Tung oil removing stain - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 07-20-2009, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Tung oil removing stain

I recently stained a birch piece using Valspar Black Cherry. I put on 2 coats of stain letting both dry thouroughly and wiped it down with 0000 steel wool.

In putting on the first coat of tung oil the stain is coming off on the rag. It didn't appear to be enough to worry about so I let the first coat dry for 24 hours and proceeded with a second coat. I stopped because some areas were showing signs of the stain coming off even more.

Any suggestions as to what the problem may be and how to resolve would be appreciated.

At this point I need to sand the piece down I think and start over.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-20-2009, 02:28 PM
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I've run into this, also. On oak, though. I just figured that what was coming off was excess that had dried but hadn't soaked in.

Is your Valspar stain a wiping type? Water based or, oil?

You might try rubbing the dried stain with a terry cloth or even wadded up kraft paper. Rub till the cloth or paper doesn't pick up any more stain. Then, if the stain is looking OK., apply the tung oil. If not, apply more stain and rub again.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-20-2009, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Just a standard stain. Oil based I believe.

I hate to sand this down but see no choice.

Thanks. Good to know someone else has had this problem.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-20-2009, 06:03 PM
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The tung oil will soften the stain and will lighten where there is more stain build up than where there is little, except where there is little, the tung oil will dilute the stain and lighten even more. Experts have noted that rubbed oil finishes are best for light finishes, if a dark stain is desired, dyes don't thin out when rubbed. However, many a woodworker has mastered the art of "floating" the rubbed finish without disturbing the stain below on dark finishes. That's why the first commadment in finishing is " If you haven't done it before, do several samples on test pieces until you're comfortable with the results, and think you can repeat it on the final piece." So sayeth the Gods of farout finishes.
In the meantime you can thin the tung oil with some mineral spirits and rub it down til the color is uniform... then decide how many coats of stain you are comfortable with. It's nots so far away from the mad scientist approach in the labratory.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-20-2009, 11:07 PM
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I used General Finishes black cherry (WB) stain over some cherry. Applied and wiped off according to directions. Then after a couple of days, I used Minwax Antique Oil Finish. Yes, some stain came off but it only discolored the rag. When I applied the second coat after the first had cured, there was still some stain coming off. But nothing serious.

Finally I coated the project with Polyurethane and gave it to the kids.

They love the color but I dislike stained anything. Oh well, it's in THEIR home and not mine.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
Huntington Beach, California
Remember that when we have the "BIG ONE" everything east of the Rockies falls into the ocean.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-21-2009, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I guess in thinking about it I have never used tung oil over a dark stain before.

Jim - Your explanation sure makes sense.

rrrich - Poly - My plan is to do exactly that once I get the piece back to a uniform color.

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-08-2009, 05:03 AM
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Removing oil and stain

If it were me, I'd try wiping the project down with thinner (a little elbow greese may be required), before sanding. You may find that adequate to get you back to go.
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