I am new to staining, but I have read a lot and gotten an experienced friend to help me apply it to the first (of way too many) pieces.
1) I am doing 2 tables, 10 chairs, and a kitchen island. This is all new, unfinished parawood. My plan is to apply Minwax English Chestnut oil-based stain in two coats to them, followed by glossy poly. I am following the sanding instructions, but I am not pre-treating the wood. Sound reasonable?
2) I test-stained a stool, one of the 10 chairs. I figured I would start with one of the two cheapest pieces to get an idea of how things would go. I'm glad I did - on the wood, I have found that there are little blotches that do not take stain...
at all, essentially!
Once I wipe the excess off, it looks like several dime-or-smaller size areas were not stained at all. It happened in three places one the stool. Two spots next to each other on the seat, three spots by each other on a leg, and a couple of blotches on side of the stool. Did I do something wrong? How can I get the stain to stick there?
3)The store I bought the parawood from uses ZAB stains, as opposed to minwax. They claim that those stains are more topical and less penetrative. (Like polyshades, maybe?) Anyway, do you think they use those because of this problem, or something? We didn't choose those stains because we didn't love any color in particular.