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Cherry with a dark stain1/3
Could use some input here. The kitchen I am now working on requires a dark stain on cherry wood. The stain I am using is old masters wiping stain, provincial color. When using stain this dark on other woods I wide belt sand parts to 150 grit before I use the ro sander to get rid of cross grain scratches. To help eliminate swirl marks I use a 3/32 orbital (air sander) with 150 grit as well. When staining the sample boards for customer there are no sanding marks, but the wood is soaking up finish very unevenly, making it appear blotchy. Wondering what others are doing to eliminate the blotchy wood. Would finer paper in wide belt and ro help? One fellow said that if I go finer than 150 for stain it will glaze the wood and make stain look worse. Any suggestions would help. Thanks.
Use a prestain sealer on the wood before staining. Almost every paint/varnish manufactuer makes one but I just cut my sealer by a 2 parts thinner to 1 part sealer then spray on a even coat. even coat being the key phrase.
ps; Old Masters makes a good one that they call 'wood conditioner'.What makes it good is that you only need to wait 10-15 minutes after applying the conditioner before applying your stain. My guess is this product works only with oilbase stains.
It's not you, it's the cherry. It is a notoriously blotchy wood. The pre stain is what I do. Stay within your system.
Birch and cherry always lead the way in blotchy posts. Surprised you are getting away with 150 grit on cherry under stain and not seeing any scratches.
If you can switch to ML Campbell products, their Clear Woodsong II stain base is another option. Follow with their stain, 'Woodsong' (multiple colors to choose from),and you can add a dye to increase the color and depth of the stain. It's an easy system to learn. Otherwise, you may need to spray a dye first.
I use the MLC system and do the prestain with WoodSongII clear. For the most part I wait 2 hours before putting the stain on. That's a good time to wait as it leaves most woods blotch free. Problem is you need to have a darker stain to overcome the not soaking in as deep because of the prestain.
Nothing personal Jeremy, you are probably the best cabinet maker around, but you need to find yourself a "Finisher". Screwing with "DIY" stains like that you will never get the look that your customer, or your reputation deserves. That stain is mainly large ground, cheap pigments and maybe a little gilsonite thrown in. You want to use either an NGR to start you off or light base stain ( as to not get blotching) then tone with dye stains as your color mix. Condition all you want, you are just lessening the amount of color that will penetrate. To stain the wood as dark as needed you can only blotch and turn the cherry into mud. If you are working on to of the wood you will eliminate your blotching issues.
Just so you know, MinWax, a cheap stain, is a NGR stain.
NGR= Non Grain Raise.
But I do understand where you are coming from.
I hope the mention of Minwax stain does not influence the original post. It is about the worst if you are trying to minimize blotching. It contains a dye and pigment, and besides the horribly long drying time, really accents blotching in cherry.
A few options....
1)Get a quality fast drying pigment based wiping stain, valspar, sherwin, chemcraft, MLC, etc. Cut it about 3 parts naphtha to 1 part stain, keep it agitated as you work with it and spray it on.....dont wipe.
2) Get a spray only stain from a quality vendor. Lots of lacquer based and water based options.
3) Spray NGR dye, washcoat, wiping stain, sealcoat, tone/glaze if needed, topcoat
4) Wood condtioner/clear stain base/washcoat (take your pick), then apply wiping stain.
Above are the only 4 ways I know to get an even finish on blotch prone woods. 95% of the time, we do option 1 or 2. Option 3 will provide a very rich deep look, but with the most labour.
You need to get with a proper supplier of wood coatings. They can help point you in the right directions of what products to use.
To micheal h. I find it very interesting that old masters is a less diserable stain to use because when I started building cabinets eight years ago I started using GF finishes and continue to do so. The first several projects that called for stain I did use their water based stains and had heaps of trouble with grain raise and lack of good color. I called the company and talked with one of their reps and he told me straight out to use an oil based finish and wait three days before topcoating and that old masters is one of the best stains on the market. I have had good luck with it since switching to it, but upon your insight I will look further into some better ones. In a one man shop the three day wait is not hard to deal with because I get a rotation down as to staining parts and top coating parts until parts are all done. Thanks for the info