1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Am I gonna blow myself up?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by bag of hammers, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,167
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    I have some staining to do in my main (stove) room. It's a Varathane (a soya oil base product, from what I understand). Not a lot of work - just a few boards. I'm gonna freeze if I try this without the woodstove. But with all the recent news and tragedy, I'm leary of opening a can of anything anywhere while burning. Perhaps the answer should be obvious, but I'll ask here so others can benefit from my thickness-of-skull...?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,889
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    What does the label on the can say?
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,120
    Loc:
    Midwest
    Well... I went to: http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGResourceCenter.asp?sn=msd and grabbed an MSDS for a Varathane product. You may try for your specific stain, but the one I grabbed shows several VOCs...mineral spirits, petroleum distilates and 1,2,4 Trimethylbenzene. It further shows the calculated flashpoint at 106ºF. So given those snippets of info, one could say - if the vapors of the product reach 106ºF, in proper concentration and there is a source of ignition, there could be a 'flash fire'. Now, is that likely to happen in an open room, staining only 'a few boards'? ...most likely not, but ultimately a decision only you can make. I suspect the far bigger danger is what happens to the rags after staining...don't ball them up and stuff them in the trash!

    Me personally, I would wait for warmer days to open windows - just for the fact of the smell over the next few days while the stain dries. Though if the boards absolutely have to be stained, absolutely can't be moved from the stove room I would set up a small fan on the floor to blow away from the stove (these vapors are heavier than air) and get her done. You may also consider rigging up some type of activated charcoal filter (sometimes you can buy as rolls of fabric or square 16"x20" 'furnace filter' types) and have the fan move air through that - it will help 'absorb' the VOCs and the smell from the stain.
  4. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,167
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    Looks like Corey answered that question (thanks). I'm probably just going to freeze, but the sanity checks are good. Warmer days are now probably 5 months away. Still better than a warm fireball now. I kinda just ask this question because I wonder how many folks typically consider this kind of thing?

    edit: not just wood stove burners but anyone with appliances that have pilot lights, etc. I guess a broader issue....
    Pallet Pete and Backwoods Savage like this.
  5. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    676
    Loc:
    NW CT
    Will the stain set in the cold? If not you may want to wait till warmer weather? Be safe!
  6. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,167
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    For anyone interested, I ended up getting a water based stain instead of the oil based stuff. It seemed to do a decent job. I ran my propane for a couple hours when I got there to take some of the chill off, then I shut it all down to apply the stain (propane unit on the same floor, open flame there too). Took a couple hours or so. No wood fire that night. and a bit chilly but I got it done. I'll just have to make a bit hotter fire next weekend to make up for it... :)
  7. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,889
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    Wise.

    A few weeks ago, a million dollar house blew up in Seattle causing substantial damage to adjacent houses. News said it was a contractor using lacquer on a job. The fumes ignited when the furnace started. I'd have to think it must have been a lot of lacquer, but with the right fuel/air mixture, it can happen. Better be safe than, well, in pieces.:)
  8. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,167
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    Wow. I'm glad I posted here and gave it more consideration. I'll save the oil stain for the warmer days. Thanks for the add'l sanity check. How did the contractor end up? Hope it wasn't a loss of life.
  9. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,889
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    Forgot to mention. No casualties (somehow). They may have finished and gone home by then. It was a new home or a remodel or something. Now, that has to be an unusual circumstance and maybe your stain would not have had as much flammable volatiles, but still... Anyway, using oil based products like that probably isn't a good idea anyway in an enclosed, unventilated space.

    Glad the water based stain worked for you

Share This Page