyes, (to my understanding), and may help some,

          stain colors by being absorbed into the wood fibers the end grain will absorb more than the flat cut grain, the space between the rings will absorb more than the harder rings,

          Dyes color the wood in normally a transparent method most all the same color and depth of color, (yes some will absorb deeper into the end and softer portions of the wood), but by spraying one can adjust he amount of the spray and color it very even, (it is the way most commercial furniture is colored),

          one can adjust the color some or a lot by the concentration of the stain, in the solvent,
          click on the links for in depth information on the different coloring methods,

          one may want to consider the solvent the dye is dissolved in, and compatibility with the finish, or so the finish will not redissolve the dye and muddy the finish,


          the other consideration is to try a combination stain/finish, (on the additional coats of finish I suggest a clear no stain in it, to build up the finish,
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