Ikea Wood Table-Stain Not Taking...??

StellabeeMarch 18, 2013

Good Day Everyone,

I'm having my first issue ever with staining a table; hence I'm a little perplexed.

Recently, I bought a heavy, old wood coffee table off of Craig's List. I got a super bargain on it, so I thought that I would simply sand and re-stain since it seemed to be an older Ikea table made of real wood. This is not what has happened thus far though at all.

I sanded the top first getting all of the poly and original stain layers. Then, I cleaned it as usual and began to apply a dark walnut oil based stain by MinWax and OUCHY! The wood started to soak up the stain quite a bit in some places while not at all in others. It looks almost like a zebra effect on the table. I found a comment on an article where someone stated that IKEA pine tables will often unevenly suck up stain creating an odd, uneven look like I got. I'm wondering if this is engineered wood instead of real wood??

Anyway, has anyone else experienced this with an IKEA or other inexpensive wood table? Any solutions?

Thanks & Please Do Advise,


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"engineered wood" would stain evenly, if at all.

It's the PINE ... you needed to use a pre-stain sealant on it to minimize the grabbing. But it's a bit late for that uhnless you sand it again and start over.

How does paint sound?

Next time, sand and test an area on the bottom of the piece to see how it takes stain before you start on the visible parts.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Hi Lazygardens, thank you! I was wondering if I needed to use a pre-stain sealant. I've never had to use one before, so I'm not familiar with them or that step in the rehabbing process. I'm going to sand it again and use a pre-stain sealant.

Thanks for responding so quickly-appreciate it.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:57PM
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This is exactly why I've said again and again here that sanding is not a good way to strip finish. Why?
- It takes a long time
- It produces uneven results (the finish may be left in some areas and not in others)
- It risks sanding through thin veneers.

Minwax stains need raw wood to work properly. In addition, due to most of them having pigment in them, they are highly prone to blotching (uneven staining) in some species of wood.

Better to start over with a chemical stripper.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:16PM
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