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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I'm new to this site and actually come here because I've got an issue that I have no clue what it is.

I have a large aquarium stand project that I had to put on hold. The stand is for a 112 gallon aquarium and is roughly about 4ft in length by 4ft high, by 2ft deep, so I've already got some money tied up in this, hopefully it's not wasted now. I skinned out the stand with cabinet grade half inch plywood. I used Minwax stain conditioner prior to staining, then applied Minwax stain. After that is when I had to put the project on hold. The stand is sitting on my back enclosed porch out of the elements, and has been there for a month or so. I've noticed that on every single edge of plywood, there is a cakey white powder the whole length of the edges.

I've used Minwax before in another stand project and never had this issue. However, the previous stand was sealed with polyurethane after staining, whereas this one hasn't yet. Also I did not use the wood conditioner on the previous stand.

Any help with this and advice would be greatly appreciated as I've already invested time and money into this.
 

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If you followed the directions on the conditioner and stain there is no telling what the white powder could be. It should not have happened. I would dust it off and wipe the stand down with mineral spirits and see what it looks like. If there is no white there with mineral spirits on it then there will be none with a polyurethane on it.

What kind of wood is it? There are many kinds of wood the wood conditioner wasn't necessary.
 

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Followed the directions to a T on both the conditioner and the stain. The wood is pine. I did have some issues with my inexperience in staining on my first project that caused some blotching, so I figured I'd go with Minwax's suggestion involving the conditioner.

Now that I think about it, the edges of the plywood were not rubbed with the conditioner... there was no point in it as they were all going to be hidden by moulding and trim, and I only used it on the outer surfaces.

Would applying the mineral spirits to the wood affect the stain that's already on there at all?
 

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Followed the directions to a T on both the conditioner and the stain. The wood is pine. I did have some issues with my inexperience in staining on my first project that caused some blotching, so I figured I'd go with Minwax's suggestion involving the conditioner.

Now that I think about it, the edges of the plywood were not rubbed with the conditioner... there was no point in it as they were all going to be hidden by moulding and trim, and I only used it on the outer surfaces.

Would applying the mineral spirits to the wood affect the stain that's already on there at all?
You did right by using the conditioner on pine. Pine is a wood prone to blotching. It's possible that wiping the stained wood with the mineral spirits may take a slight amount of the color off but I doubt if you could see the difference. After the stain has dried the color is pretty well set. It might take a little residue off the surface if any was left. For the most part the mineral spirits will show you what the color will look like without the commitment of having a finish on it. If there is a problem it's better to fix it before you put the finish on.
 

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Not sure if this is the case but I have had an issue simuliar in the past. It was actually old elements from aquarium water that soaked into the wood. I think it was mostly salt but I could be wrong but it definately came from the water.
 

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I would have to agree with you Gotspiccoli on the salt creep explanation, except the wood is new and hasn't been used on a stand previously.

It does however make me think something may have gotten into the wood possibly at the store. Hopefully it will clean off, and only shows up on the edges and not the facing sections of the wood.
 

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Clean it off and see if it comes back or not. Since this is the ends of the plywood that are going to be covered it would only be bad if for some reason it had an effect on the glue.

George
 
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