I am applying Varathane brand oil stain to plain sawn solid red oak and oak veneer. I started my sample board last night. I hung around the shop for an hour after I saw how bad it was bleeding stain after being initially wiped.
I applied the stain with a three inch disposable type bristle brush and I brushed with the grain getting it good and wet. I allowed the stain to remain on the wood sample for about five minutes before my first wipe down.
After an hour, I wiped it again for the third time upon seeing more bleeding. This morning, which is over 12 hours since I closed the shop, there was still bleeding on all surfaces - both faces and edges. The temperature in the shop was around 60 degrees last night and 45 degrees at start up today. Can anyone help?
From contributor C:
It sounds like a combination of problems. Low temps, no air movement, slow solvent. If I were you I would warm up the surface with a heat gun or hair dryer and then apply the stain and wipe off the excess and then continue drying with heat until all the solvent had evaporated and the pigment /vehicles had set. That should take about a half hour or so with moderate heat kept on it from the drier.
You can make a stand to hold the drier and clamp or tie it in place so you donít have to stand there all the time. Now - what you really need to do is get your shop temp up to 70 if you can and apply it in a booth if you have one. This will be able to be done without all I just stated - but this will get you going in the meantime.
It sounds as if it's a slow drying glaze so you should get no streaking as long as you wipe it quickly and blow the air immediately to bring it out of the pores. I'd give it a try on a sample and see to put your mind at ease at least. Otherwise more steps are ahead of you in the future.
The advantage is you get the same color in a stain base that doesn't contain a significant percentage of drying oil and so it dries fast and doesn't bleed out of the pores.
If you're stuck with the oil-base stain, keep it warm before use and apply it with a spray gun. Only spray just enough stain to wet the surface of the wood and then wipe the excess. There's no value in flooding the stain on and letting it soak into the pores or waiting five minutes to wipe the excess. If you're trying to time the wipe in order to develop more color from the stain, just use a dye on the bare wood before staining. Again, spraying the solvent based dye just wet enough to wet the surface of the wood is fast and very effective and you don't need to wipe the dye.
I had Rodda paints modify the closest stock color of Varathane brand oil stain they sell to match my stain sample provided by the customer. They saved the recipe and made me a gallon for starters.
Now I am staining and top coating a sample piece to give to the customer for approval. If approved, I plan to have them make several more gallons which I will co-mingle before I begin to stain the actual millwork. The stain was probably quite cold when I used it last night.
I felt it was prudent to leave the sample stain on for five minutes because some of the pieces of millwork are quite large and could easily take me five minutes or more to go from applying the first of the stain to completing and then actually begin wiping.
Does that make sense or am I over-thinking the possibility of having some parts of the work get darker/lighter if I donít try to establish a time frame from application to wipe-down? I do know about toning and shading but there is no money in this job for such schedules.
I am worried about a large piece taking five minutes to apply stain and start wiping as opposed to a small piece taking only thirty seconds to apply stain.
If I wipe the stain off of the small piece after only thirty seconds I worry that it will stain lighter than the piece that sat under wet stain for five minutes before I was able to begin wiping. Am I being too cautious about "wet stain timing"?
You really only need to keep the stain as warm as the wood. If the temperature of the wood is higher than the stain, that will encourage the stain to bleed from the pores. Placing a freshly stained piece in direct sunlight for example will cause stain to bleed.
You don't have to work mad fast when staining, just keep a consistent pace so the color is also consistent. Practice spraying/wiping on the back of doors or on shelves to get the flow/pace down.