ScrollSaw Information and Resources #31: Staining Baltic Birch Plywood

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Blog entry by jerrells posted 06-21-2012 11:52 PM 9270 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 30: DeWalt DW788 Question Part 31 of ScrollSaw Information and Resources series Part 32: Selling on the ETSY WEB Site »

OK this may be a really dumb question but here goes. Staining Baltic Birch Plywood. When you purchase it does it generally have some type of sealer on the surface. I just got finished cutting a fretwork clock out of baltic birch and staining it and it looks horrable. My only choice it to attempt to sand it and apply a different stain method. I generally get my wood from the local Rockler store but sometime purchase some from Lowes.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

5 comments so far

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

181 posts in 3517 days

#1 posted 06-22-2012 12:18 AM

Hey Jerrell,
From what I can tell, birch blotches pretty badly. What about using a gel stain? That might work right on top of what you already have.

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2665 days

#2 posted 06-22-2012 12:26 AM

did you use a pre-stain conditioner?

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Vicki's profile


1106 posts in 3544 days

#3 posted 06-22-2012 12:39 AM

For scrolling it’s better buy ply from a scrolling supplier, IMHO. Quality is much better. I’ve read that the cure for a bad stain job is a darker gel stain. The tip about conditioner is good to remember beforehand. Also, to darken it slightly you might want to use the lemon oil & lacquer treatment like Steve Good.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 2981 days

#4 posted 06-22-2012 12:47 AM

Hi jerrells,

I scroll jigsaw puzzles and I like to prefinish the backs. If I’m going to stain the wood I always precondition it with either dewaxed shellac or Minwax’s pre-stain conditioner. This really does make the stain cover more uniformly. When the stain dries, if I have reservations about the surface consistency, I recoat with the conditioner. I don’t go crazy trying to get the back of the puzzle perfect, but I do want the back of the puzzle to itself be a puzzle, so I do want it to look nice.

Best of luck.

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 3085 days

#5 posted 06-22-2012 03:07 PM

WELL thanks for all the replys. As dangerous as it may have been I just got through taking a sander to my fretwork. I decided when I started making project that they would be the finest I could product. So if I broke it – O WELL. As it turns out I sanded it to bare wood and have not applied a coat of pre stain and will apply a new finish in about an hour. I will keep you posted.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

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