Stain weeping from oak pores

2ajsmamaAugust 17, 2009

I stained my new red oak newel posts this afternoon after sanding with 220 grit and tacking. I didn't want to use higher grit b/c they looked pretty smooth - no milling marks. Anyway, wiped the stain (Minwax oil based penetrating stain in Natural) off after 10 minutes or so - the newels are fluted and I wanted to be sure I didn't have stain pooling.

Wiped again about an hour later - they were spotty and weeping. Went to dinner, came home, 5 hrs after initial application still had spots so wiped them down, within minutes had more.

Newels are drying in basement with dehumidifer running - about 50% RH. Didn't have this problem with red oak handrail or rosettes.

What should I do in the AM if the newels are still weeping? I have to put first coat of finish on sometime tomorrow so I can get a few coats on and let them dry, install on Thurs or Friday. I've been using oil-based wipe-on poly from Minwax on all my trim, easy to tough up since each coat is so thin. I have Zar Fast-drying poly I picked up to try on a threshold, have Minwax Fast Drying Poly as well (both satin) I was going to do samples to compare. I don't like thick builds or glossy finishes, prefer that "hand rubbed oil" look but oil isn't giving me the durability I need on the treads so don't want to repeat that finish (BLO and beeswax) on the rail and newels.


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I've had that happen with Watco, blame it on surface tension. There's a way to prevent it (or at least minimize the effect) but it's too late for that now. Continue to wipe and you can use a warm hair dryer to accelerate the process. Plan on letting your project dry for several days before applying a topcoat.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 2:21PM
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Thanks - I don't know why I didn't have the problem with the rail and rosettes b/c I brushed stain on them, but after the first "sleeve" going over the base of the newel did the same thing, I tried just wiping stain on the 2nd sleeve with an old sock, that one's fine. I wiped the newels with naptha this afternoon, helped a little but not totally. I'll keep wiping and won't put finish on til it's gone. may not get the rail and newels up Friday at this rate. I may try the hair dryer - wouldn't you know, it's the front faces of the newels that I stained first after dipping the brush that are the heaviest/worst. The sides aren't too bad now.

Just for future reference, how to avoid this in the future?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 8:29PM
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