Why did varnish remove my stain?

Anonymous asked 10 years ago

Can you help me? I recently purchased new wood front doors. I sanded them, stained them, waited a week, then applied marine spar varnish to the top layer. In application, the varnish took off/bleached much of the stain. The original stain color was red, and it looked beautiful and well-done until I applied the varnish. Now there are bleached streaks throughout. What did I do wrong?
Thanks for any help.

1 Answers
JT Creations, LLC answered.

With this amount of information, I will attempt an answer.

What sounds like happened is you applied a generous amount of stain which did not properly penetrate. Then during the varnish application you over worked the varnish, wetting the stain and dragging it with your brush from the evenness you had.

Good news, with sanding, staining and recoating all should not be lost.