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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I'd post a half-brained idea as my first thread. Pine is notorious for its tendency to blotch and also that the grain reversal occurs when staining. This is because the lighter soft-grain part of the wood tends to absorb more readily than the darker grain. I wonder then, what were to happen if one were to precondition it with something like shellac and then sand back a decent amount that the harder grain's shellac is removed, exposing the raw wood. Then a dark dye applied. Probably if not enough was sanded, you could sand a little more and repeat. I'd imagine it wouldn't look pretty. I'd imagine it would be difficult to sand evenly. However, can anyone imagine pulling it off, maybe on a smaller piece? If so, what steps would you take to see if it could be done on a test strip?

I have never really cared too much about blotching with pine and never had much of a problem with the amount of oil-based stain I have used, so I have no experience as of yet with blotch control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can use a lot of different products for a wood conditioner but you should just apply it and use it like that. If you start sanding it's going to make the surface uneven and cause blotching anyway. The wood conditioner is just a sealer to make the surface more uniform so the stain is absorbed more uniform. You could thin down the varnish you are using or shellac or a natural stain, glue or even linseed oil. You just need to do some tinkering to figure out just how much to thin it to make it work for you. If you get desperate you could also buy a store bought wood conditioner.
Yes, but I was curious if it would be possible to avoid grain reversal and conditioner will not stop it. Like you say it evens out the coat. I don't know what's worse: blotching or a conditioner that drowns out the grain pattern.
 
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