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Thirsty wood spots. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!


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Hi all,

STILL in the midst of a build, and unsurprisingly, having some more issues...

I have an ash body, which I stained, and was immediately very happy with. I also really like the grain texture so decided not to seal it as I would lose the texture, and risk sanding through the staining. Both no-nos in my head. I want the grain visible in the clear-coat. I've opted for polyurethane as it's harder & less harmful than nitrocellulose.

However. I have a few areas where the grain is so open, it has (somehow) caused a reaction when clear-coating. This has happened twice now. I've stripped the poly away so now I'm back to the spirit stain, and there are, in these open-grain areas, bare spots. Any & (so far) all attempts at re-staining these areas result in the wood slurping the stain away.

The obvious answer is to seal these rogue spots, but I'm at a loss as to what kind of sealer to use with polyurethane clear-coat. I've been all over Google, with no answers.

So, learned low-enders, should I:-

Just keep hitting these bare spots with more & more spirit stain, or apply some poly to the bare spots, key these spots, then go over with stain, prior to clear coating?

I really like the burst on the front, so really don't want to start from scratch. The back is stained a solid overall mahogany so provided the poly 'seal' accepts stain on top, hiding these patches should be ok. Right?

I'm getting super frustrated with this, so am desperate for a solution. Please help!!

I thank you in advance.


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For many years I've regularly used blonde shellac (or ordinary amber shellac if preparing for a color coat) as a sealer coat, as it will take just about any final finish, nitro, poly, acrylic for cars etcetera. 

A couple of coats of shellac wiped on is super thin and shouldn't affect your planned textural finish.

Might just solve your problem.

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I'm no expert m8..far from it but i think you'll have to grain fill first then sand & reapply stain, another method i read about was dewaxed shellac & meths mixed together as a washcoat for sealing prior to stain Shuker done this on a build thread on here. Possibly tint your poly with stain ? 

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