How can I lighten stain?
#11
  
I made a mistake by not using a test piece before applying General Finishes oil based gel stain to my present project. The results are not what I hoped for. Several pieces of the Ash project came out much darker than other pieces. How can I lighten the color of the darker pieces? The stain was applied to raw wood which was not treated before any stain was applied.Thanks.
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#12
  Re: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (I made a mistake by ...)
Rub down with a solvent for the binder in the stain. Again, use a test piece stained darker, then try to lighten it. I doubt you can get much if any of the pigment up out of the deep pores of the ash.

Mineral spirits would be my first choice of solvent. Flood on, give it a moment then wipe off. Might be a tad bit streaky but persistence and some post-wipe sanding might do the trick.

I've never gotten more than just some general "lightening" this way without sanding. Hope that's all you need.

edit to add, I think the couple of times I did this was on poplar and with a plain old wiping stain, not a get stain.
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#13
  Re: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (I made a mistake by ...)
Rob, thank you. I will try what you suggest and this time use a practice piece to see if it works.
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#14
  Re: RE: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (Rob, thank you. I wi...)
If the stain has already dried MS isn't going to take it back off.  Why?  Because GF's gel stains have a lot of binder (varnish) in them.  Lacquer thinner might work, but I'm not sure.  If it doesn't then you are left with stripping or sanding it off.  

John
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#15
  Re: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (I made a mistake by ...)
After stripping or sanding the piece is there anything I should do before restaining it?
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#16
  Re: RE: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (After stripping or s...)
(03-19-2019, 04:53 PM)JSpill Wrote: After stripping or sanding the piece is there anything I should do before restaining it?

Well, why do you think some of the pieces came out darker than the others?  I think we need to figure that out and develop a plan, so it doesn't happen twice.  

John
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#17
  Re: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (I made a mistake by ...)
John, you are correct. I need to find out why the one piece accepted stain differently. I think I will sand a practice piece too a finer degree. Instead of sanding to 180 grit I will sand to 220 or higher. I will then apply stain hoping the piece will absorb less stain. This will be done on practice pieces until I get a result I can live with.
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#18
  Re: RE: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (John, you are correc...)
(03-20-2019, 11:45 AM)JSpill Wrote: I need to find out why the one piece accepted stain differently.


Dumb question.... How close is the color match on the raw wood? I've seen ash that ranges from almost white to brown..
Mark

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#19
  Re: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (I made a mistake by ...)
The raw ash pieces  all had the same color. The pieces looked like they were cut from the same log. That is why I was surprised by the way the stain was absorbed on just one particular piece.
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#20
  Re: RE: How can I lighten stain? by JSpill (The raw ash pieces  ...)
(03-20-2019, 05:26 PM)JSpill Wrote: The raw ash pieces  all had the same color. The pieces looked like they were cut from the same log. That is why I was surprised by the way the stain was absorbed on just one particular piece.

QS grain will stain differently from face sawn.  If what you have is all the same cut, then it's a mystery, but your plan to sand the ones that turned out darker to a finer grit is a good one.  Other ways to lighten the hue is to leave the stain on for a shorter period of time and/or thin the stain first.  As a last resort, you could partially seal the wood with a coat or two of Sealcoat shellac, sanded back.  That will seal up the thirstier pores but still allow some color overall.  

John
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