Best hardwood for staining?

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Forum topic by Brian posted 11-20-2009 09:06 PM 5247 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brian's profile


79 posts in 2800 days

11-20-2009 09:06 PM

Client wants a simple bench that will have an upholstered top.
He’ll finish it so the easiest wood to stain is what he’s looking for.


11 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4047 posts in 2377 days

#1 posted 11-20-2009 09:11 PM

red or white oak i would guess cuz of all the shaker furniture out there but i guess u can stain anything its just if its gonna look good?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 2391 days

#2 posted 11-20-2009 09:22 PM

I also vote for red &/or white oak. It always seems to take stain well.

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 2233 days

#3 posted 11-21-2009 12:47 AM

Walnut, no stain needed. Just apply some tung or untinted danish oil and you’re good to go.

If you’re dead set on applying a stain Red Oak is tops, takes stain like a champ

White Oak is hit or miss, stain seeps in less but not very prone to blotching

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 2414 days

#4 posted 11-21-2009 12:59 AM

Oak is indeed beautiful when you stain it.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 2284 days

#5 posted 11-22-2009 04:35 AM

Maple a cherry is very prone to blotching so stay away. I just did a bed a dresser in red oak. In the end I went with no stain just shellac as a finish but I did several test pieces in several colors and did not have any problems. I would suggest red oak also.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2974 days

#6 posted 11-22-2009 05:32 AM

R&W OAK…nuf said.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Rabbet's profile


35 posts in 2229 days

#7 posted 11-22-2009 06:24 AM


View seearran's profile


5 posts in 2205 days

#8 posted 11-22-2009 06:32 PM

hi brian your basswood or tulipwood as its known here in uk takes stain very well might not be strong enough though ,depends on the kind of bench your making ?.

-- ian,troon,scotland,

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 2840 days

#9 posted 11-22-2009 06:51 PM

the best known wood for taking a stain is birch. Many experts have been fooled into thinking a piece made from birch was actually mahogany. It was very commonly used by furniture makers in the 18th and early 19th centuries and sold as an economical alternative to the “richer” woods. I’ve seen many examples here in eastern Canada, I don’t know about other areas.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 2196 days

#10 posted 11-23-2009 01:49 AM

What can I say I agree with Dave birch is cheep and it dos stain well. I might choose light birch to avoid some of the color variations that you can get with birch.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View thiel's profile


374 posts in 2380 days

#11 posted 11-23-2009 02:06 AM

I’ve had great luck staining poplar with a deep walnut. Looks great and it’s a nice inexpensive wood.

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

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