DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Painting (
-   -   Problem - Polyurethane bleaches out Stain Color on Maple Table (

GhanaBhuti 05-12-2007 11:57 PM

Problem - Polyurethane bleaches out Stain Color on Maple Table
Hi Folks,

I have an odd problem. I'm refinishing an old hard maple table from the '40s.

I'm using

Olympic Premium Interior Oil-Based Wood Stain, Colonial Maple, number 41533

and a topcoat of

Olympic Premium Interior Water-Based Polyurethane, Clear Satin number 42786

I stripped and sanded and applied the Stain which gave a deep, rich, reddish tone to the wood.

I then topcoated with the Polyurethane and it washed out the color! The parts of the table I've finished are a nice clear coat, but the stain barely shows at all. It's a disappointment as I really enjoy the sensuous reds in the stain.

This was a surprise as I've done a few other projects with the same combination. An Oak piece worked great and a soft-wood art piece also had good results.

I have several basic questions if anyone has an idea what went wrong:

WHY is it that the Polyurethane is messing up the stain?

Is there any way I can prevent it prior to staining the rest of the project?

Can I do something to bring back the reds on the parts that I've already topcoated?

Is there anything else you can suggest?

Thanks so much for your help.



joewho 05-13-2007 12:30 AM

Is it a satin or gloss finsish?

slickshift 05-13-2007 01:28 AM

I think it's the water-based poly myself
I don't care for those

I believe you'll need to strip and re-apply to get the red back
I'd suggest a matching MinWax stain and Minwax oil-based poly

GhanaBhuti 05-13-2007 04:18 PM

Hi Joe and Slick,

Thanks for your answers.

The Poly is a Satin Finish, Water-based.

Slick - My initial thought was that it was the water-based poly. This is my first time using water-based.

It's odd, however, that the same company's topcoat would screw up their own stain.

Thanks again,


joewho 05-13-2007 08:34 PM

It could be a couple of things, none to serious.

first, the water based poly's dried crystal clear. Oil does not. Oil will add a bit of tone to your stain.

Second, the waterbase poly is very, very thin. You need 4 coats to match one coat of oil. That in combination with the satin finish may be what you're seeing.

Try a couple more coats of gloss and the color will probably pop a little better.

NateHanson 05-14-2007 09:40 AM

Call the manufacturer.

orgill 09-03-2011 02:18 PM

what went wrong

you should not have used a waterbased poly over any red stain...Minwax states that on the back of their interior stains. The dye used in manufacturing that red stain will cause problems like you encountered with your water based topcoat...please use an oil based poly instead, satin, semi-gloss or high gloss....good luck

StevenH 09-05-2011 09:32 AM

It sounds to me, he/she didn't let the stain dry completely before he apply the polyurethane.

poppameth 09-05-2011 10:43 AM

I've used waterborne poly over oil stains quite a bit. Even reds. No problems here. I don't use Olympic junk though. Regardless, if the oil stain was allowed to dry at least 24 hours before top coating, I don't see why a waterborne poly would reactivate an oil stain anyway. There is nothing in the poly that should dissolve the stain and wash it out. How exactly did you stain it? Maple can be very difficult to stain because it doesn't like to absorb the product. I'm wondering if most of the pigment was sitting on the surface and the abrasive action of the brush just pushed it off.

StevenH 09-05-2011 10:50 AM

Another possibility is that they didn't wipe of the excess stain off.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:21 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1