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How Sanding Affects Your Stain Color

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Believe it or not, the most important step in the finishing process is sanding. George Vondriska and Matt Newborg show you how different sand paper grit can affect the final stain color of your woodworking projects.

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9 Responses to “How Sanding Affects Your Stain Color”
  1. dakotarich024

    Is there any benefit to going to 220 when staining? What is a good grit to go to when painting?

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      When you are staining you will want to go to at least 220 so that you do not see sanding marks. For wood painting, you can generally get away with a slightly more coarse grit, perhaps stopping at 150, depend on the thickness of paint and sheen of the finish. For thin or glossy paint, I’d suggest sanding up to 180 or 220, as these paints will reveal more surface imperfections than thicker paints with less sheen.

      Reply
  2. Ron Clemens

    I am trying to stain red oak to a nice, rich medium-dark brown with reddish overtones. I started with a diluted amber dye followed by a light sanding to tame any raised grain. The stain is a recipe of 3 different Minwax colors mixed together. I seem to have difficulty getting the stain to really penetrate into red oak. At first I thought it was because I was using a gel stain, but switching to regular made little difference. I also tried a coarser grit before the initial amber dye – 150 and even 120 instead of 220, but it still seems like the stain is sitting on the surface more than it’s penetrating, except of course for the more open-pored grain pattern areas. Is there some sort of preconditioner I should be using on red oak?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Ron. This is an interesting challenge. I’ve not experienced this with red oak in the past; normally this wood absorbs stain quite well. A pre-stain conditioner won’t help, as this will further reduce stain penetration. Normally I would suggest sanding to 220 before staining red oak, and the results are generally reliable. The Minwax products should work well here, but as another idea you might want to try a Transtint dye. When I’ve been unable to achieve the darkness of color that I’ve wanted, I’ve switched to the Transtint product and the results have been remarkable. I’ve never had that problem with oak, but this is a common problem when trying to put a dark color on maple.
      http://www.rockler.com/transtintreg-dyes
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
    • Customer Service

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      Thanks
      Jean-Woodworkers Guild of America Video Membership

      Reply
  3. Mike Holmes

    Your sanding video is SOOO wrong. I am a third generation in the furniture restoration business. Full time 3 year back log furniture restoration business. Taught by old school furniture makers and finishers. That oak would get a final sand of 80 grit paper before using a quality oil based wiping stain in a quality shop. Your 120 or higher burnishes all the fine pores of the wood closed thus making the blotchyness you see in your sample of the fine sanding. Does sanding effect the color definitely yes! The fine sanding is meant to sand the finish. Sure there are soft woods that need a finer paper but not oak. You don’t use ” wood conditioners” you sand the wood correctly in the first place.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Mike. Thank you for your feedback. I have forwarded your comment to the proper department. We value your opinion and it will help with the development of our online streaming community.
      Thanks
      Jean-Woodworkers Guild of America Video Membership

      Reply

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