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Trick i learned today that i want to pass along about getting rid of blotch


When u stain something and either an imfamous endgrain or area within a piece turns black or areas are a lot darker than others, well here's a trick to get rid of or soften it greatly

After you stain it and you notice black areas, inconsistantcy or areas are just darker than the rest, right after you stain it, take Naptha on a rag and wipe it down and rub harder in the dark areas of say a tabletop and it will pull out the darkened areas. Now for things like chairs, stile and rail doors, raised panels "end grain", take 320 or 400 grit wet/dry, wipe the stain ur using onto the dark area and sand it with that sandpaper while wet and ull be amazed at how much of the darkened area is lessened or gone. You can also do the same thing with Naptha.

Using naptha will also remove unwanted finger prints from staining a piece. Keep in mind, the naptha will lighten the piece a little, but you can follow it up with Dyes to blend and darken it

Happy Staining!

2/18/15       #2: Trick i learned today that i want t ...
Leo G

Woods that are blotch prone can be treated before staining so it doesn't happen in the first place.

I use MLC stains and they have a stain base that is just the liquid without the color. You put this on first and let it sit for about 2 hours. Then when you stain the blotching doesn't happen or is substantially reduced.

Your method does work. I usually use the stain base instead of the Naptha.

2/18/15       #3: Trick i learned today that i want t ...

Agreed leo. Many ways to skin a cat

2/18/15       #4: Trick i learned today that i want t ...
Rick Mosher  Member


I just wrote a blog post on that very subject if you're interested.

Conquering Blotching

2/18/15       #5: Trick i learned today that i want t ...


Please correct me if im wrong but isn't doing Direct Dye something that only people with a lot of experience with colors and finishing should do? I'm typically use to stain, dye to match, then top coat. That method is what I believe most finishers or people to try finishing on a professional level would do.

I work for myself and a professional refinishing shop which the company has been in biz for over 100 years and has 3 locations. We recently hired a "i can do it all" type amd he did direct dye on a bedroom set and screwed it up, so we spent about 4 hrs stripping it all.

The finisher we have has been doing it since he was a kid and is very good with color and he will direct dye a lot, but most people won't because it's very difficult to strip if you screw up.

2/19/15       #6: Trick i learned today that i want t ...
Rick Mosher

Mike you are correct that not everyone can do it. The same can be said of toning or shading and the technique is very similar. It is not difficult to do. I have trained people in a few minutes to spray dye and then there are people who just can't get it down for some reason. The only difficult thing is on blotch prone wood not allowing the stain to puddle, so you have to be able to lay down an even tone (just like shading) but when spraying on a wet coat pretty much anyone can do that who can spray at all. Having said all that, it is a no brainer that spraying as opposed to wiping saves a TON of man hours and can eliminate a lot of extra steps.

2/20/15       #7: Trick i learned today that i want t ...

Hey Rick, agree with all your info, insightful as always. I follow similar steps and unfortunately have had some of the same results when trying to pass it on. Some people just can't get it. Doesn't make them bad people though, I always try to leave it at that.

Out of curiosity I checked out your blogpost and ended up taking the color acuity test for grins and giggles. Took the test with sun coming in the window, though not directly on the monitor and scored a 34. Shut the blind for light but no direct sunlight, retook the test and scored a 0. I am in the 50-59/M category. Is that test weighted for age? Just curious? What is your score? Thanks

3/5/15       #9: Trick i learned today that i want t ...

I've been finishing for 18 years now and was taught from day 1 on how to make stains using naphtha and 824s. The naphtha trick does work. I now work for ml campbell developing finishes and use the Ws2b10 stain base with 844s. Using untainted stain base works just as well. The naphtha way is just more "old school". Spraying stain, well my concensus is pretty much the same. Some do it well and others never get it right. Biggest problem I see is most people rush it and try to spray one heavy coat and end up with "mottling". It's best to spray in 2 coats from opposing angles. Minimizes halos and allows you to creep up on your color and control the overall color.

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