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Date Posted: 12/ 4/03 21:32:57
Author: Andy Robinson
Subject: Staining Disaster with Soft Maple

Ok, maybe not a disaster since I was able to reverse most of it, but I'm in a pickle to say the least. Using soft maple, sanded to 150 and applied a coat of Minwax sanding sealer. Went ahead with two coats on top and drawer front to make the surfaces extra nice (no good reason other than two coats is always better than one. Thinking back that might not hold water). Sanded again with some 220. Used a Red Mahogany Minwax stain by rubbbing with and old t-shirt, standard stuff. For whatever reason I just couldn't get it smooth. It would streak and get dark spots. After I did my best I just let it dry for a couple days. Using a technique that's had some success in the past I dabbed a cloth with mineral spirits and rubbed the top. Hoped to even out the finish and lighten it up a little bit. Ooops! It took off almost all of the stain except for a little bit that has given the surface a slight cast of the former color. Went ahead and did this over the whole piece b/c I really wasn't happy with the finish.

Now, my question... what the heck did I do wrong and what's the magic behind finishing soft maple well? I usually work with Watco Danish Oils and get marvelous results but I didn't have any on hand in the color I was looking for.

Thoughts, suggestions... Tood and Jack.. help!

Thanks,
Andy Robinson

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