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Precat over Gel Stain

9/7/16       
Alan Member

I am having problems spraying sherwood precat lacquer over general finishes gel stain on some kitchen cabinets. I apply 2 coats of gel stain and let that dry. I first got bubbling after waiting only 24 hours for the stain to dry. Today, I had waited at least 4 days since applying the stain, and I still got some bubbling of the stain/finish. The stain just wipes right off. Are these two products incompatible with one another? How can I avoid this problem?

9/7/16       #2: Precat over Gel Stain ...
jonathan mahnken

I believe you need to wait 48 to 72 hours for each coat of gel stain before continuing. Be real honest with yourself about "how dry" the stain actually is. Try a lighter coat of lacquer at first.

9/8/16       #3: Precat over Gel Stain ...
Family Man

We use precat over Gel stain to the tune of 50+ cabinets a week and have for over a dozen years- including GF gel.

We usually start with a vinyl sealer but have self sealed on occassion. My guess is you have other issues going on and not this. Perhaps your precat as you self seal is not thinned enough or you have contamination issues. The few times we get bubbles in our finish we are usually shooting a finish that is to thick, asking it to dry to fast by getting too much air moving over it or the air hose has gotten water in it and has sprayed some water on the piece as we blew it off.

We spray over Gel stain within hours so I do not believe this is your issue. But the way you describe the gel stain just wiping off makes me think you have a wax contamination issue going on. Gel stains are basically fool proof, even as you build them on top of each other, and stick to most anything so this tells me you have got something going on with the wood you are applying this too. Good luck

9/8/16       #4: Precat over Gel Stain ...
Robert Member

Alan, when you are applying the Gel Stain to the raw wood, are you wiping it off completely ? The Gel stains have quite a bit of oil in them so its necessary to wipe them dry prior to applying your sealer coat.

9/8/16       #5: Precat over Gel Stain ...
Paul Snyder  Member

Website: finishing.tips

Sounds like you're leaving too much stain on the surface. The gel stain uses an oil-base ingredient to glue the pigment to tee wood. The solvents in the finish are strong enough to absorb into the oil-base finish and cause it to wrinkle or lose adhesion (bubble and peel).

You need a better approach to getting the deep coloration you're after. Check out the article at the link below. It has some info on combining dye and stain to get a lot of color while accentuating the wood grain.

Getting deep color

9/8/16       #6: Precat over Gel Stain ...
rich c.

I suspect it is the double coating of gel stain. Not letting the first coat fully dry before adding more material on top is probably trapping solvents in the stain.

9/8/16       #7: Precat over Gel Stain ...
Alan Member

Thanks for the responses! There are some good ideas here to consider. Thanks!
Alan

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