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Does poly lift stain color?
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Matt Kolb
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February 4, 2017 - 11:03 am
Member Since: February 2, 2017
Forum Posts: 2
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I am refinishing a banded mahogany dining table for a customer, similar to the one in the stripping video. I had re-stained it to the dark color the client preferred and then applied minwax wipe on poly. It became lighter and I could see that my wiping cloth was getting darker. Does poly lift the stain color underneath it? The stain had been applied more than 24 hours earlier. 

Also do you know if the wipe on poly itself can be colored with oil stain?

Thanks,

 

Matt Kolb

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Admin
February 4, 2017 - 4:35 pm
Member Since: January 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 49
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Hey Matt,

Wipe on Poly shouldn’t really lift the stain too badly if the stain is dry, but there is no doubt that it will to varying degrees if it’s an oil based stain that you’ve used.  I find that anytime you wipe on a finish that is thinned utilizing the same solvent used for the stain (in this case, oil based products / mineral spirits), the finish may amalgamate the stain to some extent.  

You could use a water based stain with wipe on poly after the stain has dried thoroughly and you would experience zero stain removal when applying your finish.

If that is not a choice, use a very light coat on your initial application of finish.  The theory would be to apply a coat of finish to “lock in” the stain, without wetting the surface enough to cause amalgamation of the stain.

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February 4, 2017 - 5:01 pm
Member Since: January 18, 2013
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I can give you one other bit of info you may find useful.  We have all heard countless times that you should never put polyurethane over waxed shellac. From books to magazine articles to forums to DVD’s, the message is always the same. Even the back of the shellac can itself says not to use polyurethane. 

However, thinned down to a very diluted 1–2 lb cut and applied as one singular thin sealer coat using a stain pad applicator (http://www.harborfreight.com/8…..46166.html ) I can tell you from experience there will be no adverse affects.  It’s become my GO TO approach anymore under ALL finishes.  One quick wash coat of 1-2 lb cut shellac.  

Why?  It will lock in the stain, plus shellac is a terrific all around barrier sealer.  Just allow to dry for 24 hours before applying poly or lacquer over the shellac. 

 

One last thing….I’ve never tinted a wipe on finish.  You’d have to experiment but I’d assume trans tints would technically work.  Those are the tints I use in my lacquer. I would not add oil stain to wipe on Poly, but perhaps go with WD Lockwood  powder oil stains. You can dissolve the stain in mineral spirits and add to the poly as needed. Amazing stains if you want the depth of a dye stain in a wipe on form.   http://www.wdlockwood.com/ 

 

Cheers!!

Rod

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Matt Kolb
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February 12, 2017 - 4:08 pm
Member Since: February 2, 2017
Forum Posts: 2
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Thanks for the good info. I’m going to avoid the poly completely just to be safe and I’m too chicken to use a water based stain on this large surface…fearing brush strokes would be a problem. I do have a problem staining the mahogany dark enough to match the pedestal legs and client’s taste. The table is now a filmy lacquer with a dark color under it. She wants an antique finish like an oil. I’m starting with the leaves to get it right before doing the rest. The satin poly looked good but the color lift was a problem. When it is stripped and stained, it is hard to get it back to that darker shade under the lacquer given the redness of the natural wood. Using oil stains I am now on my second try, having been sent back to the drawing board when the client found the first too “red”. Its a beautiful matched grain thick veneer over solid core (must have been a very expensive table). The finish I have used is gorgeous but the color is an issue. What can I do to make it dark? By the way, I have had this trouble matching very dark colored mahogany when restoring late and mid 1800 pieces. I thought it was the old shellac build up. Any help here? 

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February 15, 2017 - 9:05 am
Member Since: January 18, 2013
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I totally understand what you are up against Matt.  Sorry I was slow getting back to you, I was out of town.

 

Is the table stripped and raw wood?   I am assuming you don’t spray lacquer, since your question was based on using wipe on poly.

Two good options jump right out at me.  Both require raw wood.  The easiest may be an oil stain from general finishes. You have many color options. 

Go here to find a retailer near you…

https://generalfinishes.com/where-buy#.WKRYSyvF-So

If you are too Red, and too light, you may want to try spiced or american walnut.  These are far superior penetrating stains when compared to Minwax.

https://generalfinishes.com/retail-products/oil-based-wood-stains-sealers/gf-oil-based-liquid-wood-stains#.WKRZYyvF-So

Let dry, and if you are still on the light side you can apply a General Finishes Gel stain as your second application to darken the color. Again, I’d stick to walnut tones in order to steer away from any red tones.  

https://generalfinishes.com/sites/default/files/file_downloads/tech-data-gf-gel-stain-topcoat-061810.pdf 

https://generalfinishes.com/retail-products/oil-based-wood-stains-sealers/gf-oil-based-gel-stains#.WKRb9CvF-So

 

I don’t want to throw too much info at you and make it confusing. Within the GF oil stain/gel stain application you should find your color, as long as you stick with the brown shades that lean towards the raw umber tones (greenish brown) and not the burnt umber tones (reddish brown)

 

Always keep in mind – red and green make brown, so you can always use green to shift a red tone to a brown tone (thus eliminating the red)

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