Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It seems that every project that I start these days generates a new problem. This time I think I am dealing with silicone (likely from cleaning with Pledge). Last year I had 5 antique with which I had this problem. In all cases I simply stripped the pieces and sanded down to smooth base wood and then wiped on 5 or 6 top coats. No staining done.

This time I am not able to do that because this antique is being refinished for a customer / friend who wants a certain medium color to match other pieces in the set.

I am looking for advice on how to be able to stain this antique that is contaminated with silicone. Thanks.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,330 Posts
Well Gary silicone causes problems with the finish but it won't affect the stain. I normally spray stain on when I'm finishing and often the stain really beads up from the silicone but when you wipe it down it's all the same. If you are having trouble with the color it's some other problem.

Since you know there is silicone on the piece when you go to apply the finish, any sealer or topcoat you should add some Smoothie to the finish. The Smoothie itself is silicone so keep what is left over in a separate container so you don't contaminate other pieces with silicone. I also mark my sanding pads with red paint because you can easily transfer silicone with the sandpaper you use. Smoothie is available at auto paint suppliers. Also don't spray the finish with Smoothie where the overspray will fall on other pieces. When you are done it is easily rinsed out of the sprayer with normal cleaning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Serious Problem with Staining

Well Gary silicone causes problems with the finish but it won't affect the stain. I normally spray stain on when I'm finishing and often the stain really beads up from the silicone but when you wipe it down it's all the same. If you are having trouble with the color it's some other problem.

Since you know there is silicone on the piece when you go to apply the finish, any sealer or topcoat you should add some Smoothie to the finish. The Smoothie itself is silicone so keep what is left over in a separate container so you don't contaminate other pieces with silicone. I also mark my sanding pads with red paint because you can easily transfer silicone with the sandpaper you use. Smoothie is available at auto paint suppliers. Also don't spray the finish with Smoothie where the overspray will fall on other pieces. When you are done it is easily rinsed out of the sprayer with normal cleaning.

Steve perhaps I jumped the gun by declaring this to be a silicone issue. The reason I did that was based on history when I ran into this problem last year. Below are pictures that demonstrate what happens when I try to apply stain to my project. To me it simply looks awful. I have done a test applying MinWax wood conditioner first but that did not solve the problem in my opinion.

Maybe the answer is applying Zinsser Sealcoat first? Diluted? Hopefully this will not prevent me from achieving a medium dark final color. I am stuck and sure would appreciate help on getting this staining to look right. Thanks.

P.S. I should add that the stain beads up when I apply it.

Gary
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,330 Posts
I'm not sure what I'm seeing in the pictures. They are a bit small. The white streak in the first picture could be a few different things. Sometimes factory made furniture they send the parts through a drum sander and if the wood stalls a little on the feed it will burnish the wood and make a spot like that, that is difficult to stain. It could have also been something spilled on it also.

Back to the silicone you can usually get the since when a piece of furniture has a high concentration of silicone on it. It's usually on walnut or mahogany furniture that is especially glossy. You can usually tell from meeting the customers if they seem to be a neat nut especially if you pick up the furniture from their house and it is overly neat and clean it's usually had pledge put on it every other day. The best thing you can do to minimize the impact of silicone is to wash the furniture down with a wax and grease remover prior to stripping it. The stripper will just liquefy the pledge and when the finish comes off you end up rubbing the pledge into the wood. The wax and grease remover will liquefy the pledge and when you wipe it off with a rag the rag picks it up. You should frequently change rags to prevent just spreading the wax around. You will never get it all off but from time to time you have a piece that is so concentrated with silicone you will have trouble getting the finish to flow out even using the Smoothie. I got to where I was doing this because I was using a flow over system to strip the furniture and if I stripped a piece of furniture that reeked with silicone it contaminated the stripper and would get it on any other furniture I stripped with that container of remover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Serious Problem with Staining

I'm not sure what I'm seeing in the pictures. They are a bit small. The white streak in the first picture could be a few different things. Sometimes factory made furniture they send the parts through a drum sander and if the wood stalls a little on the feed it will burnish the wood and make a spot like that, that is difficult to stain. It could have also been something spilled on it also.

Back to the silicone you can usually get the since when a piece of furniture has a high concentration of silicone on it. It's usually on walnut or mahogany furniture that is especially glossy. You can usually tell from meeting the customers if they seem to be a neat nut especially if you pick up the furniture from their house and it is overly neat and clean it's usually had pledge put on it every other day. The best thing you can do to minimize the impact of silicone is to wash the furniture down with a wax and grease remover prior to stripping it. The stripper will just liquefy the pledge and when the finish comes off you end up rubbing the pledge into the wood. The wax and grease remover will liquefy the pledge and when you wipe it off with a rag the rag picks it up. You should frequently change rags to prevent just spreading the wax around. You will never get it all off but from time to time you have a piece that is so concentrated with silicone you will have trouble getting the finish to flow out even using the Smoothie. I got to where I was doing this because I was using a flow over system to strip the furniture and if I stripped a piece of furniture that reeked with silicone it contaminated the stripper and would get it on any other furniture I stripped with that container of remover.
Steve I agree that the pictures were difficult to assess. Below are some pictures from a previous project but they show the problem that I am dealing with. The stain result just looks horrible. I have acetone and lacquer thnner and denatured alcohol and mineral spirits. Will any of these help?

Gary
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,330 Posts
It's too late to use a wax and grease remover on raw wood. With lacquer thinner it would melt into the finish instead of lifting the wax off. Denatured alcohol is a solvent for shellac or ink and wouldn't work for very well as a wax and grease remover. The closest would be mineral spirits but most people I've seen jury-rig a wax and grease remover use naphtha. Not being a chemist myself I prefer to use a prepackaged wax and grease remover like Prep-Sol Solvent.

The picture is common blotch. You can get that with brand new wood. The only way to prevent that is with a wood conditioner. The really dark places on the stained board is softer places than the surrounding wood and just drank up a lot more stain. The wood conditioner will tend to even the density of the surface out so what stain you do get on is more uniform. The problem with conditioners is, is it's a sealer and once you have used it, it makes the wood harder to stain dark. As dark as the stain appears to be it would be easier to color the wood with a dye stain first and then put your oil stain on it to even it out and give it some warmth. With most stains other than Minwax you can also add tinting color to it to make it darker and more effective on conditioned wood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Serious Problem with Staining

It's too late to use a wax and grease remover on raw wood. With lacquer thinner it would melt into the finish instead of lifting the wax off. Denatured alcohol is a solvent for shellac or ink and wouldn't work for very well as a wax and grease remover. The closest would be mineral spirits but most people I've seen jury-rig a wax and grease remover use naphtha. Not being a chemist myself I prefer to use a prepackaged wax and grease remover like Prep-Sol Solvent.

The picture is common blotch. You can get that with brand new wood. The only way to prevent that is with a wood conditioner. The really dark places on the stained board is softer places than the surrounding wood and just drank up a lot more stain. The wood conditioner will tend to even the density of the surface out so what stain you do get on is more uniform. The problem with conditioners is, is it's a sealer and once you have used it, it makes the wood harder to stain dark. As dark as the stain appears to be it would be easier to color the wood with a dye stain first and then put your oil stain on it to even it out and give it some warmth. With most stains other than Minwax you can also add tinting color to it to make it darker and more effective on conditioned wood.
Steve, can I use some TransTint dye on top of Minwax Wood Conditioner. If that is a naive question I apologize.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,330 Posts
Steve, can I use some TransTint dye on top of Minwax Wood Conditioner. If that is a naive question I apologize.

Gary
Mixing transtint with water for that purpose is a gray area for me but I think it would work. I know if it was mixed with alcohol it would be alright. I don't use Minwax conditioner or waterborne dyes.
 

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,027 Posts
Using any wax and grease remover could have the tendency to dissolve what's there into the wood. IMO lacquer thinner used liberally, with clean rags will do as good a job as anything else. That's what I have used. Works great...really.:yes: I think I've tried all the products available, and if I found one better I would have suggested it.






.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Serious Problem with Staining

It's too late to use a wax and grease remover on raw wood. With lacquer thinner it would melt into the finish instead of lifting the wax off. Denatured alcohol is a solvent for shellac or ink and wouldn't work for very well as a wax and grease remover. The closest would be mineral spirits but most people I've seen jury-rig a wax and grease remover use naphtha. Not being a chemist myself I prefer to use a prepackaged wax and grease remover like Prep-Sol Solvent.

The picture is common blotch. You can get that with brand new wood. The only way to prevent that is with a wood conditioner. The really dark places on the stained board is softer places than the surrounding wood and just drank up a lot more stain. The wood conditioner will tend to even the density of the surface out so what stain you do get on is more uniform. The problem with conditioners is, is it's a sealer and once you have used it, it makes the wood harder to stain dark. As dark as the stain appears to be it would be easier to color the wood with a dye stain first and then put your oil stain on it to even it out and give it some warmth. With most stains other than Minwax you can also add tinting color to it to make it darker and more effective on conditioned wood.
Steve, I would like to ask about your comment about using dye first and then an oil based stain to even it out and give it some warmth.

I have applied some dye to the piece and it did not blotch. How long do I need to wait to apply oil based stain? Can I use stain that is a bit darker than the dye to darken the overall piece?

I should add that I applied the dye by diluting it in denatured alcohol (not water).

Thanks.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,330 Posts
Steve, I would like to ask about your comment about using dye first and then an oil based stain to even it out and give it some warmth.

I have applied some dye to the piece and it did not blotch. How long do I need to wait to apply oil based stain? Can I use stain that is a bit darker than the dye to darken the overall piece?

I should add that I applied the dye by diluting it in denatured alcohol (not water).

Thanks.

Gary
Applying the dye thinned with alcohol you could apply the oil stain immediately. The alcohol evaporates out of it quick. You can apply any color oil stain you wish. Had you used water to thin the dye it would have to dry for an hour or so to let the water dry. You can usually tell as the color will lighten.

You can also use the dye mixed with alcohol between coats of finish if you don't go overboard with it. Just do light shading. Sometimes you think you have the color right on a piece and start clear coating and discover it's a little off. It may be too red or not red enough and I will spray a thin amount of green dye to neutralize the red or spray some cherry dye over it to add red if it needs it. It's better to do it in the early stages. Also if you start putting color between the layers of finish you need to be especially careful sanding between coats not to sand through it. Usually then the finish has to be taken off if you sand through the altered layer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Serious Problem with Staining

Applying the dye thinned with alcohol you could apply the oil stain immediately. The alcohol evaporates out of it quick. You can apply any color oil stain you wish. Had you used water to thin the dye it would have to dry for an hour or so to let the water dry. You can usually tell as the color will lighten.

You can also use the dye mixed with alcohol between coats of finish if you don't go overboard with it. Just do light shading. Sometimes you think you have the color right on a piece and start clear coating and discover it's a little off. It may be too red or not red enough and I will spray a thin amount of green dye to neutralize the red or spray some cherry dye over it to add red if it needs it. It's better to do it in the early stages. Also if you start putting color between the layers of finish you need to be especially careful sanding between coats not to sand through it. Usually then the finish has to be taken off if you sand through the altered layer.
Steve lots of good and helpful information. Many thanks. I will apply the stain over the dye in the morning.

These last few questions have related to a night stand that I am refinishing. Today I started on the dresser that matches the night stand. Since it did not appear to have the same issues as the night stand I assumed (famous last word) that I could simply proceed to stain it and not go through the dye process first.

In my view the result is a disaster based on the picture below. The drawer that I stained is on the bottom and I am trying to match the color of the drawer on the top.

So I have to strip and sand and try to start over. I do not know what kind of wood is that is taking the stain to poorly. The zebrawood looks fine but the other surely does not.

Can you give me any input on what this wood is and what might be going wrong? I have done 10 dressers in the last year from this same era and never run into this kind of a problem. This is very exasperating.

Gary
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,330 Posts
The wood looks like figured Honduras mahogany to me with a clear finish without stain around the handle. It looks like straight grain Honduras mahogany on each end and down the center which has been cut so it kinda has a diamond pattern. It appears the clear finish may have yellowed a little on the drawer on top. If that is the case you can add the yellow color with some amber shellac. I know you don't like poly but for anyone else watching you have to use a dewaxed amber shellac with polyurethane or coat over it with Sealcoat as a barrier coat. Standard shellac is compatible with lacquer. If you go putting amber shellac on it be sure to thin it a lot. It's better to sneak up on the color with multiple coats rather than perhaps get too much on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Serious Problem with Staining

The wood looks like figured Honduras mahogany to me with a clear finish without stain around the handle. It looks like straight grain Honduras mahogany on each end and down the center which has been cut so it kinda has a diamond pattern. It appears the clear finish may have yellowed a little on the drawer on top. If that is the case you can add the yellow color with some amber shellac. I know you don't like poly but for anyone else watching you have to use a dewaxed amber shellac with polyurethane or coat over it with Sealcoat as a barrier coat. Standard shellac is compatible with lacquer. If you go putting amber shellac on it be sure to thin it a lot. It's better to sneak up on the color with multiple coats rather than perhaps get too much on.
Thanks again Steve. I made some good progress this morning and have asked the customer for feedback. Will provide an update when I hear back.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Serious Problem with Staining

The wood looks like figured Honduras mahogany to me with a clear finish without stain around the handle. It looks like straight grain Honduras mahogany on each end and down the center which has been cut so it kinda has a diamond pattern. It appears the clear finish may have yellowed a little on the drawer on top. If that is the case you can add the yellow color with some amber shellac. I know you don't like poly but for anyone else watching you have to use a dewaxed amber shellac with polyurethane or coat over it with Sealcoat as a barrier coat. Standard shellac is compatible with lacquer. If you go putting amber shellac on it be sure to thin it a lot. It's better to sneak up on the color with multiple coats rather than perhaps get too much on.
Steve, the problems with this project never seem to end. To rectify the problem with the staining I need to strip the drawer again and start over. Stripper hardly budged the stain. It's the drawer on the bottom and the dark sections in the Honduras mahogany will not lighten up with stripper. Do you have any suggestions how I can undo the wrong that I have done? Will oxalic acid help or hurt?

Gary
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,330 Posts
If it's mahogany like I think it is, that is the color of the wood. Just plain bleach will help a little but nothing is going to change what it is. If you go overboard with bleach it's likely to get a strange gray look to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Serious Problem with Staining

If it's mahogany like I think it is, that is the color of the wood. Just plain bleach will help a little but nothing is going to change what it is. If you go overboard with bleach it's likely to get a strange gray look to it.
Steve I will try your bleach suggestion. The picture below shows how ugly the drawer on the left is after staining and stripping and light sanding (afraid to go through the veneer). I don't know what I will do if I can't get this back to almost original condition so that I can dye and stain it properly.

This looks way worse in person.

Gary
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,330 Posts
From that angle it just looks like it went blotchy. Next time I would recommend a wood conditioner. What color are you trying to make anyway? If it's like the top drawer on post 17 you might just go clear with it. You can wipe the wood down with mineral spirits to get an idea of what the color would look like clear.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top