Woodworking Talk banner
  • Hello Everyone! Let us know what you would spend a $50 Amazon gift card on, HERE For a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first wood finishing project and I'm a little lost. I did 3 coats of general finishes java gel stain on a honey oak cabinet, on the backside of a cabinet door to test. I realized after the 3rd, I liked the look of 2 coats better. Noted. 3 was a little dark, but doable for the backside, and I was otherwise happy with the color and results. So I let it dry for 24 hours, and then went on to use general finishes arm r seal. I put it on using a foam brush, and as soon as the first stroke went on it started pulling my gel stain off.. just a tiny bit, so I figured it was a fluke.. but after I followed instructions and wiped off excess arm r seal with a paper towel, it took off most of my stain and left me with an ugly result:( I liked it before the top coat.. even with the application it was making my stain streaky and weird. What did I do wrong? Should I use a different top coat? Or did I not wait long enough for it to dry? Would sanding in between make a difference? I read something saying polyurethane might be too harsh, and to use general finishes gel stain top coat, but also don't like a super glossy look, so was advised to use arm r seal to avoid the glossy plastic look. Any suggestions? Pics of before the top coat and then after.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
Stain isnt something you use multiple "coats" of, because properly applied you dont even leave a single coat behind. You wipe it on, then wipe it off, the color comes from the pigments that soak into the wood. If you fail to do the "wipe if off" step, then the only thing the topcoat sticks to is the stain, and the stain doesnt stick particularly well
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,435 Posts
TMK gel stain is technically a glaze. I think you would be better off dying or staining.

That said, I use gel stain exclusively on chip carvings and coat them with various finishes no problem, but I'm spraying not wiping.

epic is right, a stain is wiped on and wiped off. A dye can intensify the color, but a stain doesn't do much. So I think the darkness you got was just layers of gel stain. You essentially wiped off a glaze which was applied to thick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
915 Posts
Stain isnt something you use multiple "coats" of, because properly applied you dont even leave a single coat behind. You wipe it on, then wipe it off, the color comes from the pigments that soak into the wood. If you fail to do the "wipe if off" step, then the only thing the topcoat sticks to is the stain, and the stain doesnt stick particularly well
If I may add to that; I have found that even if you properly wipe off the excess stain and let it dry, sometimes the top coat application will "pull" the stain and cause streaking. Once the stain is dry, apply a light spray coat of shellac (rattle can works). This will lock in the stain and prevent pulling.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
If I may add to that; I have found that even if you properly wipe off the excess stain and let it dry, sometimes the top coat application will "pull" the stain and cause streaking. Once the stain is dry, apply a light spray coat of shellac (rattle can works). This will lock in the stain and prevent pulling.
Also a good thing to note, though it does depend on the type of stain, topcoat, and application method. Rule of thumb though, if the topcoat lifts the stain enough to be noticeable, something went wrong in application, be it not applying the stain correctly, not giving the stain sufficient time to dry, overworking the topcoat during application, or using a topcoat thats way too hot for the stain to stand up to (chemically hot, not temperature. Finishes with aggressive carrier solvents, like lacquer, can almost act like a stripper for some stains)
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top