The reason that there are so many different staining products available is that there has been an ongoing search for ways to color wood for the past several hundred years. Each new staining product has been produced to: (11 give belter color: (2) give better control of the process; (3) speed up the process by faster drying; or (4) to overcome some deficiency of existing products.
Water stains, for example, are dyes dissolved in water and applied to the wood. They provide good, warm coloring. However, because they contain water, they may cause the wood to swell, raising the grain. This means that your once-smooth surface is no longer smooth and must be sanded again. But when you sand, you disturb the even level of color and may expose unstained wood. To combat this, NGR (Non-Grain Raising) stains were developed, These contain the same dyes, but employ a solvent other than water. Both types continue to be sold, which helps-confuse the newcomer to the field.
The plain fact is that many stains remain in use and are still on the market because smooth under your hand, but don't apply a lot of pressure or use coarse abrasives. Just keep working, lightly and steadily, until the surface feels ready for the final finish coat.
professionals learned to use them, to like them and to believe that they are the best. These professionals won't use the newer products because they can do so well with the old ones. The problem is that these older stains are good only in the hands of an experienced person who has used them over and over, knows how to get good results and knows their deficiencies. The newcomer has none of this experience, but following the professional's good advice, obtains these stains for his own furniture — and gets into trouble. The professional fails to realize that his marvelous results come from a combination of product and experience, and that the newcomer is missing half of that formula.
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