GPR Build; Spot Stain Question

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azsixshooter

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I spent all weekend staining and sealing the GPR flintlock I've been working on forever. I used LMF American Walnut stain and 3 coats of LMF sealer. Yesterday I finally got to putting on the LMF oil finish and after 2 coats of that I used some 400 grit sandpaper to lightly sand and prep for follow-up hand rubbed coats. I got too aggressive in one area where there was a little drip buildup and to my surprise I sanded off a light spot about the size of a quarter. Everything else looks so nice, it drives me nuts that I did that. I tried handrubbing some finish over that area in hopes that it would somehow blend or not look so terrible, but this morning it looks as bad as ever. I tried using 0000 steel wool over the whole area hoping again to blend it a little and then apply more finish. It didn't help at all. I tried spot staining it a little, but the stain doesn't seem to take, it just wipes right off.

I figured before I do anymore damage I better just set it down, ask for help here and be patient. I have had a lot of life challenges that have made this build go on for 3 years now and I really just want it to be done at this point so I can shoot my gun finally. I thought by now I'd be just lightly sanding and handrubbing the finish once a day this week to build up something really beautiful. I tried to be so careful when I brushed on the first 2 coats of finish not to get drips or runs, I can't believe I let this happen. I was intentionally trying NOT to sand too much because I was afraid of this.

Well, thanks for any ideas or help you can offer. I hate the thought of having to strip and restain the whole stock or anything like that to make it blend in. I hope there is a way to spot stain it and blend it in at least good enough that I can live with it.
Stock_spot.jpg
 

azsixshooter

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This really sucks, I can't believe all my work and patience is for nothing. I tried pouring some stain on it and when I wiped it off it actually made the whole thing so much worse. I'm ready to turn this stock into toothpicks, I'm so sick over this. I was so excited to be making something beautiful and now I've seemingly destroyed it. The worst part is my 10 year old daughter has been watching me work on this over the years and I keep telling her that someday it will be for her to keep and I want it to be special. I had her all day today and this whole thing put me in the worst mood. I feel terrible for being so crabby around her all day. I wish there was some easy way to fix this, I'm totally at a loss of what to do or who to ask. Maybe I'll send Laurel Mountain Forge an email.
ScrewedupStock.jpg
 

NorthFork

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Patience. I'm sure one of the builders will be along soon enough with some solid advice. We all make mistakes. Experience tells us how to get out of those mistakes. You wanna know how you get experience? Make mistakes. I've got a similar problem myself. So hopefully your question gets answered as the answer will help me with my mistake.
 

leadhoarder

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Looks OK to me but I have always like a hand rubbed looking finish where it does not look like a fine piece of furniture. I always liked the way that old rifles looked where they were discolored slightly around the metal from the oil.
 

1950DAVE

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At this point it looks like you need to strip and start over. Lacquer thinner will remove it. If the stain took the finish off it was not dry enough. Each coat MUST be thoroughly dry before proceeding. Patience is a virtue. Maroon scotchbrite between coats is my preference over sandpaper.
Dave
 

SDSmlf

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If the look really bothers you, time for a do over in my opinion. The only finish that I have been able to easily hide blemishes with is real Tung oil, but that’s not an opinion here. Bite the bullet and refinish.

Edit: Did not see @1950DAVE ‘s post until after I hit the post button.
 

azsixshooter

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Thanks Dave, I was afraid of that but if there is no better way to fix it then that's what I'll have to do. I enjoy working on these projects, but this one has taken way longer than I planned and now I just want to be done with it so I can take a break for awhile. I wish I wouldn't have even bothered trying to get the stupid build-up off, it probably would have smoothed out after several handrubbed coats and very light sanding. Live and learn I guess.
 

azsixshooter

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I had a change of heart and decided I'm going to leave the blonde spot and proceed with the handrubbed coats. I am going to apologize to my daughter for letting such a little thing get me so upset, that I'm happy to have her and that she is healthy and happy. I'm going to tell her I'm leaving that spot because, like me, that rifle is not perfect. It can serve to remind me of what happens when you get impatient and rush. And I always like a little blonde anyway.

Maybe someday she and I can strip and refinish the stock together, for now I'm just going to finish it up and enjoy it. I've got a CVA .45 cal Kentucky Pistol kit in the closet I might start working on next. Thanks guys, sorry for the tantrum fit for a queen!
 

The Crisco Kid

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A dark spot usually looks better than a light spot. At this point I'd say that you have nothing to lose by trying something different. I'd rub it aggressively with a dark stain and some pumice or rottenstone just to see what happened. The thing to remember about mistakes like this is that they will be there forever no matter how you rationalize them. If you have to take the time to start over, do it. It won't be there to haunt you every time you look at it.
 

bubba.50

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Try something like Homer Formby's Furniture Refinisher. it dissolves & blends in imperfections in the original finish without stripping to bare wood.
 

Craig "Wildcat" Wilcox

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I would sand off the new stuff back to where you had the light spot - which is bigger now! But take a few drops of the original stain, dilute it a wee bit with either denatured alcohol or LMF reducer, apply lightly with a Q-tip. Don't get carried away! Lightly does it. then you can seal and finish it.
 

Clint Meier

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Hi azsixshooter,
Maybe I can help! I've been finishing and refinishing stocks for several decades. I don't chime in much because I usually can't contribute much to the shooting aspect of things, but I felt good about replying to you. When pretty much any stain or dye is applied to 'side grain', as shown on your stock, as opposed to end grain, the stain or dye actually soaks in very little. I'd guess maybe only about 1/100" or so. (End grain is a different mater!) Being so thin, it is very easy to sand through in places, which is just what it looks like you did, unintentionally. Your mistake was after you applied sealer and then finish, you reapplied the stain. The coats of sealer/finish sealed the surface of the wood to an extent that the stain really had no where to go. It couldn't soak in even that 1/100", so it sat there only to be easily wiped off. What I would have done is to sand down the light spot with a coarser sand paper to bare wood, just going past the light/dark edge a smidge, so as to feather the edge. Take the next finer paper and sand again just past the light/dark edge a bit further all around. Repeat with each finer grade of sand paper until you have gotten down to what grade you had last sanded with to begin with. If you fuzzed the grain of the wood between sandings before, be sure to do it again to the smaller light area. If you didn't fuzz, disregard.
Once the sanding has been accomplished, carefully apply the same stain you used before, just as you did before, to the sanded area, wiping any off that gets on the darker areas surrounding the lighter area. Once the stain has dried, apply three coats of the LMF Sealer, just as before to the sanded area, feathering it over onto the darker area all around. Like 1950DAVE said, I'd use a small square of Maroon Scotchbrite to just take any shine off the surface, no further. Then apply the LMF finish again and go from there. The Maroon Scotchbrite is not nearly as aggressive as it's sand paper equivalent. I hope that helps you!
 
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