37 votes
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What's the purpose of raising the grain before finishing a furniture piece?

You want to raise the grain before using water-based finishes, as those will also raise the grain, but you won't be able to adequately scrape/sand off the raised fibers. I'd recommend using distilled ...
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  • 633
15 votes

What's the purpose of raising the grain before finishing a furniture piece?

Water swells the wood fibers and they will plastically (permanently) deform. This leaves a rougher surface than what was prepared by sanding or scraping. Sanding after staining typically causes the ...
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  • 1,176
13 votes
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Stain then glue, or vice-versa?

I prefer to tape up my glue joints, then stain / poly / paint. After that, fix any finishing boo-boos, remove the tape, glue up, and you're good to go. This provides the benefit of getting stain and/...
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  • 4,382
13 votes

Stain then glue, or vice-versa?

A couple of things to consider: If you accidentally spill glue on your pieces, the stain will not penetrate it. So, this argues in favor of staining before gluing. However... If you get stain on the ...
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  • 4,156
13 votes
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Can I apply water-based polyurethane over an oil based stain?

This should be ok if you gave the stain 3-4 days to properly dry out. You'll want the oil-based drying agent to completely vaporize from the stain before applying the water-based finish. Please see ...
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  • 12.1k
12 votes

What's the purpose of raising the grain before finishing a furniture piece?

Good answers, but nobody seems to have mentioned yet that some timber types are very prone to grain raising, and some really are not. I have never "raised the grain" by dampening as a ...
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  • 3,809
12 votes

What's the purpose of raising the grain before finishing a furniture piece?

Raising the grain not only helps to bring out fibers that might swell when applying the actual finish, but saturating the grain beforehand with a wood conditioner will help to make the grain "pop out" ...
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  • 3,995
12 votes
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Glue spots under stain

The problem appears to be that glue has sealed the pores of the wood, preventing stain from penetrating. In order to fix the stain, you'll first need to get to wood that's not sealed. I can think of ...
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  • 7,413
11 votes

How can I prepare the end grain for stain, so that its final appearance matches the rest of the wood?

There are grain fillers which are often used on open grained wood like red oak to make it take a stain more evenly, using this on the end grain of a board should do the same thing. What you are ...
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  • 15.1k
11 votes

Can I apply water-based polyurethane over an oil based stain?

Can I apply water-based polyurethane over an oil based stain? Short answer: yes. Longer answer: if you wait for the oil-based stain to properly 'dry' (cure) it's no longer oily. This is because the ...
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  • 59.2k
10 votes
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I accidentally used woodglue that doesn't stain. How do I fix it?

Almost every glue commonly in use won't take stain, and one or two that are said to stain don't stain as well as you'd like (similar story with 'stainable filler' incidentally) so it's good practice ...
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  • 59.2k
10 votes
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How do I achieve flush joinery when the pieces need to be stained differently?

Stain the pieces separately before they're glued up, hoping that I don't have to sand through the whole stain to get the joints flush. Even the deepest penetrating commercial stains, applied in the ...
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  • 59.2k
9 votes

Stain then glue, or vice-versa?

Glue. SAND Stain/Finish I have had this scenario come up before and the best method I have found thus far is to clean as well as you can while you are gluing, then once the glue is set lightly sand ...
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  • 1,101
9 votes
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Should you always use Pre-Stain?

It depends. On blotch prone woods such as pine, poplar, cherry, and maple, yes. On oak and walnut, it depends. A pre-stain conditioner can limit absorption and therefore the shade of the stain - it ...
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  • 1,176
9 votes
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How can I stain birch plywood to match sapele?

First of all, can it be done? Broadly speaking yes, any darker wood can be matched by any lighter wood (in terms of colour, grain pattern is another story). how does one mix and match stains to ...
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8 votes
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How can I match a finish on furniture when re-finishing?

The water stain on the desk looks like it could be blush in the lacquer itself rather than damage to the wood. Blushing is caused by moisture trapped in the finish. There are a number of ways to ...
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  • 7,413
8 votes

Stain then glue, or vice-versa?

I always glue up my stuff first, and I always sand all the joints after I'm done to make sure they are even and any glue that was on the outside of the joint is removed so the wood will take a stain ...
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  • 15.1k
8 votes
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Is there such a thing as the same stain as wood color?

You're misunderstanding what a stain is. In the traditional sense of the word (slightly diluted by modern commercial usage) a stain's job is to colour wood, and that is its sole function. Protection ...
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  • 59.2k
8 votes
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Tongue and Groove Wall Paneling

As far as I can tell this is standard pine/softwood V-groove, tongue-and-groove flooring. This or something quite similar should be widely available where flooring material is sold. exactly as the ...
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  • 59.2k
8 votes
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How do I correct extreme crossgrain cupping?

You can get this flatter certainly, but you may not be able to get them totally flat or to get them to stay that way permanently — wood that has bowed can show a tendency to want to return to that ...
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  • 59.2k
8 votes

I wonder how this alternating stain effect is made

It looks to me as though whomever did this just stuck the end of the piece into a can of finish, one end at a time. If you were to dunk the end into the finish, allow it to sit for a short period of ...
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8 votes
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I wonder how this alternating stain effect is made

I'm with Sashco, the company who posted that picture. Yes, the prepped sections were taped off in order to clearly mark where the different prep methods were done. After all prep was done, a very ...
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8 votes
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Should pre stain be used with gel stain?

Does this then mean that pre stain is not necessary when using gel stain? Correct. One of the prime purposes of gel stain (or "gel stain" as I prefer to call it) is that it sidesteps issues with ...
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  • 59.2k
7 votes

How can I prepare the end grain for stain, so that its final appearance matches the rest of the wood?

I've heard (but haven't verified) that if you sand the end grain with a higher grit it will match the stain of the face grain (can't confirm). So, if you sand to 220 on the face grain, sand to 320 on ...
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  • 4,156
7 votes

Stain then glue, or vice-versa?

I've watched many videos in which people glue up panels and such and I've seen them use very little glue with almost no squeeze-out as well as huge amounts of squeeze-out and glue dripping everywhere. ...
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  • 1,669
7 votes

What qualities do tea and steel wool vinegar offer as stains?

The process is known as wood pickling. The vinegar (acetic acid) combines with the steel wool to create iron acetate which reacts with the various tannins in the wood to darken it from grey to black. ...
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  • 8,026
7 votes

How do I prevent stain from being removed during sanding?

The sanding between coats is entirely for the keeping a smooth finish. Any bubbles or raised grain are knocked back. When I sand, I rarely pass the sand paper more than a couple light passes. then ...
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  • 15.1k
7 votes
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How do I prevent stain from being removed during sanding?

My question is: is there a way to properly apply tung oil to the stained wood without removing the stain during the sanding process? Yup: don't sand. Drying oils are not a surface coating, they're ...
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  • 59.2k
7 votes
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How do I remove a watermark?

The only entirely foolproof way I know to remove deep, long-set water marks is to sand to bare wood, restain (if your piece was stained) and refinish. However, fresh, less deep stains may be more ...
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  • 12.1k
7 votes

I wonder how this alternating stain effect is made

Their website says: Different Wood Prep Methods Not only does the type of wood affect how the stain will appear, different preparation and application methods will affect the final result. ...
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