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Forum topic by Gudd posted 11-22-2009 11:34 PM 1017 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 3347 days

11-22-2009 11:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dyeing maple

Hello all, the new guy here. I’ve only been poking around in woodworking for a couple of years and just recently managed to make a few things the wife will display in the house. My question, if you’re willing to help is about a maple bench I’m making for my wife as a 20 year wedding anniversary gift. I want to do it right and plan on using water based dyes to bring it to life. The more I read up on prepping this really hard slab of wood, the more I’m afraid I’ve burnished it. I think I’m caught between sanding out scratches with higher grits and burnishing the wood to the point it won’t accept the dye. It there a way besides “knowing it when you see it” that I can tell before I start dyeing. That process has me worried enough. Sorry for the long post


7 replies so far

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3798 days

#1 posted 11-22-2009 11:38 PM

Can you spray the bench with water to raise the grain and then start your sanding all over with a lower grit? That should eliminate any burnishing you might have done.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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3 posts in 3347 days

#2 posted 11-22-2009 11:44 PM

Since I’m still kinda new at this, I have to ask. Start over with the lower grits while its wet of after it dries?
thanks for the reply btw.


View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3673 days

#3 posted 11-23-2009 12:37 AM

After it dries. Welcome to the site

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18425 posts in 3916 days

#4 posted 11-23-2009 02:16 AM

Could also use a scraper or plane.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4062 days

#5 posted 11-23-2009 04:27 AM

Monte, Jerry is right. If you start again at a lower grit then basically you are starting the sanding process over again. One way to gauge when you have sanded enough is to lightly mark the surface of the wood with a #2 pencil and when the pencil marks are gone it is time to move on to the next grit.

With regards to coloring the wood with a water base dye as mentioned you will need to raise the grain before coloring the wood by wiping the surface of the wood with a water dampened cloth. Let it dry and then sand with the highest grit that you previously sanded the wood. In instances where I am going to be staining/dyeing the wood I will sand to 150 grit. For a natural finish I take the sanding up to 180 grit. But the 150 grit upper is to keep from closing off the pores of the wood so that it will take the dye better.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3817 days

#6 posted 11-23-2009 04:32 AM

Welcome Monte
I agree with Jerry and Scott.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Gudd's profile


3 posts in 3347 days

#7 posted 11-23-2009 07:53 PM

Thanks for the advice guys. I hope to give it a try in the next couple of days. Were having company over for Thanksgiving and mamas in full cleaning mode so that makes me worker bee #1.


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