How to Fix a Blotchy Stain on Pine

By Wade Shaddy

Pine is a light, wide-grained softwood. It also stains easily because its natural color ranges from white to light amber. Pine often incurs blotches because of a bad finish job, bad sanding and prestain preparation, or the finish has worn off. The only way to completely remove blotches from pine is to sand them. Pine sands readily, and once you sand down to the bare wood you can restain. It should look as good as new.

List of Items Needed

  • 100-grit abrasive sanding pad
  • Rotary tool with sanding accessories
  • Cloth
  • Stain applicator
  • Stain
  1. Sand the wood surface with a100-grit abrasive sanding pad or a rotary tool with a sanding accessory. Sand parallel with the grain only. Apply pressure to the pad while you drag it across the surface, or use the accessory tip on the end of the rotary tool to accomplish the same thing.

  2. Sand over the entire surface of the wood, blending the old stain into a consistent color. You don't need to remove the stain, just blend it together so that it is consistent.

  3. Dust off the wood with a soft cloth. Lean down so that light reflects off the surface of the wood.

  4. Look for rough spots on the wood. Look for patches, blotches or grain patterns that are not consistent with other areas and sand them out.

  5. Sand one last time by sanding with long strokes, always parallel to the grain. Sand in long continuous strokes to even out the surface of the pine.

  6. Apply another coat of stain. Wet the surface of the pine with stain and wipe it off immediately. Wait 15 minutes. If you still see blotching, resand and reapply stain until the blotches are gone.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some stains are oil based, but the majority of stains are lacquer based. Stick with lacquer for the most consistent, blotch-free pine.
  • Always wear breathing and eye protection when working with wood, sanders or wood finishing products.

© Demand Media 2011