Water based dye stain not fully drying? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 1 Old 06-30-2020, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Water based dye stain not fully drying?


I am finishing a sub-woofer box I built with a veneered walnut front. To start from the beginning, I really wanted and therefore tried to finish it with Zennserís Bullseye Amber Shellac (not de-waxed). I cut it in half with denatured alcohol and tried the padding method. I could not get a consistent finish that I was happy with. Because the box is so big and it would dry on me so fast I gave up on the shellac. I have used shellac before successfully but never on a piece this big.

So in order to get a similar look I found the General Finishes amber water based dye stain and it gives a very similar color to the amber shellac. So I did a combination of wiping down the veneer with denatured alcohol and performed multiple sandings back down to 150 grit until all traces of the shellac were gone (or at least I thought I did).

I then worked back up to 220 grit, cleaned the surface and applied the dye stain. It has been 2 1/2 days and it seems fine to the touch, however if I take a clean shop paper towel and do a semi-firm rub down on the surface I can see very light traces of the amber coming off onto the paper towel. This is being performed in my air conditioned basement so it is not humid and the temps are probably in the mid to upper 60ís.

My plan is to now apply an oil based stain over top to get the final color I want, and then apply a few coats of Arm R Seal. From what the can said I should have been able to apply an oil based stain after 24 hours. I am not sure if this is normal to have a small amount of residual color show up on a rag when wiping a dye stain or if it is not drying for some reason. I made sure to wipe it down good after about 5 minutes when I applied it.

I am not sure whether to move forward at this point or if there is a problem how to fix it. I donít believe sanding is an option at this point as I am pretty sure I am near the end of the veneer and will be into the MDF if I go much further. Is it possible that there could be minuet traces of shellac/wax in the pores that are keeping it from fully drying?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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