Originally Posted by Gouie
Really appreciate the guidance. I’m only leaving it in for a few seconds - sounds like problem number one. If you haven’t figured it out, I haven’t done a lot of staining.
Wood staining is part science and part art. Bob Flexner is my master on wood finishing.
From the GF page on using their oil-based gel stains:
“Apply a slip coat of mineral spirits over the raw wood immediately before application to facilitate the flow of stain on the surface and reduce lap marks. (This is not a conditioner)
Working quickly, apply a LIBERAL coat using a natural bristle brush, foam brush, staining pad, pad applicator or foam roller. Gel Stain dries quickly for all the reasons customers love it: it is loaded with colorants and solids. If not enough stain is used, the surface may dry too quickly, causing an uneven appearance. On large surfaces, leave a wet edge between passes to prevent lap marks. We recommend getting a buddy to help apply the stain.
Stain your project section by section and wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using absorbent shop towels or open-weave cloths, such as cotton terry towels for larger projects. Check for missed spots and lap marks before moving to the next section. Do NOT use cotton t-shirts to wipe away stain because they will "push" the stain around and not absorb it.
Immediately correct lap marks by rewetting the entire working area with stain and wiping off the excess.
Pull excess stain out of corners and details with a natural bristle brush.”
Based on this: “If not enough stain is used, the surface may dry too quickly, causing an uneven appearance.” My bet is you’re doing too thin of a coat. And it looks like my 10-15 minute wait violated the usage instructions! I was doing it when it was cold in the garage, so that must have been why I got lucky.
Don’t leave it on 15 minutes as I said!!! Follow their instructions, you must be applying too-thin of a coat.