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Finishing maple

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Blog entry by Deanna posted 02-09-2015 11:14 PM 1352 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am finishing a maple piece. It is sanded 120, 150. I am getting ready to go to a 180 then a 220 before applying a wood conditioner (2 coats with a 320 sanding after each) before using a wiping stain. Am I on the right track? I feel I might be over sanding but not sure. Getting sanding fatigue! haha



7 comments so far

View Arthouse's profile

Arthouse

250 posts in 2117 days


#1 posted 02-10-2015 12:02 AM

Your getting sanding fatigue because your doing too much. It depends what finish you use but if you are going to use a film finish , spray laquer or conversion varnish then you only need to sand to 120 . Stain then spray. You are working toward a hand rubbed finsih. That is what guys who want a hand rubbed finish do. They sand until there blue in face then rub a finish. If you are staining then your still doing to much. I always spray the piece with a clear laquer before i stain because the stain takes the end grain and flat grain differently. The guys who use a hand rubbed finish never stain because they rub it off. Good luck . All this and Heaven too.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View OggieOglethorpe's profile (online now)

OggieOglethorpe

1213 posts in 1576 days


#2 posted 02-10-2015 12:03 AM

I don’t think so…

There’s going to be nothing left for the pigment to lodge in. The pigment particles will wipe right off a 320 grit sanded, sealed surface. I’m a big fan of dyes and sprayed tinted clear coats on maple.

As you’re sanding your project, have you been preparing some scraps for finish tests? If not, prepare some and test your finish there first.

View Deanna's profile

Deanna

29 posts in 724 days


#3 posted 02-10-2015 12:55 AM

I tried the dye (TransTint) and it blotch. I did a sample as described and its nice. The sample is on the veneer and I also have trim, cabinet front, molding – all of which are solid maple. Don’t want problems with the solid maple!!! Nervous about that. Will take advise scrap for finish testing. I will definitely figure out how Arthouse is doing this but sounds like I’ll need to invest in a sprayer for all his options. Oh…and I’m going dark… dark walnut specifically, and very shiny!

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5059 posts in 2613 days


#4 posted 02-10-2015 01:30 AM

Deanna,

I agree that you’re sanding too much. If you’re going to stain, don’t sand past 150 grit. In fact, the lower the grit you sand to, the darker the stain will be. So, 120 will be darker than 150, etc.

I highly recommend you read Bob Flexner’s book “Flexner on Finishing.” He has a chapter on dealing with blotching, and also sanding, staining—basically everything you need to know about finishing, in one book. You should be able to check it out from your local library.

-- Dean

View Aggie69's profile

Aggie69

25 posts in 1466 days


#5 posted 02-10-2015 02:38 AM

You can’t get a dark walnut using a wipe on stain because there are no cracks and crevices for the particles (think fine mud) to lodge in. With conditioner and the fine sanding you’re doing you’ll be lucky to get to a light beige color! I just finished a Murphy bed and two cabinets out of maple in a dark antique cherry. I sanded to 220 and used Trans-tint dye in alcohol to eliminate grain raising- SPRAYED ON LIGHTLY IN MULTIPLE PASSES. The light multiple passes allow the color to go on EVENLY without standing on the hard stuff and soaking into the soft stuff (NO BLOTCHING – everything gets the same amount of dye!). Then I put a LIGHT seal coat of dewaxed shellac (conditioner) on it followed by a walnut wiping stain to add a little personality to the grain. I then shot 3 coats of dewaxed shellac, scuff sanded to 320, followed by 2 coats of Minwax Polyacrylic. This was all done with a $20 spray gun from Harbor Freight!!! Looked great!

View Arthouse's profile

Arthouse

250 posts in 2117 days


#6 posted 02-11-2015 12:49 PM

I have worked professionally in huge Millwork shops my whole life. I have run manufacturing facilities in L.A. Colorado Springs , and San Antonio and been trained by professional finishers who work everyday finishing veneered panels for million dollar jobs. A true dye stain in mixed individually from the base colors for each color and sprayed on. The idea for dye is to sit on top of the wood never filling the grain therefore one gets an even color through out. It drys as soon as it hits the wood and can be sanded off if the desired color is not found. Then sprayed film finish laquer or conversion varnish is applied. If you use a oil stain then spray the piece first and the stain will sit on the clear coat evenly. This is the professional way and the best. Anyone rubbing a dye stain will get blotching because it is too much at one time. Dye stain is always sprayed . Hope you get it . All this and Heaven too.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5059 posts in 2613 days


#7 posted 02-11-2015 09:58 PM


If you use a oil stain then spray the piece first and the stain will sit on the clear coat evenly. This is the professional way and the best.
- Arthouse

Arthouse,

Question for you: If you spray a clearcoat over the wood first, then apply the stain, will the stain adhere to the clearcoat? It seems like it would just wipe right off.

-- Dean

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