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we sanded & conditioned our stair railing stained it and it looks awful what can we do to fix it

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Posted 2013-05-24T15:17:31+0000  by mom4 mom4



Was this a refinished railing or a new railing? Was it oak?


If it was refinished, I suspect you did not get the old finish completely off. Old residue will affect how the new stain takes. It is very difficult to get old finishes completely off. I always point out that when floor refinishers sand your floor, they are removing at least 1/16th of an inch of wood. It is almost impossible to surrender that much wood off  of cabinetry or other household woodwork.


I am not a big fan of sanding when refinishing because it is extremely difficult to open up the grain evenly. Chemical stripping does not totally remove the old pigment, but that which is left is evenly distributed and takes the stain move evenly. When chemically stripping, no pre-stain conditioner is generally neccesary.


I am assuming you used a wiping stain. The splotchiness appears when the stain is wiped, as the stain that penetrated remains and that which did not penetrate gets removed. Although they are penetrating stains, you may apply the stain as evenly as possible with a good bristle brush and then not wipe it. This will give a more even appearance. If you do this, give much more dry time before starting to varnish.


You could also go over the  splotchiness with Minwax "PolyShades". Because PolyShades pigmented urethane varnish sits on the surface and is not wiped, it will help mask the underlying uneveness. Each coat of PolyShades will get darker and mask more.


Hope this has helped.

Posted 2013-05-24T16:17:01+0000  by ordjen

well we tried a small area with polyshades and now we end up with a white haze.  The polyshade seems to work it looks alittle better except for haze.  now what! thanks fro help so far.

Posted 2013-05-26T19:01:19+0000  by mom4
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