Wiping Stain Struggles

Some "wiping" stains flash so quickly that they may actually work better when sprayed rather than wiped. In this thread, finishers discuss various ways to obtain good results. October 27, 2005

I have a project currently in house using white birch solids and veneer plywood. We are making items to match a commercially made Mohawk pre-finished birch door. We have the brown wiping stain from Mohawk and we are experiencing trouble applying it. We are using a 10% washcoat using Magnalac. We scuff sand with 220 after itís dry and then are applying the wiping stain. It seems to flash so fast that we are having trouble getting an even coat without overlap marks. Are we to do another step somewhere along the line that we missed? The small samples we made are a dead match for the door sample but our actual product isnít good. Any help is appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor G:
I've wondered why Mohawk calls that a wiping stain. I've never been able to wipe it properly either, I've always sprayed it. I would suggest doing a Knowledge Base search and you'll find everything you need to know about spraying stain. If you absolutely have to wipe it, try adding a tiny bit of EEP (ethyl ethoxy propionate) to slow it down.

From contributor R:
I canít see why they call it a wiping stain either. One possible solution is to try a gelled stain. A gelled stain should work well on birch, cherry and maple as well. They donít tend to appear as blotchy as a liquid stain and you do get quite a bit of coverage from them.

Another option is to apply the stain via a spray gun, and slowly build up the color. It may take a few passes to finally achieve the final color, but you will be surprised at the end results. Make sure to do experiments on sample boards before jumping into it.

From contributor S:
Mohawk sells a retarder to extend the workability. A few drops of kerosene will also do the same. Remember - only a few drops.

From contributor H:
To the original questioner: Could you provide a part number for the Mohawk stain so we know the product you are using?

From contributor M:
The reason it is called a wiping stain is because it must be wiped dry to achieve uniformity of color. Regardless, if you spray, brush, or wipe it on it must be wiped dry. It would be their wood stain 545 - series.

From the original questioner:
The manufacturer of the doors is Mohawk and their stain is made by Asko-Nobel.

From contributor T:
Mohawk does not make cabinets (or carpets), so please don't confuse the cabinet source with the finish source and/or product. That said, Mohawk does offer a dedicated retarder for the 545 stains and it should cure your problem.

From contributor D:
I have a heck of a time with any wiping stain unless I apply it with a spray gun. Pigmented wiping stains are really abrasive and they will do a number on the needle/nozzle to a spray gun over a period of time. I would recommend getting a less expensive spray gun for applying them. You do not need any kind of a quality spray pattern because you will be wiping the stain after spraying, exactly as Contributor M advises to do earlier in this thread.