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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    3

    Post Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    Hi there. We bought some gorgeous maple unfinished bookcases and stained them with Minwax gel stain, and they look AWFUL. So we sanded down one, but the Minwax lingered, and a coat of antique cherry oil stain was blotchy. We've decided to just paint them to cut our losses. Could you recommend the best process for doing this so the yucky stain is covered up? I'd be happy with a dark color, but am confused on primers and whether to go with an oil-based paint or not. Also, we saved the shelves from ruin and they're still in a virginal state: Would it look nice to stain those and paint the rest of the bookcase? Thanks very much!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,480

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    When staining, it's best to use a sanding sealer before hand. The sealer closes the larger pores in the wood so the stain penetrates more evenly.

    To paint, you'll need to prime the wood first, I would suggest a BIN primer (red label Zinnser brand ) Be sure to read the label for application and clean up, it's a little different than typical primers. Top coat with an alkid paint. Alkids dry harder than regular latex.

    I see no reason that stained shelves and painted cabinet can't live well together, as long as the colors are not too disparate. So that the shelves are not too noticeably different, you can stain the top surface and paint the nosing and bottom of the shelf. Don't forget, once stained, you'll also have to put a seal coat on over the stain. Polyurethanes are great for this - just stay away from one step stain/poly's and run like your hair was on fire from Minwax polys. Minwax makes a great stain (debatable with gel stains, however ) but their poly's leave much to be desired. I'd recommend McKloskies or General brand poly.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    3

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    Thank you so much! When you say top coat with an alkid paint, is that different from an oil-based one? I was thinking that an oil-based paint might work well but not sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England Area
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    I agree with A. Spruce.

    Alkyd = oil based

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    Spruce,

    Just curious. What are your complaints specifically with MiniWax Urethanes? I have never used the brushing version, but have been quite satisfied with the stuff in the spray cans. I did a whole computer desk with spray cans and it turned out like a factory finish.

    Is the Varathane any better in your opinion? I would agree with you about McKloskies. Always enjoyed working with their original spar varnish. Love the smell of the old natural resin varnishes!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,480

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    Minwax poly (brushed version ) cannot be applied without massive foaming, regardless of the brush type used, amount of sanding between coats, or the number of coats applied. When you're done, you've got a project that is speckled with air bubbles and rough surface because of the air bubbles and burst bubbles during curing. As I recall, it also dried too quickly to apply evenly. I've only used it once, but have seen it used many times, all the projects looked the same - bad finish. I have never tried the aerosol style poly and doubt I ever will. If I'm going to spray a finish with rattle cans, I use lacquer.

    McKloskies you can use just about any kind of brush you want and can really work the poop out of it and it doesn't foam. Once you get a couple layers on and the wood grain stops raising, the poly will offer up a smooth finish.

    General (brand name ) finishes I've never tried, but they come highly recommended by several well respected members here. Given that, I'd try them the next time I'm in need of poly.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    Trying to stain maple with a cherry stain sounds like nothing but trouble...

    Why do that?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    For staining of birch or cherry, I prefer the use of reduced de-waxed shellac rather than an oil based pre-stain controller. Zinssers' Seal Coat comes as a "2 pound cut". Straight out of the can, it is an excellent sanding sealer. Reduced to a one pound cut ( half and half) with de-natured alkohol, it makes a superior pre-stain sealer. It is compatible with virtually any top coat. Regular shellac and sterate sealers should not be used under urethanes. It is also compatible with both petroleum based and water based stains.

    Seal Coat sets the grain, along with sealing those porous areas. It does require a quick, light sanding before staining over it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    Hi NEC, I'm a novice! Which is why I'm on this site. So--I chose the wrong color stain--but really, I chose the wrong product. Minwax Gel Stain should be taking off the market. Ack! Thanks to all who have written

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: Painting over bookcases that were victims of a staining disaster

    Quote Originally Posted by danny63 View Post
    Hi NEC, I'm a novice! Which is why I'm on this site. So--I chose the wrong color stain--but really, I chose the wrong product. Minwax Gel Stain should be taking off the market. Ack! Thanks to all who have written
    Hey, do not take my advice. I have none to offer really. Folks like ordjen give the best advice. As a stupid electrician that does occasional woodwork, I use nothing but "General" products.

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10929
    Last edited by NEC; 12-31-2009 at 07:50 PM.

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