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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought Minwax® Wood Finish™ thinking it was a complete one step finish and now my Red Oak looks like fir with a cheap stain. I’m just so disappointed I’m about to paint the whole thing latex black.



My wife just found a used can of Minwax Polyshades "Classic Oak" in the garage and I’m wondering if it would look any better if I covered it with that stuff.

 

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You didn't realize that the Minwax Wood Finish was just a stain? It still needs to be topcoated, it was never intended to be a finish. You could top coat with the Polyshades, and i think it will be even worse looking (I'm a big anti-Polyshades guy). Anyway, if the color is about what you want (oak isn't the easiest wood to satin anyway) just try topcoating with a good quality varnish, shellac, lacquer, your choice. If the color isn't what you want, my recommendation would be to try and remove the stain you applied and start over. BTW, you might try taking a cloth and wiping a light coat of mineral spirits over the stained wood, that would give you some idea of what it will look like with a top coat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You didn't realize that the Minwax Wood Finish was just a stain? It still needs to be topcoated, it was never intended to be a finish. You could top coat with the Polyshades, and i think it will be even worse looking (I'm a big anti-Polyshades guy). Anyway, if the color is about what you want (oak isn't the easiest wood to satin anyway) just try topcoating with a good quality varnish, shellac, lacquer, your choice. If the color isn't what you want, my recommendation would be to try and remove the stain you applied and start over. BTW, you might try taking a cloth and wiping a light coat of mineral spirits over the stained wood, that would give you some idea of what it will look like with a top coat.
Thanks the can said "Wood Finish" it never occurred to me that it was just a stain. I have no idea of how to remove a stain except by sanding it and I'm not ready for that.

I also have a can of fast drying Clear Gloss that I could use.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just went out to look at it and found the sun was heating it up and stain was oozing out the grain so I had to wipe it down again.
Maybe it will all boil out and I can wipe it off. :smile:
Anyway 5 more hours till dry. and I see what I can do. I'm thinking about just sanding the front a little t lightening up.

Its been 30 years since i used stain and I only used it once. I swore off the stuff after that and if I would have known what this was, I would never have bought it. :wallbash:
 

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Well, lesson learned through the school of hard knocks. Stains can be removed with stripper, but if yours hasn't set yet you might get a fair amount of it off by wiping with mineral spirits. Your varnish (Minwax polyurethane) is a suitable top coating, but you might want to try it on a piece of scrap first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, lesson learned through the school of hard knocks. Stains can be removed with stripper, but if yours hasn't set yet you might get a fair amount of it off by wiping with mineral spirits. Your varnish (Minwax polyurethane) is a suitable top coating, but you might want to try it on a piece of scrap first.
Thanks, sounds like a good idea. I'm going to try and get as much of as I can right now. Hope its not to late.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, its too late for mineral spirits. Its already dry and still has 3 hrs to go. I'm thinking of going ahead with Polyurethane and maybe I'll be able to have the 'finish' dry before I go to bed.

Now that its dry and the sun is on it I can see that it might not have been too bad it were a lighter golden oak color and that Polyshades Classic Oak might have done the trick if I had known I already had it.
 

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Well your not the first person that thought the minwax wood finish was a finish. Somebody should sue them for misrepresenting their stain.

Mineral spirits is kinda mild. It might not be too late to get more of the stain out washing it with lacquer thinner or acetone but the wood should be removed from direct sunlight. The golden oak stain is quite light anyway. It's possible you might be able to stain over it with another stain but the wood since it has the golden oak stain on it will resist staining. You can also add color with a dye stain. If you could post a picture of the color you wish perhaps we can give you a clue on how to get there from where you are. It sounds fixable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is what I wanted and I did get there on a cabinet I did years ago, but I can't remember what I used. I thought it was the Polyshades, but the Classic Oak that I have doesn't look like it.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’m tired of fooling with it, so I’m just going to make it shiny so it doesn’t look so dirty and nasty looking.

I haven’t made the doors yet and I think I’ll just keep them their natural color with clear gloss polyurethane. If it’s too much of a contrast then I’ll sand down the front face and do the same.

And if none of this works I’m painting it purple. LOL :laughing:
 

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The color looks more like Minwax English Chestnut to me. You might make up a sample of oak with the golden oak and go over it with English Chestnut and see what it does. Just don't layer it on thick and let dry. The excess will need to be wiped off. If that doesn't work you might mix some Dark Mission Brown and Brown Mahogany Transtint dye with some alcohol and spray over the golden oak stain.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You might consider a gel stain. You can use that anytime, over anything that's dry.






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I'll have to look that up. I've never heard of that. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14
exactly what happened to me

Wow I was looking for gel stain and came across this video which shows exactly what happened to me and even the same color and Miniwax finish. But after using the wood conditioner, it’s what I was hoping for. Not exactly what I wanted, but very close and very acceptable.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well my ½ can of fast drying Clear Gloss was a solid glob so I had to use the Polyshades after all.

It looks a lot better with a shine and I’m just going to have to live with the color. Being so late in the day when the winds normaly pick up caused a lot of dust and bugs sticking to it. I guess I’ll have to pick up some steel wool to clean it up and do another coat.

Dust has always been a problem for me and right now my shop is full of dust from all the cutting I’ve been doing lately. The family will not let do it in the house because of the smell so I’ll probably have to get out the leaf blower and blow out my shop before doing any more.
 

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I wouldn't use steel wool between coats. Depending on how thick the finish is I would use either 220 or 320 grit sandpaper to smooth the dirt out. You can put another coat of the polyshades over what you have if it's still too light. All the polyshades is is polyurethane with pigment added to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Steve,
I was checking out Minwax YouTube videos on finishes after I last posted and realized that I made a mistake thinking steel wool. The video also reminded me of once finishing a rocking chair and I ended up with small particles of steel wool all over my finish.


I was going to pick up some 220 today, but I never heard of 320. If they have it I’ll, pick up some of that too.

My cabinet is way too dark for my taste, so I’m also going to pick up another can of Clear Gloss Polyurethane. My daughter likes the dark, but it’s just too depressing to me and hopefully I can brighten things up with the doors.

It doesn’t look like I’m going to finish this week because I have a huge project going on at work and it’s going to a lot of long days. I need to set up a temporary dust free place to do this and thinking of setting up a tent on the patio with a filtered fan and I need time to make one up.
 

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320 grit sandpaper is considered extra fine. Depending on where you live you might have to get wet and dry paper from a auto parts store to get it that fine. The wet and dry paper will be black in color. With that fine grit you would be less likely to sand through the finish.

I wouldn't worry too much about your finishing conditions. I have about as bad of conditions as anyone and I manage to get by. For the most part when you get dirt in the finish you don't have the project cleaned off well enough to begin with. Also most of the dirt you get in the finish from other sources is off of yourself rather than the shop. You have to make sure you have all the sanding dust cleaned off your clothing and hair. The best thing you could do for yourself is get the means of spraying and use a finish that dries to touch quickly. I normally do finishing work outdoors and use pre-catalyzed lacquer. It dries to touch within a few minutes so I don't normally get any bugs in it. When I work with varnish I do it at the end of the day in my dirty shop and apply the finish and leave for the day so I don't get any dirt in it.
 

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Johnny not tryin' to be a smart a**

But the best finishing advice I can give anyone is to take your finshing product(s) and a piece of the wood to be finished and follow the directions for application. Reapeat this as often as you need to get comfortable with your product and method and drying times because sometimes the directions vary with climate, temperature and humidity ...if any. Do not rush the finishing process. Lacquers dry faster than varnishes for example. Sprays give more even coverage than brush ons ..unless you have lots of experience. Certain woods are difficult to stain .. Pine, Maple, Oak, for example depending on how straight the grain runs and the growth ring patterns. That's why you need various sample pieces.

You can't afford to screw up all the time and material you have invested in the project with a less than desirable finish. I know it's like closing the barn door after the horse got out, but it can't be repeated often enough. :laughing: Finishing is the last and final step in the process and is usually the most neglected. Rick Moshier has a lot of finishing experience here on the forum and has been helpful to a lot of folks. The newer 2 part systems are somewhat of a mystery to folks just starting out. so it's best to ask questions and practice first.
 
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