I'm staining a table and some stain got through between the boards of the table when I did the other side. Should I pre-condition over the stain that seeped through? Sand down that stain a bit first and then pre-condition? Just not pre-condition? I should note that as soon as we saw that stain (while the stain on the other side was drying) we wiped it off immediately - so it shouldn't have set it much. Thanks in advance!

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  • This is obviously a fairly 'rustic' table so some irregularity should be all right in the finished piece, but an important question that hasn't been asked yet is is this the top or the underside? If it's the underside it doesn't matter at all what it looks like, you could even leave it exactly as-is for all the difference it will really make.
    – Graphus
    Feb 24, 2018 at 12:27
  • Yes this was the top. And yeah it's a rustic table, I'm basically copying a few different designs I found on the web and merging the ideas together. Closing thing I could relate it to is this: ana-white.com/sites/default/files/4e6e2f09eddc6c01c40027d3.jpg though the legs design is different and they are painted white and the table stain is different (black/brown). (if you cared anyways haha). Feb 25, 2018 at 4:29
  • Did this end up turning out ok?
    – Aar0nK
    Jun 23, 2019 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


If you are staining both sides, the best course of action would be to sand down to bare wood. Otherwise, the old stain will show through the new stain (if you use the same stain again, those will be darker areas).

  • Yeah I tried that put even though I only let that stain be there for a few seconds it seems like it's already stained pretty deep. I hit it with a 60 grit sandpaper for a couple minutes and don't look like I'm getting anywhere. What about if I just did conditioner over the whole thing and then let the stain sit for less time over those areas that were already stained? Feb 23, 2018 at 19:32
  • The safest bet would be to test on some scrap wood - put a small amount of stain, wipe it as quickly as you wiped the stain that seeped to the other side, leaving a small blotch like you have on your piece. Then apply another full coat of stain and see how it looks. I wouldn't do experiments on your finished project
    – Eli Iser
    Feb 24, 2018 at 1:24
  • 1
    @ElementZero If your sander with 60-grit paper fitted didn't do much to remove this you need to use a different type of sander. Let me guess: ROS? Random-orbit sanders are finish sanders, not intended to remove much wood. There are anyway better options for removing a fair amount of wood from a surface than sanding, including planing of course, but a well-prepped scraper is much better than sanding in many cases.
    – Graphus
    Feb 24, 2018 at 12:30
  • Yeah it's a ROS. I actually bit the bullet and spent like an hour with the 60-grit and sanded the table down some more today - got like 80-90% of the stain off but couldn't get all of it off cause it just seemed too deep and I didn't want to make like a divet in the table. Went ahead and pre-conditioned all of it and stained it - it's looking good, I'll know in the morning for sure :) Feb 25, 2018 at 4:25

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