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Got a problem with stain.

I built this house 27 years ago (actually I was my own General and hired craftsmen to get the place exactly the way I wanted it). The cabinets and doors plus all the trim were finished with Minwax stain and clear, applied by a professional finisher. There's not one piece of painted wood inside this house, it's all stain and has looked lovely until just recently. Lately streaks have been appearing. On one hall door there's a large area that is the color of the unfinished wood. It looks like somebody took steel wool and rubbed the finish off. There are no flakes on the floor so it's not chipping. The finish feels intact on the streaked areas and other than the occasional Pledge dampened dusting towel no chemicals are ever used on the wood. We keep the windows open a lot and use the heat and air sparingly. Humidity is kept within reasonable limits. It it possible that indoor stain in a clean household environment has a life span and goes away by itself? I'd welcome any ideas as to what might be causing this and what I can do without refinishing everything. Minwax hasn't been all that helpful and I'm sure one of my fellow home owners might have the right idea.
Thanks in advance.

Re: Got a problem with stain.


There is no internal time clock for varnishes. They deteriorate because of wear or possibly severe, direct sunlight over a long period. It does not sound like you are descriobing these.

In any event, the damage you describe does not sound like it can be really fixed short of stripping and starting over. If the wood is dark, a glaze might be possibly be put over it, but I doubt you would be satisfied with the result. Also, glazes are vulnerable to scratching and showing wear wherein the underlying color starts showing through.

Whether Pledge can cause the damage you describe, I donĀ“t know. I can tell you that in the past Pledge contained wax. When trying to re-varnish kitchen cabinets where the housewife had been using Pledge, extreme care had to be taken in cleaning the cabinets as the new varnish would bead up over any remaining Pledge residue.

Re: Got a problem with stain.

Just a guess, but perhaps a stain/finish combo was used. They generally look good to start but the finish is usually thin and the satin is suspended in the finish rather than in the wood. Ammonia and bleach products have a devastating affect on this type of product plus as the finish wears thin the stain disappears.


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