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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am trying to build my standing desktop with Lowe's Rubberwood butcher block but I am noticing some spots after stain.
So this is what I have done so far.

1) Lowe's rubberwood butcher block
2) Sanded with 220 paper
3) pre-stain
4) Stain (oil based dark walnut)

After 12+ hours of stain , its completely dry but see white spots, please see the attachment.

So my questions is

1) Is it ready or ok to apply oil based poly now, will the white spots not noticeable later?
2) Or should i sand the white spots and apply second quote of stain.
I dont want to apply second quote of stain as it might make the wood even darker than what i wanted.

I would appreciate if someone can let me know how this can be fixed.

Thanks
Mohsin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Actually this is second time that i have stained the butcher block. First time i hand sanded against the grain and applied pre-stain,stain and poly. it was in very bad shape.
So i bought orbital sander and used 80 grit to remove everything and see the white butcher block. Then did additional sanding with 180 & 220, after that applied pre-stain and stain.

I have seen these white spots on first attempt of stains also.
So i dont think there is any glue on it and dont want to go for poly before fixing this white spots.
 

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Hi,

I am trying to build my standing desktop with Lowe's Rubberwood butcher block but I am noticing some spots after stain.
So this is what I have done so far.

1) Lowe's rubberwood butcher block
2) Sanded with 220 paper
3) pre-stain
4) Stain (oil based dark walnut)

After 12+ hours of stain , its completely dry but see white spots, please see the attachment.

So my questions is

1) Is it ready or ok to apply oil based poly now, will the white spots not noticeable later?
2) Or should i sand the white spots and apply second quote of stain.
I dont want to apply second quote of stain as it might make the wood even darker than what i wanted.

I would appreciate if someone can let me know how this can be fixed.

Thanks
Mohsin
I think the spots will go away when you apply the finish. To be on the safe side have some lacquer thinner and rags handy in case it doesn't. The spots will go away immediately if it's going to but if it doesn't the thinner and rags will remove the finish before you have to use paint stripper. If that is what it takes use the thinner and rags over the entire top so it ends up being uniform. If much of the color comes off you can replace that with dye stains.
 

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I think the spots will go away when you apply the finish. To be on the safe side have some lacquer thinner and rags handy in case it doesn't. The spots will go away immediately if it's going to but if it doesn't the thinner and rags will remove the finish before you have to use paint stripper. If that is what it takes use the thinner and rags over the entire top so it ends up being uniform. If much of the color comes off you can replace that with dye stains.
Steve, you and I are thinking the same thing, which is why I added that bit to my previous post. Normally I don't see this white appear until after the first coat of lacquer goes on. That's why I hedged it a little.

That being said, unless we know he is applying a finish (lacquer) that can be dissolved with thinner, I am not sure it would be wise to apply a finish until after the spots are corrected. For example, I don't think that trick would work with a poly finish.
 

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You say that you saw the white spots the first time as weIl. I suspect that you still have some residue of the original prestain and poly that didn't get fully removed by your second sanding. I am also suspicious that there was something on the wood when you bought it that you didn't get fully removed by sanding. If that is correct, you probably need to use a chemical stripper to remove everything again. The chemical stripper will do a better job of removing the previous finish material from the deeper grain. Then resand beginning with 100 and go through 150, 180, and 220. Be sure when you sand that each grit removes the scratches created by the previous grit before moving on. And do the last 220 grit sanding by hand with the grain using a flat cork faced block.

I don't necessarily disagree with advice above that the white spots may go away when you apply some poly. I suggest you try that first on maybe just a spot or two. If that doesn't work there is no harm done. Just proceed to stripping it.
 

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Steve, you and I are thinking the same thing, which is why I added that bit to my previous post. Normally I don't see this white appear until after the first coat of lacquer goes on. That's why I hedged it a little.

That being said, unless we know he is applying a finish (lacquer) that can be dissolved with thinner, I am not sure it would be wise to apply a finish until after the spots are corrected. For example, I don't think that trick would work with a poly finish.
He mentioned he planned to use an oil based poly. Cleaning it with lacquer thinner immediately should remove almost all trace of poly from the wood.

On some species of wood I've seen white patches like that appear only to disappear when a finish is applied. I don't often use poly so I'm not entirely positive the white will disappear with that finish. I've just never had the white spots not disappear. If he wanted to test what the finish would do he could wipe the surface with paint thinner and see what it looks like. If it goes away with paint thinner it will go away with poly too. .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think that may be moisture. Take a hair dryer or low-heat gun to the affected areas and see if they go away.

Oh, this is just a wild shot in the dark, but if the hair dryer doesn't work, try a little bit of acetone or lacquer thinner on a paper towel.
I tried acetone (wife's nail polish remover, tried to avoid lowe's trip) , it dint do much change, then took an iron and with a tshirt on top did the the iron in the spots, it started making difference but did not remove everything.
After that did one more round of stain .

The white spots are 90% gone and acceptable range for me compared to starting with sanding from 60/80 grit (lot of work and lot of dust).
Check the image its after 8 hours of second stain.

Thank you everyone for the suggestions and help.
 

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Hi,

I am trying to build my standing desktop with Lowe's Rubberwood butcher block but I am noticing some spots after stain.
So this is what I have done so far.

1) Lowe's rubberwood butcher block
2) Sanded with 220 paper
3) pre-stain
4) Stain (oil based dark walnut)

After 12+ hours of stain , its completely dry but see white spots, please see the attachment.

So my questions is

1) Is it ready or ok to apply oil based poly now, will the white spots not noticeable later?
2) Or should i sand the white spots and apply second quote of stain.
I dont want to apply second quote of stain as it might make the wood even darker than what i wanted.

I would appreciate if someone can let me know how this can be fixed.

Thanks
Mohsin
Hi,

I am trying to build my standing desktop with Lowe's Rubberwood butcher block but I am noticing some spots after stain.
So this is what I have done so far.

1) Lowe's rubberwood butcher block
2) Sanded with 220 paper
3) pre-stain
4) Stain (oil based dark walnut)

After 12+ hours of stain , its completely dry but see white spots, please see the attachment.

So my questions is

1) Is it ready or ok to apply oil based poly now, will the white spots not noticeable later?
2) Or should i sand the white spots and apply second quote of stain.
I dont want to apply second quote of stain as it might make the wood even darker than what i wanted.

I would appreciate if someone can let me know how this can be fixed.

Thanks
Mohsin
Hello Mohsin,

Your last reply sounded like you were probably ready for a final finish. However, I just wanted to give you a quick synopsis of my similar white-spot experience.

The white areas in your staining is probably remains of the white sap, that is naturally secreted by the Rubberwood you are using. This may well be the reason why the white spots on your desktop may not ever disappear.

After having used Rubberwood on a similar project, and experiencing the white-spot/staining problem, I did some research on the wood species.

Rubber Wood (Hevea Brasiliensis) is a light wood that is harder than most other wood-types, which classes it as a hardwood. The wood that comes from rubber trees which produce latex, the raw material used in the manufacture of natural rubber. It is also called “parawood,” and grows in the Amazon forest in Brazil. When the tree reaches maturity, the latex extraction begins. When harvested, it produces a milky-white sap when slivers of bark are removed. After the Rubberwood no longer produces the sap for latex, the lumber is milled and is commonly sold to furniture manufacturers, as a low-cost hardwood.

Thankfully, my project only had a few random white spots. I corrected the problem by retrieving small chunks of pigment from the bottom of an un-stirred stain container with a spoon. I wiped the pigment over the white areas with a rag (with the grain), using a blending action and let it dry. When dry, I gave it a light wipe with a dry rag. I did this before any seal coat was applied. Then, I applied a Zinsser seal coat over the entire surface, let it dry for 8 hours, hand-sanded lightly and then applied 2 coats of wipe-on poly finish. You could probably use dye stain instead of the pigment use, but my blending method was more than satisfactory -- and now at 6 months, the white spots never re-appeared. Best of luck with your project!

- Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know this is different questions but follow up on the same work so asking here.

As i spent lot of time on these two butcher blocks than i original thought of , i did not polish on the back side of the butcher block , i just did the stain and left it.
is it ok to leave the butcher block just with stain ?
 

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I know this is different questions but follow up on the same work so asking here.

As i spent lot of time on these two butcher blocks than i original thought of , i did not polish on the back side of the butcher block , i just did the stain and left it.
is it ok to leave the butcher block just with stain ?
It wouldn't be a good idea to skip the back. When wood warps it's usually caused by an imbalance in moisture content from one side to the other. By finishing the top side it seals the wood on that side. The bottom side that is just stained will allow moisture from the air to get to it. This imbalance can cause the top to warp. Generally with wood what ever you do to one side you do to both sides. It doesn't have to be pretty but the wood on the underside should be sealed to block water from the air from getting into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It wouldn't be a good idea to skip the back. When wood warps it's usually caused by an imbalance in moisture content from one side to the other. By finishing the top side it seals the wood on that side. The bottom side that is just stained will allow moisture from the air to get to it. This imbalance can cause the top to warp. Generally with wood what ever you do to one side you do to both sides. It doesn't have to be pretty but the wood on the underside should be sealed to block water from the air from getting into it.
Thank you , its lot of work again as everything is assembled but looks like I have no option, so I will polish the backside also.
 

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Thank you , its lot of work again as everything is assembled but looks like I have no option, so I will polish the backside also.
In my opinion, you don't need to "polish" the back side. Just apply an equal number of coats of the same finish. The only sanding needed is a light sanding between coats for adhesion. No need for fine polishing unless you just simply want to.
 
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