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Old 02-08-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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Stain washes right off railing


I have a railing that the stain is washing right off with mild soap and water...oops, anyways it was coming off slowly from peoples hands, I noticed it washed off when I was wiping some dust off....so the house is 4 yrs old and I notice stain coming off other parts of the home with that stain...is there a way to touch it up again without sanding and redoing the whole thing over....is it washing off because it was not sealed after? This can not be normal....I am no diy pro....but thought maybe I can make it look better than it is but have no idea what I should or what to use....lots of stuff in this house seems so half a$$ heh...I find more poor quality stuff every single day....oh well...thx for any input.



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Old 02-08-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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Stain washes right off railing


If you tryed to apply stain over the old sealed surface it's just going to wipe right off.
Stain needs bare wood to soak into if not it just floats on top of the sealer.
Once stain is a apply and allowed to dry it must be sealed with poly.

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Old 02-08-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
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Stain washes right off railing


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
If you tryed to apply stain over the old sealed surface it's just going to wipe right off.
Stain needs bare wood to soak into if not it just floats on top of the sealer.
Once stain is a apply and allowed to dry it must be sealed with poly.
Ok so the builders probably stained the railing over a sealer, then never sealed it, so now I can just wash it right off...The wife was mad when I stained her wash cloth accidently washing the railing...I said we got bigger problems lol.

I guess a trip to the hardware store guy to get a colour to match...lots of sanding staining and sealing I guess, I just have to try and get that railing off to make my job easier!
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:25 PM   #4
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Stain washes right off railing


Sand it in place, you'll just open up a can of worms taking it off and trying to get it back on again. Sometimes the balisters are glued when installed.
I hardly think the builder had anything to do with it. Railings come unseal and unstained.
More likly there was only one coat of sealer and it rubbed off over time.
The more coats the longer it's going to last.
Use a Gel stain for less mess. Brush it one, let it sit a few min. then wipe it off. Let dry 24 hours then seal.

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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Stain washes right off railing


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I have a railing that the stain is washing right off with mild soap and water...oops, anyways it was coming off slowly from peoples hands, I noticed it washed off when I was wiping some dust off....so the house is 4 yrs old and I notice stain coming off other parts of the home with that stain...is there a way to touch it up again without sanding and redoing the whole thing over....is it washing off because it was not sealed after? This can not be normal....I am no diy pro....but thought maybe I can make it look better than it is but have no idea what I should or what to use....lots of stuff in this house seems so half a$$ heh...I find more poor quality stuff every single day....oh well...thx for any input.



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Does anyone have a clue as to what colour stain I should try buying first? My first try was wrong heh.....I thought maybe someone would recognize it right away...thx
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:35 PM   #6
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Stain washes right off railing


Just a guess but by the red tones it may be cherry.
Did you pick up a color chart at the store so you can match it?
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:27 PM   #7
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Stain washes right off railing


+1 to the Cherry!
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:56 PM   #8
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Stain washes right off railing


I'm not a stain expert, few painters that I know are, but I would consult a pro on this issue. I've never seen anything like this, but the suggestion that the railings were sealed prior to staining makes sense. Maybe an apprentice or a warm body sanding sealed it or allowed a stain conditioner to dry (basically the same thing) and the builder just rolled with the punches. I see some splotchiness in the background so someone wasn't at the top of their game.
But if the stain was clear coated, clears are film forming, I doubt you would be able to wipe it off that easily.
If you buy stain, what will you do with it? You're only going to apply it to the same surface/condition that caused the current to fail. You need to get down to wood or find a topical solution that will bond to that surface, maybe a gel. Either way it's more than a DIY project, IMO.
I would consider consulting someone with more everyday wood/staining experience than the average painter, not to offend "average" painters, someone like a furniture refinisher or an experienced floor guy.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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Stain washes right off railing


Looking at the other pics I see a lot of "splotchiness" meaning this was a very poor stain job. I agree that it appears to be a stain coated over top of an already sealed surface. It looks like they wanted a cherry look rather than the golden oak look. It's really gonna be a mess trying to get it ALL off.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:51 PM   #10
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Stain washes right off railing


I've got a fair bit of finishing experience---I agree with everyone---you are in trouble.

You need to get some experienced advice on site-------
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #11
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Stain washes right off railing


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Looking at the other pics I see a lot of "splotchiness" meaning this was a very poor stain job. I agree that it appears to be a stain coated over top of an already sealed surface. It looks like they wanted a cherry look rather than the golden oak look. It's really gonna be a mess trying to get it ALL off.
That's a good possibility, since most railings I've seen in new construction are just clear coated oak, it's likely that's how it started out and was rejected after. I'm quick to chalk it up to warm bodies, those painters whose greatest quality is that they're breathing. And from the looks of the place, that looks to be but a small part of a much larger railing system(s).
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:51 AM   #12
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Stain washes right off railing


I really like the color of the stain.It's definitely not going to be an easy fix getting down to wood again.I love staining and have done more than my share of it over the years but I have never seen this before.This was a really hack job.I wonder,Was it sealed over the stain at all?
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #13
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Stain washes right off railing


This may be one of those rare cases where tearing out what's there is gonna be a whole lot easier than trying to fix it all.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:24 PM   #14
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Stain washes right off railing


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This may be one of those rare cases where tearing out what's there is gonna be a whole lot easier than trying to fix it all.
You may be right.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #15
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Stain washes right off railing


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I have a railing that the stain is washing right off with mild soap and water...oops, anyways it was coming off slowly from peoples hands, I noticed it washed off when I was wiping some dust off....so the house is 4 yrs old and I notice stain coming off other parts of the home with that stain...is there a way to touch it up again without sanding and redoing the whole thing over....is it washing off because it was not sealed after? This can not be normal....I am no diy pro....but thought maybe I can make it look better than it is but have no idea what I should or what to use....lots of stuff in this house seems so half a$$ heh...I find more poor quality stuff every single day....oh well...thx for any input.



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Hiya Underscore...

I may be wrong, but your railing looks more like a lacquer toner and finish may have been used instead of a conventional wood stain (and finish). If true, that's actually kinda good news since the repair shouldn't necessarily require removing what's left on that rail.

Lacquer toners are more (sorta kinda) like a stain and finish in one. In other words, all your color is on the surface of the wood instead of into the wood fibers as a typical wood stain is. Generally, a clear lacquer topcoat is applied over the dyed lacquer toner to create depth and way more protection - but not always. If no clear topcoat has been applied, what sometimes happens in heavy traffic areas (let's say like handrails for example) the coating wears off and takes the color with it. Let me take this guess work one step further and suggest your "finish" is a soft and waxy, production grade lacquer (commonly used in new home construction) - which usually looks great after application but really doesn't hold up very well (especially in high traffic areas).

As I mentioned before, that all may be good news. One of the beautiful things about lacquer is the ability to repair and recoat lacquer - with more lacquer. It really shouldn't require removal of existing since the new app is going to kind of meld the old and new together in one continuous film (unlike varnishes). That's the good news part. The bad news part is lacquer typically is a spray only app, and that can be difficult in an occupied home. But since you're not looking to recoat all the woodwork in your house - there may be an economical and viable alternative. I'd look at aerosol (spray) lacquer toners (look 'em up online - Mohawk is the brand I'm most familiar with). These can be spray directly over existing lacquer finishes to restore color, then clear coats be applied directly over toners for add'l protection from wear.

If this works (and please try a non-conspicuous area before committing to the whole job), I'm gonna recommend moving up to a pre-catalyzed lacquer as a clear finish coat (also available in aerosol). Pre-cats are far more durable than are new-home grade, production lacquers, or common lacquers, and will provide protection more like that of a poly varnish.

Again - if I'm right, your surface prep would simply be to clean the railings by ragging the surface with denatured alcohol to remove any furniture polishes, waxes, hand oils etc. Once cleaned, you're ready to go. I hope this info is helpful and actually works for you. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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