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Can someone please explain these spots on my cabinet?

What's up with my cabinet door? 


Anonymous.... believe it or not the surface was completely sanded and looked clean, then I put the wood conditioner on and the spots just popped out. I think there were little warped dots that weren't noticeable until I started putting on the conditioner and stuff. I don't see how it can be the stain when I used the same stain on the other cabinets and all but 3 came out beautifully. Only 3 of the bottom ones stained all spotty. Do you think it might be water damage?

Update 2:

Thanks everyone. I ended up taking it to the cabinet refinisher and they told me I sanded it too much and ended up taking little spots of vinyl off of the cabinet face. The cabinet doors were really old and made of plywood so and the spots were where the finish made contact with bare plywood. He ended up sanding it down again and replacing the vinyl on the cabinet face and they look beautiful now.

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8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

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  • Shark
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    sand it and buy another can of finish

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I have never seen this before but it looks like you might be at the bottom of the can...and you scooped up dried up varnish .  It looks as though it is in the clear itself..  There is only one solution. Sanding it all off.  If it is oil based varnish WAIT 72 HOURS OR MORE before you start sanding it off.  It takes that long for the varnish to harden from surface to the wood.  You got to go to the wood.  You could use paint stripper too earlier and scrape off most of that goop.  Then sand the wood.  (It almost looks like plywood)

    . If you have sanded down to bare wood, there is no need for conditioner as you are not trying to stain it evenly.   You are just putting on a clear coat.

    I never used a conditioner EVER.   50 years of painting/finishing.  This is not bugs, water damage.  It does not have a pattern. It is not something in the wood.  You can only try to do it again...on a perfectly dry surfaces.

    Another thing you can do is first coat it with Shellac.  Allow it a full day or 2 to dry, sand lightly and then a coat of varnish.

    It is all you can do.

  • 1 month ago

    UGH! I hate when unexpected things show up AFTER the finish coat!

    Wait for the product to cure on the surface, then, sand deeply. It appears as though the original finish was somehow pitted, which changed how porus the wood absorbed the stain in those areas.

    I'd start over.

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  • 1 month ago

    It’s not water damage. From your picture, the conditioner you put on looks way too heavy. The spotting appears to be old stain that was soaked up by the wood when it was originally finished. There’s a couple reasons why it could’ve showed up after you applied the conditioner. Either whoever originally finished the doors didn’t seal them properly prior to spraying color on them or the stain was wiped on without a conditioner. The other reason they showed up would be the door wasn’t sanded enough to remove all the stain. When sanding the clear coat with a fine sponge or paper, the clear coat dust will appear white and be quite fine. Once you hit bare wood, this fine white dust and the fine sawdust from sanding can give the illusion of a clean, blemish free surface. Once you started brushing or wiping the conditioner on, you pulled the fine dust out of the porous wood surface and revealed the blemishes. You can avoid that by using dry, compressed air to blow off the surface prior to applying finish. 

  • 1 month ago

    It looks like the stain bubbled as it dried.  I'd sand it off and start again.

  • 1 month ago

    It is very difficult to tell from the pictures. You can't even tell the kind of wood. I suggest you take one of the doors to your local paint store and ask their advise. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    It's your finish, not the cabinet wood.  May be something in the stain and something in the finish coat were not compatible and caused a congealing of the stain, or a bleeding of the wood pores.   There are a lot of chemicals in finish products, and it could be incompatible brands or some unknown substituted product. May be something in the top coat that is too hot (too reactive).   Why did you put on a finish coat if the base coat was spotted?

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