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Old 02-14-2014, 07:10 AM   #1
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


Hello
Should I use this product before staining red oak treads?
http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/...od-conditioner
Looks like it says it's kind of mandatory on some wood (soft woods), but not as much on oak (hard wood)
What do you think?

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Old 02-14-2014, 07:27 AM   #2
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


You won't need it on red oak----oak stains easily but the stain does not soak in deeply----the preconditioner would be a bad idea---

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Old 02-14-2014, 10:45 AM   #3
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


I use Gel stain not liquid, comes out more even for me and less splatters.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:42 PM   #4
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


I've never used the gel stain...
But I'll have to do some mix to get the right color, so I assume it wil be easier with the liquid one (I'm usnig MinWax)
I'll have to do some test to see how to hide the nail holes the best way
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


Minwax will be just fine if you have it---

I use minwax or Varathane stains with good results.

The Gel stains are nice---but oak takes stain well --so there is no need to get something special for this project.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:26 PM   #6
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


OK, I did stain half of my stairs (every other treads). I sanded (#220) and used some tacky cloth to remove dust. I used a brush, then wiped the surplus with a clean cloth. Turned out very well
Only 1 "problem": when I finished the last tread, I noticed some weird marks on 3 treads. Looking closer, it's footprints !!!
Apparently, my daughter went upstairs (barefoot) just before I started to stain. We went outside for a walk, and she had her socks wet. She took them off, but her feet were humid as well.
So long story short: the footprints were invisible on the raw wood, but they show up once stained.........
And it's not on the last 3 treads since I wasn't finished sanding: for these treads, I guess I sanded out the footprint, because they don't show up
Is it going to dry?
If it doesn't dry, what should I do? A second coat? Should I sand before (#220 or #400 or steel wool - Minwax says not to sand if a 2nd coat is necessary)
Thanks
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


Going to have to sand it back down and allow it to dry out.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


You mean sand down to raw wood..............?
Or a "light" sand, and then a 2nd coat?
If you tell me the only option is to sand down to raw wood, I guess I will leave it as it is.........!!!!
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:06 AM   #9
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


Arghhh.................after more than 15 hours dry time, the footprints are still the same !!!!
If I have to sand it to bare wood, will a mouse detail sander from Black & Decker do the work (with 80 grit sand paper)?
I've understood stain doesn't go too deep in red oak.....

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Old 02-23-2014, 08:52 AM   #10
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


Yes....sand it down to raw wood.

Nice thing about oak is that it's forgiving....

On oak, I personally prefer the Watco oil stains.

As for pre-conditioner....I use them....but I don't like the water based one...I use the petroleum based....it helps to show up any defects prior to stain
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:50 AM   #11
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


I would not have sanded down to 220 grit. I would have stopped at 80 to 100 grit. The finer you sand wood, the less it will absorb stain. As you get finer it closes the pores of the wood blocking absorption. If you only sand the steps that need to be redone, and use 80 grit. You will have probably have to re-sand the rest of them. When making furniture the only time you sand to different grits is on end grain. This makes it take stain the same as the linier grain.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:59 PM   #12
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


Good to know
But as you say, since the other treads were sanded at #220, I kept the same method
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:38 PM   #13
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


How many polyurethane layers are recommended for a stair?
I'm planning to use that one:
http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/...ane-for-floors

What is best to use: a brush or lambswool?
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:50 PM   #14
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


Next time you stain something like this I would suggest water popping over a conditioner. This raises the grain of the wood and allows the stain to take a little deeper and more evenly (not that you didn't get it even). Also, I agree about sanding to 80 or 100 grit only.. Sanding too smooth can make the stain not soak in well.. Hope this info helps on your next project..
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:45 AM   #15
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pre-stain red oak before staining?


Oh yes, i will remember that for the next projects......part of the learning curve
But it's weird that Minwax recommends the #220 grit on their instructions (on the cans and their website as well)

Thanks

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