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Old Masters Stain Application Tips and Techniques

old masters wiping stain

Industry wide, ample resources are being poured into water-based technologies, both in regards to clear finishes and staining. Old Masters has spent the greater part of the last decade trying to perfect its water-based products. Not only are these products non-toxic, they are also user friendly, offering low odor, quick dry times and easy clean up.

Water-Based Clear Finishes
Old Masters offers a full line of versatile clear finishes and complementing products.

Water-Based Polyurethane
Old Masters Interior Water-Based Polyurethane is a crystal clear finish that creates a hard, durable coating on a variety of surfaces and will not amber. Great for use on interior wood and composite surfaces such as floors, cabinets, doors, furniture and woodwork. Available in Gloss, Semi-Gloss and Satin sheens.

Exterior Water-Based Spar-Urethane
Old Masters Exterior Water-Based Spar-Urethane is a crystal clear exterior finish for use on wood, fiberglass, coated metal or painted surfaces and contains Ultra Violet Absorbers for advanced sun protection. Use on wood surfaces such as outdoor furniture, fencing and gables, as well as wood, fiberglass and steel doors. For interior use on windowsills and door frames for added Ultra Violet protection. Available in Gloss, Semi-Gloss and Satin sheens.

Interior/Exterior Water-Based Spar-Urethane
A crafter's dream, Old Masters Interior/Exterior Water-Based Polyurethane is a crystal clear finish that creates a hard, durable coating on wooden craft projects, bird houses, painted signs, furniture, picture frames and a variety of other surfaces. This product is for use on interior and exterior surfaces and will not amber.

Water-Based Sanding Sealer
Experienced wood workers will tell you, the secret to a good finish is all about preparation. Old Masters Interior Water-Based Sanding Sealer is recommended as a sandable basecoat or sealer prior to the application of varnishes or polyurethanes, and helps to promote and smooth, fine finish.

Tips and Techniques

Old Masters is known in the industry as the go-to guys for troubleshooting. Read on for their expert advice on stain application.

Use the following steps for general stain application on properly prepared wood surfaces.

  1. Test your stain on a hidden section of the project or on a scrap piece of a similar wood to verify the desired color.
  2. Ensure the surface is clean, dry and free from dirt, wax, grease, glue and other contaminants or penetration and adhesion will be affected.
  3. Apply the stain by brush, foam brush applicator, cloth or lambswool stain applicator. Stain can also be applied by spraying. Apply a smooth, even coat.
  4. Allow the stain to set for approximately 5 to 15 minutes. The longer you let the stain set, the deeper and richer the color will be. Note: Humidity and Temperature are key factors in the setting and drying of stain, be sure to read the back of the stain can label for detailed information.
  5. While the stain is still wet, wipe of the excess with a clean cloth. Take care not to remove too much from corners and edges. Wipe across or against the grain first to work the stain into the wood pores. The final wipe should always be with the grain.
  6. For a deeper color, apply another coat of stain after the first coat has thoroughly dried, approximately 6-12 hours. Follow steps 3 thru 5.
  7. Once satisfied with the color, allow the stain to dry. Drying may take 6-12 hours. Ensure stain is thoroughly dry before applying a clear finish; overnight drying is strongly recommended.

Old Masters stains can be used on a variety of surfaces. Described below are three unique staining situations that may require a different application than previously described.

Staining over existing finishes: Stripping the finish is not always necessary to change the color of your woodworking projects. Start by thoroughly cleaning your project. Sand it lightly with a fine grit sandpaper and then remove the dust with a tack cloth. Using Old Masters Wiping Stain, apply a thin coat to start with and feather it with a dry, soft-tipped bristle brush. Recoat your project with 2 to 3 coats of an Old Masters clear finish to protect the new, rich color.

Staining over closed-grain hardwoods: For closed-grain hardwoods, we recommend using Old Masters Penetrating Stain, but instead of wiping of the excess stain as normally done, try brushing out the excess stain. This will give you a more uniform appearance and color intensity.

Staining fiberglass doors: Old Masters Gel Stain was specifically designed to adhere to fiberglass doors and plastic trim. Apply it directly to the fiberglass surface. Wiping Stain also works well on these projects, especially as a second coat or intermixed with Gel Stain. For a complete instructions on how to stain fiberglass doors, refer to the Old Master Staining Fiberglass doors brochure.

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