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knowmoore 06-18-2013 08:52 PM

Minxax Polyurethane--discoloring help!
I made a jewelry box for my girlfriend. I stained it dark oak, then after it dried, I put a coat of minwax fast drying polyurethane satin finish. There are all these light yellowish blotches in various places, some are really ugly and large. How do I correct this?

Thanks for any help you can lend. This is how it looked before I put the finish on:

I am in Washington, DC.

MTN REMODEL LLC 06-18-2013 08:59 PM

Are the blotches former air bubles... or your stain had stearates in it and was incompatible with polyurethane.

Try sanding them down if they are bubbles, and stir the poly... did you shake it

knowmoore 06-18-2013 09:04 PM

They aren't bubbles... i just realized it's kind of a film, and I hope to be able to sand it off. It was a minwax stain, so doubt it was incompatible.

Hey, thanks for your quick reply. Should I sand?

joecaption 06-18-2013 09:20 PM

Always best to apply more then one coat of poly.
Sand between the coats.

knowmoore 06-18-2013 09:23 PM

This is how it looked after the minwax... so you're saying I should just sand and re-coat?


knowmoore 06-18-2013 09:28 PM

It sucks now... it was pretty good before. Damn.

joecaption 06-18-2013 09:31 PM

Are you sure you did not use water based stain instead of oil?
How long did you wait for the stain to dry.
It looks like the poly wiped the stain off.

Jmayspaint 06-18-2013 09:31 PM

How long did the stain dry before you applied the Polly?
Looks like you pulled the stain up

knowmoore 06-18-2013 09:35 PM

I used an oil-based stain, and I waited 3 or 4 days for the stain to dry.

MTN REMODEL LLC 06-18-2013 09:46 PM


Sometimes a birch ply, or any ply, but mostly a soft ply, can take a stain irregularily. A coat of sanding sealer will semi close (even out) the poristy and take the stain more evenly.

Realistically, probably can't sand it out now.... but what about your lady's favorite color... purples and maroons are good for getting..OOPs Edited.

A lite, maybe 180/220 paper sand will prepare it, and several spray coats can still revive it... you'll have to tape off the drawers... and don't overcoat a spray coat... it'll run.... just multople light coats... drying for 30 minutes in between... and I'll bet she loves it.

Just my idea...

Good Luck

Jmayspaint 06-18-2013 09:47 PM


Originally Posted by knowmoore
I used an oil-based stain, and I waited 3 or 4 days for the stain to dry.

That's odd then. From the pic it looks like an issue with the stain rather a odd colored area in the varnish film. Does it look to you like the stain just came off in places?

If you bough the box from a craft store or something, or the wood is of unknown origin, it could easily have had some sort of sealer or contaminates that kept the stain from penetrating.
Environmental conditions could have affected it also. In a dark,and/or damp area, it might not dry even in a few days.
For your sake, I hope I'm wrong. Tough to fix.

knowmoore 06-18-2013 09:47 PM

The stain was pretty heavy. Maybe it didn't dry evenly. Is sanding and recoating the best move?

Thanks you so much.

oh'mike 06-18-2013 09:50 PM

What kind of poly==exactly--water based or oil?

I suspect water based---but tell us---

MTN REMODEL LLC 06-18-2013 10:05 PM


Just one more idea, if ya wanted a very real dark stain, you could recoat with a stain colored poly. the stain is in the poly and I think it's called PolyShade in Minwax.

You would not be fixing it as much as camoflging it so to speak... you would still see shading... just less so.

But you have to put it on with a real good brush and very evenly, because the stain (more of a coloring) is in the stain, and if it's heavier one place it will be streaky... very important to put on running with your grain. Scuff sand between coats.

Just an idea

Good luck Bubbi

knowmoore 06-18-2013 10:23 PM

Thanks man! Nice lab.

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