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Wood Stain Won't Soak In

Properly sanded wood will absorb stain.
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The most common reason for a piece of wood to not soak up a stain application is improper preparation. Poor sanding or failing to remove existing finishes will prevent the stain from coming in contact with the bare wood. The stain will sit on top of the wood surface and eventually become tacky. To fix the problem, you must remove the stain and sand down the piece.

Things You'll Need:

  • Wood Stain
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Paint Brush
  • Sandpaper
  • 2 Clean Cloths
  • Sander

Dampen a clean cloth with mineral spirits. Wipe down the surface of the piece of wood to remove the stain that will not dry. When you have removed all the stain, wipe the wood down with a second clean cloth to remove any residue. Rinse both cloths. Allow the wood to dry overnight.

Use a sander to remove any existing laminates, veneers, or finishes. Depending on the piece you are working on, you can either use a belt sander or hand-sand with regular sand paper. The grit will also depend on the piece. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain. Once you have sanded away any shiny surface, stop sanding.

Wipe the piece with a damp cloth to remove any dust. Let the wood dry for one hour.

Paint on the stain with a small paint brush. Always apply stain with the wood grain. Apply the stain according to the package directions.

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