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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am staining some raw maple. Natural grade. Kind of like the middle grade between the top and paint grade.

I made a sample for my customer and he was not happy. Please see photo. The two door panels are In the background and the top piece with the flutes is the target color. The customer wants this color and I had a solvent wiping stain match done. As you can see the blue tape is what the color guy did and it's on a piece of maple plywood. The match is perfect but when I applied it to the doors, put on with a rag and bushed off immediately, you can see it's totally darker.

Should I have gotten a spray stain instead? What am I doing wrong?

Wood Wood stain Hardwood Table Plywood

Thanks for support
 

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Try using a wood conditioner or spray a piss coat of whatever you intend on using as a finish coat .It looks very blotchy , may need to be sanded to a finer grit . Need more info such as what grit was used to sand and when the doors were made, were they sitting around in the shop collecting dust and finger oils ? It may be as simple as wiping with mineral spirits but gotta give more info to get the correct advice .
 

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I would spray a couple wash coats of thinned down shellac first to lighten it up and control blotchyness SP?

And/or, see if the stain is compatible with the top coat. I do that a lot, mix the stain in with the lacquer and hit it with a few coats. Biggest problem with this is, it takes away much of the grain after a few toner coats. easiest way to check if the stain will work in the top coat is put a drop or two of the stain in a small container of the top coat. If the stains starts to separate, it should work. If the stain stays in a perfect little ball, then it isn't.

But that being said, I pretty much suck ass when it comes to finishing.

Brew
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input. I don't know if I should of done a spray no wipe stain maybe instead. Since it's maple. Or does it even matter? I've done a few of these and never has anyone complained. Close has always been good enough. I need to perfect this somehow but outsourcing it to a company, they charge 9.95/sq ft that would basically put
Me at a huge loss
 

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It's sanded to 180 and it was brand new from factory
Your biggest mistake was not trying out the stain on the back of a drawer front or some scrap wood . Now you have to sand down those doors to bare wood . I dont know how much experience you have with finishing so I really don't know what your capabilities are with this . First try to find a supply house with knowledge so they can help set you in the right direction . I would start out by applying a wood conditioner then try staining to see if you get a uniform coat of stain . You still may need to adjust stain color after making a few sample boards . After you get the desired color it will still change when you apply your finish coat . It's a lot of trial and error to get it just right . Im trying to make it as simple as possible but its not . Anyone can stain a piece of wood but matching is a whole other game . I've been at it for many years and still learning , good luck .:thumbsup:
 

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The blotchy look is usually a result of uneven finishing or varying porosity in your timber a more even look would be achieved by tinting your clear coat and applying by spraying. You can better control the darkness of it to by doing multiple coats. Most 2k clears and polys can be tinted easily enough.
Good luck stain matching can be a real challenge
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry for the stupid question but where do I go about learning how to tint my waterborne pre cat lacquer? That stuff is white in the can to begin with. I've no clue where to begin or if that stuff is even tintable
 

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Universal tints its an art being able to guage how much you need to put in to the amount of product less is best you can always add more.
You just need to try it on a sample an dry it with a heatgun the pot colour and dry colour can vary massively at times.
 

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Sorry for the stupid question but where do I go about learning how to tint my waterborne pre cat lacquer? That stuff is white in the can to begin with. I've no clue where to begin or if that stuff is even tintable
Yes it is.

Not the initial approach you want to take on this one.

Purchase Seal Coat (easier than explaining how to create your own spit coat). Get some test pieces. Sand through a schedule to 180. Test stain. Seal. May take multiple seal coats and stain coats.

Tom
 

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Sealing first is a good idea.Also sanding to a finer grit will help with less penetration.
Owned a cabinet shop for 14 years so have had some experience.I know you sanded to 180 but that's not the point.If you sand to 220 you will have less stain penetration.400 even less.
You do need to do your samples on solid wood not ply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sealing first is a good idea.Also sanding to a finer grit will help with less penetration.
Owned a cabinet shop for 14 years so have had some experience.I know you sanded to 180 but that's not the point.If you sand to 220 you will have less stain penetration.400 even less.
You do need to do your samples on solid wood not ply.
I'm using solvent stains. Wouldn't that just bite through or dissolve the sealer coat BecuAse it's water based? I tried doing a small touch up with my solvent stain once after I sealed it and it marred the surface
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
UPDATE:

i went back to my stain store this morning and they guy who made the stain basically told me that i should have sanded the raw wood to 220. i ordered my doors from decore and they said it was sanded to 220 but the stain guy says thats hardly the case. they basically do a rough one pass type of sanding....

so we sat there and sanded some wood to 320 even and applied that same color, much less of the darkness showed up.

do you guys normally have to sand brand new doors that you ordered? the tint guy told me to go back and resand the entire order and then apply the solvent wiping stain...ive got about 300 sq ft, thats just one side
 

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I make my own doors so could not comment on that.But, \what I said on sanding and stain penetration holds tru.Don't believe anything unless you do it yourself.That is why I try to do it all.Somtimes it's my downfall but I take credit for it.
 

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Depending on the color desired if you sand to fine you can actually seal the wood pores and the stain can't penetrate deeply enough to hold enough tint . That may be ok if you want a very light color but just the opposite if you need a dark stain . Just say you wanted a dark stain on some oak doors that were sanded to 220 grit , it would be nearly impossible to get the stain to the desired color . Save yourself the extra time to sand all of your doors , 180 grit 0r 200 grit is more than good enough for you to get your desired color you pictured with a seal coat .

Sanding to 320 is way to fine , your not allowing the stain to penetrate deeply enough . If your wood looks blotchy sanding to 320 is not going to make all the blotches go away but a sealer coat or tinting your finish coat will .
 
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