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Wood staining trouble

From Jason, 2.Mar.2010

“I just tried staining a sheet of Northeastern scribed wood, and irregular
darker shades developed crosswise to the wood and scribing (and my brush
strokes). The recepie has worked without trouble before, alcohol based wood
stain thinned with alcohol approximately 50/50.” – Jorgen

“You hit the growth rings or cells that absorbed the stain differently from the rest of the grain. That occasionally happens. It’s just luck of the draw with that kind of wood.” – Phil B

Jorgen et al,

This [irregular darker shades] is common in a lot of woods.  I do a lot of woodworking/furniture building and it happens a lot!  The best method we have to combat this is to use a “sanding seal”, something that is a thinned finish/sealer that can soak into the wood and seal any open pores and keep open grain from sucking in more stain than the close grains.  This is highly prevelent in woods like cherry.

The method I use is to take some Zinser sanding seal, (this is a 2# cut of dewaxed shellac) and thin it with mineral spirits 1:1 that makes it a thin #1 cut.  Then I brush/wipe that on my wood.  In modeling I worry about warping so I sandwich that between 2 peices of plastic window screen then 2 plattens or boards and let that sit on the bench for 2-3 days.  Don’t put a lot of wait on the boards as you will imprint the screen texture into the wood.

Once dry, stain away you should get a much more even coat/coloring.  I acculately do this to all my wood in my models as it reduces a lot of problems from wraping to fuzing.  And if you live in a place that changes a lot in humidity it helps reduce swelling and contracting.

Hope that helps

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