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Been a reader for a while , getting tips and researching some things - this is my first time posting.

Bottom of cabinet had water damage and I sanded it out and got some stain to try to match as close as possible.

But, the sanded area is not taking the stain at all.  It is way, way lighter than what it should be and is no where near the original color.

I read where using a coarser grade of sand paper will allow the wood to absorb more color, but before I start again, I wanted to ask if there is anything else I can do to get the spot darker and as close to the rest of the finish as possible.

Has anyone been able to successfully fix this kind of damage and how did you get it to look acceptable?

Thanks in advance for your help!

20210604_223634.jpg

20210604_223628.jpg

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@LeftWrench, first let me say welcome, and thanks for posting.

From the images provided, it appears you sanded out the stained spot, rather than the entire panel. In my experience, this always leads to disappointment. From what I can see, the remaining stained area shows very little wood grain, indication that the original finish may contain a larger amount of suspended pigment, like a gel stain does. You might look for a gel type stain in the color you think matches best, and get a more consistent result, but I think you will still be disastified unles you sand and refinish the entire panel.

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Hi wtnhighlander,    

Appreciate the reply.

I was hoping to avoid sanding the entire surface and but the results it seems that that is the only way to get that surface looking somewhat uniform.

Do you have a suggestion as to which brand of gel stain would perform the best?

Thanks!

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@wtnhighlander, with all due respect as I know nothing about refinishing or stripping but, as this looks like the bottom os a cabinet or something, it would be difficult to sand adequately close to the sides. Would a stripper of some sort, make it easier to get down to bare wood? 

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From the way the grain is obscured, you removed a tinted top coat. Stripping and starting that whole shelf over is likely the best option. Turn the whole piece upside down and use the unseen bottom to work toward the desired effect. 

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@wtnhighlander,

Can you recommend a brand/mfg for the suspended pigment gel stain?

Home Depot and Lowes are fairly close but I can order from a specialty shop if the product quality would lead to a better finished result.

Thanks. 

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@LeftWrench, my experience has been primarily with Minwax products, but Rustoleum also has good stuff.

As @Tpt life pointed out, what you may have is a tinted top coat, essentially a clear lacquer or varnish with pigment added, to make it almost like paint. If that is the case, gel stain won't look much better than regular stain for patching just a spot. I recommend removing the old finish from the entire panel, in any case.

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That panel is veneered plywood of some sore be careful sanding. You may have sanded enough of the veneer away that there is no wood left to absorb stain. If you sand the entire panel there is risk of sanding through the veneer.

Color matching a piece like this can be difficult. Depending on the value of the piece hiring a professional to refinish the bottom may be the fastest, easiest, and cheapest option. Once you sand through the bottom veneer there is no fixing it, aside from paint.

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