73 – Coloring/Staining Blotchy Woods

73 – Coloring/Staining Blotchy Woods

(lively music) Marc: Okay, so I guess it’s probably where we should start
then is picking out a wood that is not going to blotch. The best thing that I could recommend because just about any board
has potential to blotch, depending on the way the grain grows. If there’s figure, technically figure is the same thing as blotching expect for it’s blotching
in a very attractive pattern over and over and that’s what we see is like curly maple for instance. When the grain is actually
undulating through the board so whenever the grain is facing up you’ve got a area that’s going
to soak finish in differently and give it a different color
than the rest of the piece. Now there are certain
species that tend to blotch a lot more than others and the best way to avoid the blotchiness is to avoid the woods that blotch. Unfortunately though,
they’re very common woods so things like birch, maple, cherry. I’ve got some alder here, a lot of these domestics
that we use here in the US are the ones that tend to blotch the most and that could be problematic so it’s really best to prepare for, and anytime you’ve got
one of those species in your shop, just assume
that it’s going to blotch. Then that way you’re absolutely covered and usually the finish just
comes out more consistent and clean anyway. The first thing I want to do is show you the most common thing that most of us are
going to do on our shops and that’s grab some good old Minwax. This is walnut, I wanted to
go with a really dark one so that you could see what happens here. Just the standard oil-based stain which by the way I very
rarely use in my work for this exact reason. Okay, so I’m just going
to apply it to the alder and again this is alder
that’s had absolutely nothing done to it yet. Just freshly sanded to a 180 grit. Okay, I’m trying to be neat, just trying to get it done and you guys happen to see my typo on the announcement for
this Live Daily Whacker? Which I didn’t realize,
I saw people saying like repeating what I said but I thought they were just joking until someone said, “Were you serious” “when you typed that?” Yeah, so for those who haven’t
seen it, I accidentally … I subconsciously, I don’t
know what was going on in my mind but I talked about fighting. I was trying to say fighting blotchiness and instead I typed bitchiness and just about spent the
whole day saying bitchiness which was pretty hilarious
but I did change it. Okay so I’m just wiping
of the excess here. Not terrible but hopefully
you could see some of the, it’s typically around the areas where the grain changes
up pretty significantly or maybe around an area that’s like a knot or something like that. Let’s see if, make sure
I can get that on camera, get a nice view. Can everybody see that? See, blotchy, that’s blotchy all right. Again alder, cherry, birch, maple are all going to have
a tendency to do this. Okay so, on the other side
let’s divide this piece up into three sections and I’ll show you what I like
to do to fight bitchiness, I mean blotchiness. All right, moving right along. Now there are all kinds
of things on the market that you can use for this, pre-stain conditioners are certainly something that you can use, those things are fine but
they serve one purpose and one purpose only,
is to be a pre-stain. I prefer you use something that’s much more applicable
to other things in the shop so for me Shellac is perfect because it’s not only a
good top coat by itself but it’s perfect for sealing any project, any type of wood. If you for the rest of your
life every project you ever did you pre-sealed with like a half pound or a one pound cut of Shellac, your work would be more
consistent over time and nothing would ever really, I mean it’s like a universal binder so you can put Shellac on
everything as a base coat, as a sealer coat and it
will improve the result. Kind of a blanket statement there, maybe exceptions but you get the point. It’s better to have a
big gallon of Shellac than have to get a can of
a pre-stain conditioner every time you want to do
something on a blotchy wood. I usually get the Bullseye
SealCoat in a gallon and I actually did a little math on this during a really big project,
a commercial project that a buddy of mine
and I were going to do when I priced out dry flakes versus the price I could get the lowest price I can
get this stuff per gallon, it was actually cheaper to buy this stuff pre-mixed by the gallon than
it was to buy the flakes and go through all the
trouble of mixing our own. That’s what I recommend
doing, Bullseye SealCoat. This is what it looks like
if you are not familiar, it’s good stuff. Now it comes in a two
pound cut and I am not … I’m looking at my eye
protection around here so do as I say, not as I do kind of thing. I’m not real picky about my
Shellac cuts, oops paper. I know that this is about a two pound cut and I am going to dilute it roughly 50% and although I know that’s
not exactly one pound cut, it’s close enough for
the Spagnuolo family. Okay so all I’m going to do now is cut it using the same little measuring device that I stole from the kitchen. Just dilute it down a little bit, you see two pound … and I have an example I’ll show you later, two pound is a little bit too much. I mean the thicker this mixture is and the more concentrated the Shellac is the more it’s going to
seal off the surface so maybe I’ll talk about
the theory behind this. The idea is the surface is going to absorb in different areas, it’s going to absorb
the finish differently or the stain differently and that’s what we’re talking about before with the grain moving. The idea is the end grain is
always going to stay in darker than face grain so if you have wacky stuff,
softer parts of the wood, all those things lead to the blotchiness and the blotchiness is
nothing more than a area that’s absorb the stain more. If we could pre-seal the
surface with something, at least partially blocks
some of that absorption, you’re going to wind up
with a much more smooth and consistent surface
but you can go too far. You can put too much Shellac on there and completely block off its
ability to absorb any stain which is not good either especially if you plan on
reusing your oil-based stain. We just make sure this
is nice and mixed here. Yeah, this is just denatured
alcohol from Home Depot or Lowes by the gallon. All right so what we’re going to do here with these three different panels, I am going to … and maybe I only needed
two because that’s the oil. Basically the whole thing
is going to be sealed with this approximate
one pound cut of Shellac. Actually you know what
let’s do one full strength, one with the one pound and then the other with the one pound, I’ll explain that in a second. That’s going to make it sound so much more confusing
than it needs to be. The two right ones are going
to be with the one pound. Okay make sure it soaks in, this stuff dries so fast but I’ll go over it a second time before it’s completely dry. If the wood’s really, really thirsty I do add a little bit more as I go, just kind of by eye. Okay so these two panels now have the one pound cut each, I’m going to write it here just in case. I’m going to open up the can again. Okay and I want to get some of the full strength material now and do a two pound on this top area here. Now on my other test board
which I’ll show you later, I was able to actually see the difference between the one and the two pound cut. You may not just depending
on this particular board, it may not look any different but I might, we’ll see. Normally you want to let this
dry for a good hour or a two, great thing is Shellac dries super fast. In this case we don’t really
have the luxury of time here so I’m probably going to let it dry for just a couple minutes, I’ll talk to you guys before we worry about
applying any stain to this and give it some time to cure a little bit and then we’ll jump
back into the staining. Okay, I think we can probably jump into the next part here. Now, remember I have two
pound cut, one pound cut, one pound cut and I’m going to show you two different stains. On the first two panels
the two and the one, I’m going to show you the
Minwax oil-based stain that we used before. What we should see is the two pound cut will be sealed better than the one pound. Hopefully this is going to be okay, not letting it completely cure this the best thing for a demo
but what are you going to do? Now the other thing to notice is the color should be also lighter see because we are sealing
the surface, partially but we’re still sealing it so it’s not going to pull
in quite as much color as it might otherwise pull in. Now, you can see a pretty good improvement over what we had before. Okay relatively consistent
all the way across and there’s a few little
dark spots here and there, little tiny spot there. This one being the one pound cut should show a little bit
more blotching than this one, either way, whatever
variability there is there maybe the application method I use they’re both sealed pretty good and the result is pretty good, certainly better than what we had here. Also notice the dramatic color or the dramatic reduction in
the intensity of the color. Okay, this is the dark, real deep walnut, I mean this is labeled dark walnut. This is what its supposed to look like. This is not what its supposed to look like so therein lies the problem
because we wanted this color. Okay, well now we don’t
have blotching, yey! But we also don’t have
the color we were after so this is why I suggest not
using standard oil-based stuff, I suggest using a gel stain. Now this is general finishes java, I don’t a dark walnut on hand, this is all I have. This stuff and not all gel
stains are created equal, there are some crappy gel stains out there that I’ve used before and
just had no luck with at all. I have never had a problem
with general finishes stains and their stains, their dyes and of course their gel stains. Now the concept with a gel stain is that it doesn’t absorb quite as deep, you could see the stuff is
thick, it’s like pudding. In fact this looks like pudding. It’s going to sit on a surface more, it doesn’t rely on real deep absorption to give you the color so you can actually put it on a surface, you could work it a little bit. If you have an area that’s got a little bit of a light streak, you could leave a little bit
more material on that spot and just work the surface until it looks exactly the way you want it to. You have that luxury with this stuff. I will show you … Okay, now normally with a gel stain, I actually thin it out just
a little bit, not a lot, just enough so it’s a
little bit easier to work because I like to flood
the surface with the color and let it set for a few seconds. You could see I got a really, really good color transfer there. This stuff is actually the
consistency of loose paint or actually slightly more
viscous paint I should say but more than anything pudding. Okay so I get a clean part of my rag and now we’re going to
swipe off the excess. Now we should really … Because it is a one pound cut, we shouldn’t see a whole lot of difference in the blotchiness. Now see gel stain, if
we had used gel stain from the beginning on this side, we might have actually had less blotching, gel stain in and of itself
it doesn’t absorb as deeply so you’ll get that opportunity
to color the surface in a way that hides some of that blotch. The best combination
is a pre-sealed surface and a gel stain. Now, that is about as even
and consistent and clean as you can ask a board to be. Sorry, I got to make sure you guys can see everything, okay. Is that pretty clear? Compared to what we saw on this side. Now the point here is obviously if we can go this dark we can certainly, if we had the right material, I could certainly hit a dark walnut color but imagine if I was able to get that level of
consistency on a board that normally is going
to look like this, okay. This is crap, this is a terrible result and if you spent weeks
working on a project and you get to the point
that you stained it and this is what you end up with, this is actually tricky to recover from because now that stuff is
embedded in the surface and you’ve got some problems, okay. If you know ahead of time that the wood happens to be a blotch prone wood, you can prevent this from happening and get a result that looks more like this instead of one that looks like this. Now I’m curious just because obviously you want to let
that dry a little bit more but I’m curious if you put the gel stain over top of the oil stain, could you recover without having to strip or sand down the entire project which would be a blast, I’m sure. Remember this side has no Shellac at all as a pre-sealer. We’re just using the gel stain and that was the worst part right here so I’m just curious if we’re
able to mute some of that discrepancy in color. I need more rag. A little bit huh, that’s better. You can still see it a little bit there but certainly nothing like
what we would have gotten if we had a pre-sealer coat
of the Shellac on there. Okay here’s another
board, this is the one … I’ve got a thing in Atlanta that I’m going to do the
same demonstration at so I wanted to bring some
practice boards with me. This one came out a little
bit better this afternoon in displaying the difference. I did the same exact
thing that we did here but you can see … I don’t know how well this
is going to come across in the webcam but this is the two pound cut, this is the one and this is
again the one with the gel stain but if you look really close you could see a lot of
extra just black marks and things where the pores were
still a little bit more open in the one pound cut. You could see how they were sealed off a little bit better on a two pound cut so the discrepancy here is
a little bit more visible but again the results are still the same on the final piece just looks tremendous. That is what I do. I mean there are other things you can do. Like we talked about the
pre-stain wood conditioner and things like that, those will work too but I think you’re better
off in terms of saving money and having materials
that you’re going to use for multiple things, not just
this particular procedure. Shellac is really the way to go. I mean Shellac is just a, it’s a woodworker’s best friend and more people should
be using it for sure. Is this covered in the finishing DVD? No, the finishing DVD is
purely on applying varnish, a very simple method for applying varnish for just about any project. You could use this method before with the stuff that
you would learn on the DVD. Once we apply the stain
after this second step here, when you go to the point
of applying your top coat, that’s when you would want to employ the method shown in that video. Storage and longevity of products, well the seal coat shelf
life I believe is a year and that’s more than you’re probably going to get out of stuff
if you premix yourself. Now I don’t know what they do to it that makes it last a year
but I have had cans … This can I got discounted from Lowes because it had been on the shelf too long and I haven’t touched it
for six to eight months and it’s still great,
still working just fine so shelf life on that
is really, really good. The shelf life for seal coat, regardless of what the can says, the shelf life for seal coat is when it starts getting chunky and
you got a big skin on it. You could probably keep that
stuff in the can sealed up, untouched for years and it might be okay if you open it up and you put
a little bit on a test board and it cures really nice and hard within eight hours or
so, go ahead and use it. The problem is when you open these things especially the finishes that dry and cure via oxidation, they get exposed to air and then that’s when the
curing process starts so if it’s sealed, they’ll
last a really long time. As soon as you open them you’re probably not going to get much more than a year out of it unless you only take a little bit out and put the cap back on or the lid. You can put your extra
finish in Mason jars. The bottom line with any finish is to limit the amount of
time that it’s exposed to air so when you are pouring
some of your polyurethane out of a can, you want to pour it out
into a secondary container, only work from your secondary container. Seal that thing back up and limit the amount of time
that it’s exposed to air because that will lengthen
the amount of time that you have to use it, the
shelf life of the product. A lot of people I’ve
heard of using marbles so that if you don’t
have another container that’s smaller and you
take some material out, you need to get rid of some of that air. Couple things you can do. Those spray cans of that
heavy air basically its … I forget exactly what the gas is but an inert gas that
you could spray on top pushes the oxygen out and then puts a bed of this
gas on top of the finish, put the lid on and you’re good to go. You can also use like
heavy stuff like marbles so you could put marbles
into your bottles and cans to raise the level of the liquid and thereby eliminate any air in the can just because there’s no place for it to go and you just put the cap on that way. I have sprayed polyurethane and I got to tell you
brad, I am not a fan. Anytime I sprayed it I either get bubbles, it just is messy and the problem is when you spray anything that doesn’t cure or
dry or evaporate quickly it is very difficult thing to work with, you can get a lot of runs and sags. Really the only way that I would … I have done it in the past
and the only way that I do it is on my final coat. Let’s say I’m doing a
really big banquet table or a conference table of some sort and the final coat is critical, you need that to go on
as smooth as possible. A lot of times what I’ve done in the past is I make like a 75% naphtha mixture with just a little bit of poly in it. I’ll spray that on the surface and that will flush off rather quickly and give me a nice even smooth surface without laying down a big
wide sheet of polyurethane which can lead to the bubbles
and things falling in it, bugs and all kinds of stuff. That’s about the extent of my poly spray, I don’t really like it. If I’m going to spray
it’s going to be something that’s going to dry fast
so lacquers, Shellac, water-based materials
are all fun to spray. I just don’t find oil-based very fun. Brands to avoid, you know
what I have in here now this is not meant to be and should not be taken
as a blanket statement against their products but I have some, where is it? Well quite frankly I did
not enjoy my experience with Olympic gel stain,
that’s what I have here, Traditional Mahogany. This stuff is like barn red paint except for it’s not as thick as paint. Here let me put this by the microphone. Okay, it’s like liquid, this
is like a regular stain. Gel stain should not be that loose. Gel stain should be a gel, so this is poop in the can right here. I do not use Shellac on every project. I use it on the ones that I think I might have
a finishing problem on, not every project. You know sometimes if
I’m just in the mood, I’ve got good access to all the parts and it’s not a real finicky thing, I’m not inside a cabinet, I don’t mind having the smell of alcohol in the shop for a while, I will do it, flat panels and stuff. It’s really a great initial coat. The bottom line is sealing, when people talk about sealing, the first coat of any finish is a sealer. You don’t have to buy anything
special to seal the wood. You can just take your
normal wiping varnish or polyurethane diluted a little bit and put a very light coat on. Let that cure and then
sand the whole surface nice and smooth and then start laying on
your full strength top coats. That works just as well as a
sealer as anything else would so you don’t really need to go crazy with different materials but I just like Shellac
because it dries really fast, it dries very hard and within a couple hours I’ve got that initial coat on there and then when I start using
my more expensive materials for top coats I don’t have to use as much because the wood isn’t going to suck it in quite as much as it otherwise would have. The Shellac is a way of quickly sealing and getting that first coat over with. Now I can worry about building the finish because it’s not really
going to absorb too deep, so it gets you going a little bit faster. If you’re not coloring the
wood then sky is the limit. I mean if you’re not going
to put any color on there, you’re not going to notice
blotching quite as much. There are some woods though that heavily blotch prone when you put the oil on the
surface, the oil-based finish, you’re going to really notice them but it may not look so bad. Because I mean to me, it’s weird, one man’s blotch is another man’s figure, really if you think about it. Sometimes if you have a blotchy wood that’s maybe it’s got a little bit more consistent blotching across the surface and you just put an oil finish on it, well that starts to look
like texture and depth and it makes it look like
it’s got a 3D element to it so it might not be such a bad thing but some people don’t like the look of it. It really just depends on
your taste whether or not you have to go this route
to prevent blotching. Again you really can never go wrong with doing this procedure
as a precautionary thing.


  • Chris W says:

    The max rez on your video, 360p, doesn't really show differences in wood grain or stain blotchyness.  A 720p camera would be a great upgrade for your videos, and pretty cheap.  1080p would be even better, of course.  By the way.. I found out that my spell check converts 'blotchiness' to 'bitchiness'.. I'm guessing that's what happened to you.

  • blackhawk32b says:

    Best rule of thumb is to always seal your work with the same product as the top coat. Lacquer sealer for lacquer top coat, Water base sealer for water base top coat, Oil based sealer or primer for oil based topcoat or paint. etc..  

    The company I use to work for used a lot of cherry which can be very blotchy. We would use half/half solution of water and denatured alcohol and spray it on the cherry. The water raised the grain and the alcohol just helped it dry faster. After its good and dry the stain came out much more even.  Of course you need to have a good even sanding job.

  • idealmethod says:

    Question- I ebonized my swamp ash guitar to achieve a pebble look/color, I love it, however when I try to finish it with tru oil I loose my color and it just looks like wet wood. I need a finish that does not discolour the wood…..any thoughts? If I place a wet finger on the wood I loose the light gray color ….please help.

  • RDK Sound Design says:

    I'm reversed on that statement anyway. Obviously a stain penetrates the wood thus blotchiness in some woods. But stain is the one that's suppose to lay on top. Anyway back to the original question. For me to have gotten what I wanted, I did a coat using my dye. If it wasn't dark enough or vibrant enough rather, I just did another. Any stain based custom color of stain has been terrible and any high end dye color has yielded great results. I don't do much of this. In the last 7 years….maybe two projects with a bright color. Generally, a gel stain or a natural color dye has been the main system I use.

  • The Computer Geeks says:

    I learned a lot and thoroughly enjoy your video on  fight bitchiness. Thanks.

  • Thomas yates says:

    Question: I have made a sculpture out of Marine grade douglas Fir plywood. I'd like to dye it but being a plywood im pretty sure it will turn out blotchy. What do you recommend when dying plywood that has been sculpted to open up the various layers within the plywood?

  • Brandon C says:

    like this one too. so your seal is what ever you use on wood first? then you build on that? so your min wax on just wood would be considered a 'seal' and the clear coat also a 'seal' or both then make a seal?

    i have pressure treated spruce that im making Adirondack chairs, so out door. i had Thompson water sealer them and my polyurethane peeled after 3 months. the was in Thompson is what i found to be the issue.. so now just treated spruce + min wax stain then? i wanna know what.. i .. dont. k n o w.. (sounded weird in my head) when using no clear coat, minimal rub, light brush, heavy brush, spray, airless sprayer.

    i got decent polyurethane surface when sprayed with a Wagner airless control sprayer fyi.

    good stuff. 2nd one and ill be watching many more. i especially like how quick and concise.

  • Kelly Higgins says:

    Oooh, hoping this works on 1961 vintage fir! Going to try on our built-in master bedroom dressers… 16 drawers total. No scrap wood, except a few pieces of fir siding from old wall panels. Wish me luck!

  • M. I. says:

    This is my favorite new youtube channel. you should have left it "how to fight bitchiness" you would have doubled you view count. lol -go jersey!

  • Jeff MacDonald says:

    Can you use a shellac and then a darker danish oil? I would imagine that it shouldn't be an issue but wanted to make sure

  • Willa Cunningham says:

    Would I be able to use a pre-stain product on a oak desk in which I removed a dark finish with a refinisher, underneath the dark finish a pretty oak is revealed but there are a few places where the oak is darker. Should I simply stain the wood and forget about a pre-stain product since there are no blotches as in poplar or chestnut wood?

  • Wayne Schonasky says:

    the gel coat stain looked like a solid hide stain along with the result of using the 1 lb. and 2 lb. shellac undercoat which conceals the natural grain of the wood along with its character. To do so would not be much different than painting it brown. But actually it was a bit hard to see. my apology if I'm mistaken.

  • redbach23 says:

    "one mans blotch is another mans figure"….perfect.   this will be the exact words that im going to use when i do this one complaint on a billiard table I made.   thanks. 😉

  • Joe Smith says:

    Maple is a hard wood. I thought hard woods don't blotch?

  • rwhdragonmaster says:

    Lacquer Sanding Sealer will do the same thing and is less expensive . And in California it
    is really hard to find any paint store that carries TRUE SHELLAC. on the LEFT COAST its
    hard to find anything that works good anymore .

  • colossalbreacker says:

    Can you use sanding sealer as a protective coat over your stain? I know it was intended to seal pores before finnish but i have seen people do this online.

  • anidozo1217 says:

    Exactly what I needed for my project – thanks!

  • sloburnful says:

    Can this technique be used under General Finishes Dye Stain?

  • TheRangeControl says:

    What type of cloth are you using?

  • dangerous dave Leider says:

    good shit i like it informative and not boring thanks

  • TheRangeControl says:

    1.) What are the steps to staining (I'll be working with white pine boards).

    2.) Can Plywood be stained?

  • Paul Alberti says:

    what happens if you have to use a wood filler on a long crack

  • luis cruz says:

    I WANT TO KNOW From Your Opinion Makita DEalt Wish WANT dosent work Better Or Wish WANT Is Better

  • Steve Philibert says:

    You mention you rarely use the oil based stain, what do you use?

  • holohulolo says:

    Where I'm from it's very difficult to find these items, in fact I can't find most of them, don't have the brand, and I can't find any gel stain. I'm just trying to make do with what I can find, so I was wondering if having multiple layers of stain would make it darker(over shellac washcoat)? Dealing with pine wood.

  • Effie Gee says:

    I stripped a table, the base colour seemed to be a teak coloured stain covered with mahogany gloss varnish. Now it's back to bare wood and has a pinky tone in parts. I don't know if this is left from previous finishes or maybe the wood (?rubberwood) has that natural tint. For better colour consistency should/could I shellac the wood before staining with a DIY vinegar and steel wool stain? Thanks

  • n ban says:

    fo show a awesome video. A great lesson learned.

  • Nathaniel Steele says:

    I wish you worked closer to the camera. Good info.

  • Marianne Myers says:

    After the gel stain dries do you apply more seal coat before applying the polyurethane?

  • Zoltan says:

    the camera is on your left

  • turntablez123 says:

    What do you use to thin out your gel stain? How much do you add of what you use?

  • turntablez123 says:

    Another question how long do you wait after applying shellac do you begin to stain?

  • Mr Boat says:

    Great demonstration.

  • joyzze says:

    Can you mix gel stain to make a custom color?

  • cody truax says:

    can you use a oil based stain first and able to use a tinted water based stain over it ? new to this would love advice

  • Dolores Berlinger says:

    Great info. I want to restain an existing knotty pine paneled wall to remove the "orange" tone it has. Do you think it's necessary to shellac first or will it be safe to just stain over the existing surface? Would gel stain be the way to go?

  • Rachael says:

    Is this shellac the clear version or is it amber colored?

  • Luke Toker says:

    I'm refinishing a set of maple cabinets and using black walnut minwax stain and it comes out and ugly light brown color. would this method fix that you think?

  • Chad Calvert says:

    what if i want it to blotch A LOT, i want a wicked looking white stained burled maple where the grain really stands out. any suggestions?

  • Michael Gerst says:

    I don't understand this movement to get away from the actual grain of the wood. This 'Blotchiness' is natural, it should be embraced. If you want an even finish use MDF.

  • fastrivers says:

    I've heard you and others recommend shellac as a base in woodworking and even the woodcarving world. However, shellac is known to crack whether applied correctly or incorrectly but either way it is an eventual thing. If I want to make heirloom quality products shouldn't I be concerned that the finish I apply over a product that can crack will overtime show these issues?

  • Marie Griffin Skonecki says:

    There are so many different Denature Alcohol, which one??? Does it matter? And what if you can't get the powder? How would you mix the liquid Shelac with what kind of Alcohol?

  • Debbie Klare says:

    I stained without using a conditioner and got black and blotchiness over my light stain. I have used a stain remover and it didn't do much and sanded but there is still damage. I tried a jel and it didn't cover blotches. what do I do now?

  • Pmia Jin says:

    Do you still prefer this method over the Charles Neil pre stain?

  • Gayleen Frye says:

    Hi, great video. Would you recommend a 1 or 2 pound cut under Java Gel for blotching? I unfortunately tried it with wood conditioner and still got blotching under the Java gel.

  • Rob C. says:

    I'm dying an alder wood door in the morning and the result that you had on the first side is exactly what i'm
    looking for

  • Cheesegrater says:

    Ahh .. the early Marc years. He must be about 14 in this video.

  • Stacy Marks says:

    is this sanding sealer or finish sealer?

  • Chase F says:

    what are your thoughts on tung oil?

  • Carl Zorro says:

    I want to see the wood as it was but a stain that shows off what it is, why hide it?

  • Reslan Hawasli says:

    Is it possible to use wipe on satin finish after gel stain "General Finishes" and what is the recommended way of doing so?

  • Reslan Hawasli says:

    Sorry wipe on Polyurethane..

  • dekzan says:

    Can I apply GF water based stain over wood sealed with shellac ?

  • dekzan says:

    Can I apply GF water based stain over wood sealed with shellac ?

  • Rogena Styles says:

    I am losing the will to live trying to get answer to my problem. Can you help please. I have some old doors in my house that have old white filler where the old handles were. How can I colour or stain this to match the wood as I don't want to paint them. I have tried shoe polish, wood dye, water colour paint and everything just slides off.

  • Nicholas Brown says:

    Blotching is terrible with birch – but if you do a thin shellac sealer
    coat and use a "GEL" stain it helps a ton – I think it all depends on
    how porous the wood is. Ring species, ash, black locust, catalpa,
    chestnut, elm, hickory, mulberry, and oak, the larger vessels or pores
    (as cross sections of vessels are called) are localized in the part of
    the growth ring formed in spring, thus forming a region of more or less
    open and porous tissue.

    But with something such as BIRCH – the pores are everywhere – not just
    localized around the knots. So using a sealer then a gel stain is a
    life saver. I also love darker knots and no matter what you do – all
    knots have pores around the outside edges of the rings of the knots –
    even more so than anywhere else on any wood. Hopefully that helps!

    Also – I'll use a cheap hard wood – and veneers of expensive woods –
    more expensive does not always mean more durable!!!!!!!! Work smart –
    not hard! lol and Veneers stain just the same as anything else!

  • Purple Heart Scott says:

    TheWoodWhisperer, I know it's been a while since you did this video but wondering if you would give advice. I have a guitar kit with basswood body and a maple veneer top. I've got the top figured out (gonna use a dye), but the basswood I'm not sure about as I've read it won't take stain well. I originally wanted to make the basswood a red mahogany type like similar to what a lot of guitar manufacturers do. Is this doable with the minwax? I also have a mahogany grain filler but s basswood isn't porous, can't imagine that would help? Any thoughts? If it helps, I don't have to use minwax and can save it for another project. I'm planning to use a wipe on poly as final protectant. Thanks for your time.

  • Aaron Rodriguez says:

    What was the Shellac cut with?

  • guinn8181 says:

    Can I thin GEL stains with paint thininer? If so, by how much? Mineral Spirits isn't sold in CA.

  • M E says:

    Always very helpful videos. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tractor Wrangler says:

    Whats the best means of recovery from a badly bloched piece of wood that because of the dimensions can not be sanded much further?

  • Cindy Jensen says:

    How do you think Charles Neil's pre colour conditioner compares to the Zinsser Sealcoat to prevent blotching on maple?

  • Matt Seigel says:

    Great video I just wish this was HD 🙁

  • Mike Degregorio says:

    Min-wax stain is marketed well as a brand, but just about  every other stain made, works better. ZAR is the most user friendly stain on the market, available to the general public.

  • peter clifton says:

    yeah , always more options staining a finish than staining the timber.
    this is a old furniture trick and it was common to cut oil varnish 50 /50 for as sealer and a smooth finish then lay your stains

  • sirbreakemstuff says:

    i already have a year old oil cased minwax prestain, can i just use that with a gel stain and get great results, the same as if i used shellac and gel stain? i just dont want to buy any extra stuff. also i like to use a 70percent teak oil 30 percent polyurethane finish. with this kind of finish cause the gel stain to run? it works great with a oil based stin if i let it dry over night

  • Pete Dawson says:

    10 year old video was exactly what I needed to know. Thanks

  • Thomas Ingram says:

    I may have missed it, but will the seal coat help when applying a dye vs a stain? Or will a conditioner work for dye?

  • Ben B says:

    Do you use oil based stain more than water based?

  • Ben B says:

    need much closer view when showing the results. really cant see it from that far

  • kian kian says:

    Thank you for sharing this video, have a lot of respect for you.
    If a piece of wood is water popped and sanded, dyes will give a very transparent result.
    Color variation, specially in Alder is not considered a defect, as long as end user is ok with it, but to choose a character grade wood and expect to turn it into select grade by staining it, is frowned upon by some naturalist finishing masters.
    Gel stains are almost never used by good finishers, because they cover the grain instead of enhancing it.
    A penetrating sealer that is diluted enough that gets into the soft part of the wood will do a nice job of sealing those areas, leaving a better balance between soft and hard part of the wood resulting in a more uniform stain job, but grain stays readable instead of being buried under a coat of color.
    Usually a 10% sealer can be applied and a soft sanding is followed after drying, any stain can be applied after that.

  • Shaun Kennedy says:

    It would take me years to use a gallon. Would it be better to buy small amounts as I need it, or to buy flakes and make a new batch as I need?

  • Sam Sam says:

    Thanks. Great video. Does this method hide the grain after gel stain is applied since sealer went on first? Can’t tell clearly as the camera is a bit far for that detail to show.

  • Baserocklove says:

    Thanks for this. Going to start my first furniture custom project, turning one of those untreated solid pine dressers into a 4 drawer mid century tall boy and I was worried about blotching, so i stumbled here and by amazing coincidence that java appears to be a dead ringer for for the color of my bed i want to match it to. Can't wait to try this.

  • Charles Hatt says:

    If you're health conscious I'd like to recommend something different than Kleen Strip SLX. It has a lot of methanol in it – up to 60% plus some other nasty stuff that seems to dissolve paint easily. For a little more money you can get the "green" version, which I believe is only 5% methanol.

  • Jason Burnett says:

    The front half of your board had a knot and some grain differences. The side you used to show the lack of blotchiness, had none of that. By default, the lack of grain difference on the second side is going to be less blotchy. Not a fair comparison.

  • Manya M says:

    What to do if went terribly blotchy after stain?
    What to do besides sanding?

    If sanding, what is the best, fastest way to do it?

  • Justin Ketchem says:

    A few years back I built a pool table. Mostly out of maple, but the sides were a very clean poplar. I was worried about blotchiness, but I used that gel stain, and the finish was amazing. No blotchiness and a really consistent look. I know that poplar is generally a paint grade wood, but it did't have any purple or green. It almost looked like maple. I definitely got a good cut, but the gel stain was the hero in the project. excellent product.

  • phantomcreamer says:

    Doesn't the gel stain look like you just painted it?

  • theDad Playlists says:

    Does the amber colour of the shellac affect the colour of the top coat stain? Will the top coat colour change as it ages due to the shellac?

  • James Koehn says:

    I know this is an old Video, I was watching, When you mention One Pound cut what it looks like to me is all you're doing is mixing Sealer and Stain 50/50. Is this Correct?

  • MaCoeur says:

    Thanks for the video! I refinished my birch kitchen cabinets using the 50/50 shellac/denatured alchohol, then used slightly thinned out minwax oil based gel stain and Varathane polyurethane in matte finish..and they came out great! Now I'm on to the next project which is refinishing an old heywood wakefield chair (Maple) Awesome chair, and I MUST NOT screw it up, so I wanted to ask you before jumping in:

    1. Is the General Finishes "Java" Gel Stain you used an oil based stain?
    2. Can this stain be reapplied once dry for darker color if needed?

    I realize the video is 10 years old 🙂 but if you're still there somewhere, I'd sure appreciate the info 🙂

  • splash says:

    Cool shirt paesano!
    Im about to tackle a very large kitchen at my parents house…it was built in the late 80's and has the golden or honey oak cabinets.
    Im going to refinish it alk for them, because its starting to get the black discoloration around the most used cabinets. It was either sprayed with laquer or the amber shellac, i cant remember forsure. I was pretty young when they built the house.
    What type of stain do you recommend? I want to convince them to go a tad bit darker and lose that honey colour it has…
    Im gonna remove all doors and drawers, give everything a good wipe down with some TSP and warm water to remove grease and other contaminants. Do you recommend stripping or sanding?
    And what about a durable top coat?
    Im gonna be spraying everything. Just not sure if i should use water based top coat or solvent top coat…
    Any help would be appreciated!

  • AB says:

    I wish I would have watched this fantastic video before I stained my last wood project 🙁 Great video and would have saved me so much time and stress!

  • Orlando Dela Rosa says:

    It is ok to use lacquer thinner instead of denatured alcohol for shellac?

  • Mav Div says:

    You spoke about spraying oil based poly. What is your experience with spraying water based poly?

  • Renegade Rabbit says:

    lmao "pudding" and all I can think about is the tide pod kids of today thinking this as another challenge…

  • Randall says:

    First, thank you! Question… I'm staining a large Pine timber. I purchased a Pre-Stain conditioner and a General Finishes gel stain. Working to get evenness. Would you apply both the Pre-Stain and your Shellac/D-natured alcohol blocker?? Would that create problems? Also, do you prefer this method for evenness versus applying a toner after the stain?? Tks so much!!

  • Sean McAleavy says:

    I don't understand why you couldn't let the shellac dry. It takes 10 seconds to explain that the camera will cut away and resume in an hour or two and the shellac will be dry.

  • clarence Dornberger says:

    It would be helpfull to have close ups. Really can't see differences from the distances being shown now.

  • This is George says:

    I am considering building a bookcase with birch ply. I want that mid century medium walnut vibe. So, the best combo for this would be a 1lb cut of the shellack and a gel stain of the desired color? I haven't reached the end on finishing recommendations… poly?

  • Alvaro Martinez says:

    You're better off using a water stain

  • Brett Silva says:

    You could let it cure…. 😉

  • Jason Googly says:

    I like how joe Rogan in younger days love woodworking before he stumbled upon #420.

  • Tom King says:

    Fairly new to stain and staining items. Can Gel Stain be cut so it can be strayed from a HVLP sprayer?

  • kosmosleha says:

    You didn't mention that its a bull's eye seal coat WAX FREE!!! they don't sell this stuff at lowes or menards anymore. They sell bulls' eye poly, but not the sealer. the can looks almost identical. You have to order the WAX FREE sealer from ACE Hardware.

  • Carl Zorro says:

    How about jel stain and shellac over polpep ?

  • Carl Zorro says:

    How can I get rid off the green stain on the poplep wood?

  • augusto tapia says:

    do you have a video on maple wood using water based stain?

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