Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all-

I've gotten tips on this great forum but this is my first post. I hope someone can help. Here is my project, and its challenge:

33 years ago, when I built my house, I installed T&G redwood as paneling in the dining room. I decided to just let the beautiful old-growth heartwood age naturally and so applied no finish whatsoever. After all these years it has developed a rich, reddish-brown patina, but also a lot of scratches and dings.

Now, as part of a remodel, I have taken off the boards with the intent to sand them down, apply a clear finish, and reuse them in the remodel. How hard could that be? Well... darn hard, for me anyway!

Here's what I've done so far: I took them to a local cabinet maker who ran them through his wide belt sander, several passes, taking off a full 1/8", and ending up at 160 grit. After some experimenting here's what I do to get a finish I like sometimes: I sand down to 220 with a block, blow and wipe off the dust, apply 3 coats of Zar Wipe-on Tung Finish (which includes some polyurethane), buffing with 0000 steel wool before the last coat.

Unfortunately, I almost immediately discovered that many of the boards have a tedency to blotch, sometimes very badly. I found that I could accurately predict how blotchy a board was going to be by simply wetting it with a damp cloth (water). Now that my eye is trained for it I can see the blotchiness in the unfinished boards. Touch them with anything wet and the blotches jump out. So, pause to experiment on the blotchy boards. The Zar finish claims it can be used as a stain blocker, so I tried that, attempting to "blend" the light and dark areas with stain. I also tried Minwax's "wood conditioner". These attempts only helped a little.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, as I'd hate to abandon this precious material. I have attached a picture of an extreme example (many aren't this bad) to stimulate theories about what is causing this and what, if anything, I can do. (The wood pictured has only been water-dampened to exaggerate the blotches - no finish has yet been applied. I can assure you that the blotches cannot be sanded out.)

Thank you!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,736 Posts
With any softwood or soft hardwood there can be a problem with the finish blotching. The simplest fix would be to treat the wood with a wood conditioner before you apply any finish. This will help the surface of the wood to be more uniform in density because the softer spots will absorb more of wood conditioner and seal it. The softer spots is what is absorbing more of the stain or oil and getting darker.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top