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Last night I applied a Natural Oak wood stain to a large oak beam in my kitchen (mainly just to even out the tone and mask a lot of the awful filler previous owners had shoved in there).

On the one hand, this worked like a charm and the colour is perfect. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that it was a Satin finish, and as a result my lovely oak beam has a reflective shine to it, which I definitely, definitely do not want.

I have only applied one layer of the stain thus far, cut with about 25% water. I've read elsewhere that wet-sanding it with a 1000 or 1200-grit paper will help remove the gloss; is this my only option? I was intending to add at least one more layer, and was wondering if simply applying a matte-finish wood stain over the existing satin one would flatten it back down again.

If all else fails (and bearing in mind I am willing to re-apply more wood stain), would a more abrasive sanding technique help, or simply make things more difficult?

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In general, it's the final layer that determines the amount of gloss in the finish. Adding another layer of matte should do it. However, another layer of stain will deepen the color. I presume from your wording that you are actually using an all in one stain and poly finish (minwax?)... That's the hazard with using those - everything needs the same number of coats. Alternatively, you could. Apply a layer of clear matte over the top. If sanding bothers you, you can also try steel wool, as it can be a little more forgiving.

Ultimately, the best advice for finishing is always to test on scrap. You will likely not be able to match the gloss level of the current finish perfectly, and the aforementioned steel wool (0000 type) may help there.

  • Some light abrasion (which deglosses) would be suggested between coats any way, especially going from a higher-to-lower gloss. I agree RE th – HerrBag Mar 4 '15 at 2:37
  • Ah. This is a good point - I hadn't realised that another coat would actually deepen the colour - it's already plenty dark enough. You're correct that I'm using an all-in-one stain - Ronseal Quick Dry Woodstain. I wish I could test on scrap, but it's very, very old oak and I don't have anything even vaguely similar. But I'll give the steel wool a go - thanks for the tip. – indextwo Mar 4 '15 at 11:07

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