Author Topic: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem  (Read 2504 times)

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Offline James Carriere

  • Posts: 41
General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« on: April 18, 2018, 12:52 PM »
Hello FOG members,

I'm Looking for some opinions / perspective please.  I have had two recent issues when building projects from white oak where the client wanted a white wash finish over the top.  I'm using a 2:1 blend of GF water base wood stain in whitewash and natural to tone down the intensity of the white coverage  (both colors were from new cans).  Both projects had a wood moisture content tested at 6% and the wood came from different stock piles and different times.   The following day after the stain application I am seeing some black mold in the open grain structure of the wood.  Not everywhere, but in some spots.  Has anyone had experience with contaminated stains or any other rationale as to why I am getting mold in a heated shop with dried lumber?  My primary thought is that the cans of stains might have some mold spores in them but a quick google search did not produce any other online reported issues and GF does not offer a tech support line.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2511
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 01:02 PM »
Did you call GF?  I've found them to be really helpful and they might be able to give you some insight on what you are seeing.

(414) 426-0194

Online RDMuller

  • Posts: 296
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 01:47 PM »
Do call their tech support.  I suspect that mold can not grow this fast. Could it be an interaction with tanins in the wood.

Offline James Carriere

  • Posts: 41
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 03:44 PM »
Thank you, they have been great in the past with tech issues, but unfortunately they no longer take calls and refer you to the retailer where you bought the product.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 03:51 PM by James Carriere »

Offline JJ Wavra

  • Posts: 247
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 06:28 PM »
Are you using any steel wool or other metal that could get under the finish?  I am wondering if it is something like how you can ebonize oak.


Jeff


Offline James Carriere

  • Posts: 41
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 07:08 PM »
Are you using any steel wool or other metal that could get under the finish?  I am wondering if it is something like how you can ebonize oak.


Jeff


I like that thought as the marks are little dots as opposed to a large field.  I did use some steel wool on this one but not the other as I remember.  I will have to check the can to see if it contains anything similar to vinegar but It's usually the better part of a week with the steel wool soaking in the vinegar to create a solution that would react with the tannins.

Offline JJ Wavra

  • Posts: 247
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2018, 09:28 PM »
Sometimes the steel wool can get trapped under the water base finish and create blemishes.  On water base finishes I switched over to Mirka scotch bright type of adhesives I think they are called Mirlon.  On oil I still use steel wool sometimes.

Hope it works out for you.

Jeff

Offline James Carriere

  • Posts: 41
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2018, 09:38 PM »
Sometimes the steel wool can get trapped under the water base finish and create blemishes.  On water base finishes I switched over to Mirka scotch bright type of adhesives I think they are called Mirlon.  On oil I still use steel wool sometimes.

Hope it works out for you.

Jeff


Thanks Jeff, I'll get some Mirlon and do some testing.  Appreciate the suggestion!

Offline JGreen

  • Posts: 2
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 09:50 PM »
Hi James, ...this happens to be my first post... Ive been reading this forum for a while and your dilemma prompted me to register and respond.  I recently participated in a General Finishes finishing demo during which they warned of using steel wool as an abrasive prior to using a water based finish. From what they described, very small pieces of the wool can break off and become lodged within the pores of the grain...then comes the water based product... then, tiny spots of rust.

See link:
https://generalfinishes.com/blog/2015/03/can-i-use-steel-wool-with-water-based-finishes

-Jon

Offline James Carriere

  • Posts: 41
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 10:08 PM »
Hi James, ...this happens to be my first post... Ive been reading this forum for a while and your dilemma prompted me to register and respond.  I recently participated in a General Finishes finishing demo during which they warned of using steel wool as an abrasive prior to using a water based finish. From what they described, very small pieces of the wool can break off and become lodged within the pores of the grain...then comes the water based product... then, tiny spots of rust.

See link:
https://generalfinishes.com/blog/2015/03/can-i-use-steel-wool-with-water-based-finishes

-Jon


Thanks Jon,

I love this forum!  Picking up some Mirlon tomorrow to try.  Never had a love affair with steel wool anyway so a synthetic product that doesn't make such a grey mess will be great regardless of my oak spots.  You're the second to suggest the steel wool is the culprit so I'm hopeful.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2511
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 10:17 PM »
Just coming back to this after my earlier post...

I recently did a GF finish on a dresser - water based dye followed by their EnduroVar water based finish. 

I WAS able to talk to them when I was going through the decision process.  So the removal of their phone number surprised me when you said that.  I had put Shellac on some interior drawer side maple pieces and called to check on using the EnduroVar and talked to one of their specialists.  They cautioned me to NOT put EnduroVar over Shellac.    In the course of talking to them about their recommendations, I asked about grain raising between coats with the dye and water-based top coat and they said to use 600 grit foam sanding pads and NOT steel wool, which I have frequently used on oil based finishes.  I picked up some Festool 600 grit pads and they are amazing.  I don't think I need steel wool anymore!

So it's another data point for you. 

Offline James Carriere

  • Posts: 41
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 10:27 PM »
Just coming back to this after my earlier post...

I recently did a GF finish on a dresser - water based dye followed by their EnduroVar water based finish. 

I WAS able to talk to them when I was going through the decision process.  So the removal of their phone number surprised me when you said that.  I had put Shellac on some interior drawer side maple pieces and called to check on using the EnduroVar and talked to one of their specialists.  They cautioned me to NOT put EnduroVar over Shellac.    In the course of talking to them about their recommendations, I asked about grain raising between coats with the dye and water-based top coat and they said to use 600 grit foam sanding pads and NOT steel wool, which I have frequently used on oil based finishes.  I picked up some Festool 600 grit pads and they are amazing.  I don't think I need steel wool anymore!

So it's another data point for you.

Thanks Neil,  I was surprised too as I have also spoken with them in the past.  That line now has a recording which refers you to the dealer who sold you the product and says they will not return any messages.  Great products, but it's a bummer as while I like my local dealers, it's just not the same as speaking with GF. 

I appreciate your input!

Offline JGreen

  • Posts: 2
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 10:28 PM »
Their number is difficult to find, which is probably how they like it... For future reference, it is in the yellow pages. The first number listed (as previously mentioned) is not much help, and will refer you to your retailer. Scroll down to the “more info” drop down for your choice of direct numbers.
https://www.yellowpages.com/east-troy-wi/mip/general-finishes-3351906

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5053
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 11:35 PM »
Using steel wool in finishing water based coatings is the equivalent of using silicone in woodworking.

It’s called cross contamination and it never ends well.

Use stainless steel wool, bronze wool or an inert 3M product like a non-woven web product.

Offline James Carriere

  • Posts: 41
Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2018, 10:29 AM »
Their number is difficult to find, which is probably how they like it... For future reference, it is in the yellow pages. The first number listed (as previously mentioned) is not much help, and will refer you to your retailer. Scroll down to the “more info” drop down for your choice of direct numbers.
https://www.yellowpages.com/east-troy-wi/mip/general-finishes-3351906

Thank you, I have added it to my files!

Offline jobsworth

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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Wood Stain Mold Problem
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2018, 12:52 AM »
Hello FOG members,

I'm Looking for some opinions / perspective please.  I have had two recent issues when building projects from white oak where the client wanted a white wash finish over the top.  I'm using a 2:1 blend of GF water base wood stain in whitewash and natural to tone down the intensity of the white coverage  (both colors were from new cans).  Both projects had a wood moisture content tested at 6% and the wood came from different stock piles and different times.   The following day after the stain application I am seeing some black mold in the open grain structure of the wood.  Not everywhere, but in some spots.  Has anyone had experience with contaminated stains or any other rationale as to why I am getting mold in a heated shop with dried lumber?  My primary thought is that the cans of stains might have some mold spores in them but a quick google search did not produce any other online reported issues and GF does not offer a tech support line.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi James

There is a good chance that it is not mould at all and not the fault of the stain that you put on but on your choice of a water based stain.

Oak, particularly when it is not really well seasoned, will produce tannin (I think it may be more accurately called tannic acid). If you have ever felled an oak tree and left the wood out in the rain for a few days you will see a lot of black streaks appearing due to the tannin.

I cannot advise you how to proceed but I hope that the cause is now established.

Peter