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Discussion Starter #1
Just finished a new medicine cabinet out of hard maple. I used Minwax oil based red mahogany stain. It looks like hell. some of the wood took it, some didn't. Definitely the wrong color. My father suggested spraying it, that's how he does a lot of stain. I used a HVLP sprayer, looked awesome going on then after ten seconds or so, it looked, crackled, all beaded up, kind of like it had some sort of sealer on it. Terrible finish. I am looking for that color, nice and even. Any ideas on how to avoid this?
 

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I tried staining hard maple - once. I found out that it does not like to take stain evenly. In my case the stain was very blotchy.

A dye would likely work better than a stain.

You will not find dyes at the big box stores. Need to find at a dedicated wood store, paint store, etc.
 

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You really shouldn't brush or spray any oil stain on wood and let it dry. When you put a finish over the top of it the finish will bond to the stain instead of the wood and peal off. Spraying is a good way to apply stain but should be immediately be wiped off. Then stain only once. Some folks put multiple coats of stain on to have the same phenomenon. No stain should be left on the surface.

Maple is one of those woods that is prone to blotch because the wood varies in density. It makes it more difficult to stain but you should use a wood conditioner. It is a sealer that the softer parts of the wood absorbe more of the conditioner than the harder parts making it more uniform in density. Then the stain will go on more uniform.

From where you are I would wash the cabinet down with lacquer thinner removing any stain on the surface. Then like Dave said correct the color problems with a dye stain. You could use transtint dye or I use Mohawk Ultra Penetrating Stain. Another option is have a gel stain mixed to match the Minwax stain and use that to color the light areas. It will bond to the wood to where it can be clear coated. I prefer a dye because it is transparent. The gel stain gives a paste look to the color.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There is no satin on the surface, its all been wiped down, it is just not even remotely the same color as we picked out. What about that polyshades stuff? Would that give the desired effect? Looking for it to be even and dark, Red Mahogany, it just looks dull brown now.
 

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I just finished a bed and dresser out of hard maple. My daughter wanted it dark brown and I used the General Finishes waterborne dye stain in dark brown. The color is pretty even. I sprayed the dye then wiped it off. This is one coat of dye followed by lacquer. The dye by itself looked really dull and ugly, but the lacquer really made the color come alive.

image-3526708496.jpg
 

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There is no satin on the surface, its all been wiped down, it is just not even remotely the same color as we picked out. What about that polyshades stuff? Would that give the desired effect? Looking for it to be even and dark, Red Mahogany, it just looks dull brown now.
It would be better if you would post a picture for us to give you suggestions. You could use the polyshades but I don't care for the stuff. It has pigment suspended in the finish obscuring the wood. If it is red you need you can add red to the color with a dye stain and it will be clear as if the stain you used had done the job you wanted. It is more like ink than the oil stain you used.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, after setting this project aside for a while, I pulled it out the other day to try it again. I got the look I was looking for! Minwax polyshades was the ticket. I didn't really care for the stuff before and my father has had some bad luck with it as well. The difference is spraying it on. Spraying the polyshades definitely gives a smoother more consistant finish. I put o two coats with coat of semi gloss clear poly over top.







 

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Stay away from the minwax stains, they're crap. You'll get much better results with the General Finishes products. They have something for every situation, just follow their directions.
Mike Hawkins;)
 
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