Black Streaking, Stain on Pine, HELP

ElizaLDIYMarch 18, 2014

I am using General Finishes Water Based Stain to finish pine dressers. I have done lots of practice tests, that originally turned out terribly blotchy with the GF Pre Stain Conditioner, which I believe must have been dried out. I bought Minwax Pre Stain and it fixed the problem. The problem I have now, is all 3 of the colors I bought of the stain have very different consistencies and are very hard to work with. My biggest problem is the Brown Mahogany shade is leaving me with dark tar like streaks, they are actually thick which is hard to see in the pic. I wipe on a thin coat and immediately, within a minute, wipe off. However I am getting solid black streaks, large ones. I am getting them on both first coats and second. When I stir up the stain it gets very foamy and bubbly, I don't know if this is causing a problem. But the stain is drying like a paint literally the second I wipe it on in some areas. I am doing it on new, sanded pine. I have tested on good quality, low quality, and even a wood I don't know what it is and I get random streaks. It did seem the more the stain foamed the less I got the streaks, but it is really hard to tell if it is going to happen. I managed to do 2 tops of night stands with no streaks, so I thought I must have somehow solved the problem. I let it dry 7 hours, I wanted a little darker coat and hoped some of the red would darken, so I wiped on a really thin second coat, wiping and taking off, not letting it sit. And this time I got instant solid black like I painted the whole thing, a terrible ashy black color with no grain at all and a weird feeling. Is it just not blended properly? I had a really hard time with them being weird consistency and the can rims being rusty when I opened them, or and I doing something wrong. Please see pics and give advice as to what I am doing wrong. The pic is of the streaking on crappy wood on first coat, because I already started sanding my poor tops down. I have literally spent hours staining all kinds of test boards and there is no consistency at all, I am out of techniques, it cant be this hard. Thanks

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Is the minwax conditioner the oil-based kind (like it always was)?
You don't do water-soluble stain over paint thinner (basically what minwax conditioner is).
It's always a good idea to stir and mix your products thoroughly before applying. I think you can make acrylic stain more translucent (weaker in effect) by mixing with matte medium, fwiw.
A far better sealer for acrylic stain is a thinned-down coat of matte medium, or a wash coat of shellac. Either method is going to better limit the uneven effect than paint thinner.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:24AM
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I had a really hard time with them being weird consistency and the can rims being rusty when I opened them,

Sounds like the stain went bad in the can ... how old was it, and had it been opened before?

Or, you aren't mixing it up well enough. You have to stir and scrape and stir some more. I drop a couple of pebbles in the can and shake it - they act like thos mixing balls in spray paint and get the pigment off the bottom.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:34AM
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