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Fading Minwax stain

gpasewicz's picture

There is a window in our kitchen, right above the sink.  The sill often gets wet, obviously.  After about 14 years of getting wet, the finish on the sill was peeling and there were slight splits forming in the wood, as well as some staining.   So I took on the task of refinishing it.

Sanded to the bare wood and to 220 grit.  Applied a generous coat of Minwax Golden Oak stain & sealant, which, coincidentally,  matched the rest the windowframe as well as the cabinets.  The next day I did a second application of the stain & sealant.  About a week and a half later I brushed on two coats of Minwax Helmsman spar varnish.  

Now something odd is happening.  The color of the sill is fading.  The window gets indirect sunlight, in late afternoon.  When it was first stained, the refinished portion was indistinguishable from the rest.  Now there is a distinct difference.   It doesn't really matter that it's fading, but the question remains:  Why?  How could this be prevented in situations where fading would be unacceptable?

jackplane's picture

(post #107989, reply #1 of 2)

I would venture to guess the sill had a much higher moisture content,because it was so frequently wet, compared to the other pieces of trim. If so, the stain never penetrated the wood, it just sat with the varnish as a film. Spar varnish has UV blockers, so the sunlight should not have affected it so soon.

    I'd replace the sill and restain with golden oak and varnish. Easiest fix.

Expert since 10 am.

stancalow's picture

(post #107989, reply #2 of 2)


I had exactly the same situation you have.  I tried spar varnish for UV protection, but the sun is merciless, and it peels away after a summer.  I do not want to take off and refinish, so am resigned to re-doing it every fall.  BTW, I read somewhere that Minwax Golden Oak was about the most commonly used stain for the last decade or so.  Seems like every house I go into has it too.