Staining Lagan countertops - blotchy result

polannaOctober 24, 2012

HELP! We are staining our lagan beech countertops and it is a mess. We applied minwax wood conditioner, but due to unforseen circumstances, did not apply the stain until about 20 hours after the pre-stain. Two of our 5 pieces are blotchy. Does anyone know if I apply another coat of stain, will it even out? Or do I just sand down the stain, apply a conditioner, and start over with the stain? Or it dependes on the pieces of wood and they will always stain this way.

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Oh gosh ... been there, done that. I did Lagan countertops in my office at work and it was mostly a disaster from start to finish. Somehow they turned out OK in the end but it was the most frustrating DIY project I've ever taken on. First off, cross-post over in woodworking where they know way more about staining. I don't really know the answer to your question, but I had splotchy spots (for various reasons, including sanding some areas more than others) and I ended up resanding and starting over. You did sand them first, right? They come with a factory finish on them that you have to sand off before you condition and stain them. And you are using complementary wood conditioner and stain right (water-based, oil-based, etc.)? I'm not a good stainer but I've given up entirely on Minwax ... I found General Finishes water-based stain to be much, much easier to use, but like I said, I'm a bad stainer.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help here. Hope you get some real answers. I had problems at every point in the process, especially when it came to the Waterlox, which was an enormous mess (FYI, the low-VOC Waterlox is a completely different animal than the regular one, in case you're planning on using that).

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 3:14PM
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Yes, we did sand the countertops before applying the conditioner. I am wondering if it's a faulty slab of wood. It does have a line in the middle that showed up after the stain. Thanks for you advice, I did post in paint and woodworking forums too.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Oh yeah - in the trade that line is known as machine burn. What happens is when the counter top was fed through the planer it got stuck for a few seconds and one of the rollers continued to turn (and burnish) the wood while it was stopped.

It will not take stain in the same manner as the surrounding wood as the burn's surface has been changed a bit by the pressure and heat generated by the roller.

Honestly, I don't know what to tell you to do. On smaller pieces when this happens to me I sand the entire piece (with special attention to the burnished area) down to raw wood and start over. Time consuming and a real PITA.

Call your supplier and see what can be done.

Good luck

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 7:43PM
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Bummer :( Unfortunatley, we can't get a new piece of the countertop. We got it at Ikea, for a very low price (and thus the quality). They have been discontinued since we purchased ours, so we will have to make this one work.

I just sanded down a good top layer of the countertop. Will applying a good layer of wood conditioner help from the black blots forming again?

Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:18PM
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