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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dickens of a time staining basswood. I use gel stain and have tried many different prep options, including using a wood conditioner (with staining within 2 hours and also letting it cure overnight) and still getting no consistent results. (blothching) I have applied a brush coat of poly and then a spray coat of poly and let it dry before staining and still get blotching. I have talked with a guy that brushes on one coat of lacquer and then sprays on one coat of lacquer then stains and he has good results, but the stain is very light. I am kinda getting tired of the trial and error method when mostly all I get is error. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks The basswood I am staining is carved--so sanding and starting over isn't an option in alot of cases.
 

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Blotch Control

Here are two methods I have used with excellent results.

Make sizing using hide glue. Google hide glue sizing for detailed instructions.
Charles Neil's "Blotch Control." You can order it on line and he has a video on it. I am a big fan of this product. I have used it on pine and poplar and all of the dye/stain was even.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bonka I am going to try Charles Blotch Control It seems the nicer my carving is--the more likely it gets messed up in the finish stage--and vice versa the less satisfied I am with a carved piece the staining turns out great. At least I have variety in my designer wood pile. :laughing:
 

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What color are you looking for? Most of the carved basswood I've seen was stained pretty light. If you are using a darker color you could use a light blonde stain first and let it dry and then use the darker stain to prevent if from blotching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have been using General Finish Gel Stain nutmeg--it is a medium to dark brown. I know alot of Basswood carvings that aren't stained at all--with just a clear finish on them. (I understand their reasoning for sure) The nutmeg has a nice rich look when everything works right. I have tried to apply another stain over existing stain where the first stain blotched--trying to blend in lighter areas--ended up looking like a dirty calico cat. I am thinking that I am not getting a consistent sealer (washcoat) on to begin with. I can almost tell for sure when I am carving a piece if I am going to have trouble staining it. If it is more porous the more apt it is to blotch. I've had pieces where one end of piece is nice tight wood and the other end is real soft and porous and thats when I really have trouble with staining basswood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here are two methods I have used with excellent results.

Make sizing using hide glue. Google hide glue sizing for detailed instructions.
Charles Neil's "Blotch Control." You can order it on line and he has a video on it. I am a big fan of this product. I have used it on pine and poplar and all of the dye/stain was even.
Bonka: I got Blotch Control in mail yesterday and applied the two coats it recommended- then stained this morning. Turned out GREAT!! Thanks for the advice.
 

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bzguy
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Getting a consistent color on blotchy-prone woods like, maple, cherry, etc., can be tough.
I have found a an extremely good way to deal with this.
Lacquer based stain, I use Gemini brand.
Thin it with lacquer thinner, the thinner the better and spray/mist it on slowly until you get it to the desired saturation/color.
Try not to touch it or wipe with a rag, but if you goof, wash it off thoroughly with straight lacquer thinner and rag and start over.
 
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