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"Sun Tanned Poplar"

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Forum topic by Paul Iglehart posted 10-13-2015 07:56 PM 2112 views 2 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Paul Iglehart

8 posts in 1133 days


10-13-2015 07:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: poplar aged cheap sun tanned

Hi,

I have been doing some research on finishing Poplar and ran across some stuff on “Sun Tanned Poplar”.
Particularly the items found on this website http://monkwoodstudio.com/. On one entry he says that tanning the Poplar in the sun for a day will give it this effect.. I am new to this so I wanted to see if anyone has achieved similar effects with Poplar. If so what finish should be used after tanning? Here are some pictures..

-- The Devils in the Details


12 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4822 posts in 2511 days


#1 posted 10-13-2015 08:00 PM

I do not know anything about sun tanned poplar but I sure like the look of these furnitures.

-- Bert

View todd4390's profile

todd4390

130 posts in 931 days


#2 posted 10-13-2015 08:05 PM

I know that sitting cedar out in the sun will give it a tanned look so I’m sure it works for poplar as well. I would say you could give it a top coat of a water based poly if you don’t want the color changed much or an oil based varnish if you want to warm it up a bit. By looking at these pics it doesn’t look like the color of the sap wood was warmed up much so I would guess a water based top coat was used. I’m not a finishing guru by any stretch just speaking from my own experience.

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Paul Iglehart

8 posts in 1133 days


#3 posted 10-13-2015 08:16 PM

This is a quote from his website..

“I discovered this ‘sun tanning’ technique one day when I accidentaly left a piece of freshly sealed poplar out to dry on a summer’s day. It changed drasticaly from its pale greenish state into a honey and chocolate colored delight. I thought, “This is a great mistake!”. The sealer acted like a good sun tan lotion on a relaxed beach body in the California sun. A new style of furniture was born…”

-- The Devils in the Details

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1950 posts in 1452 days


#4 posted 10-13-2015 08:58 PM

Quite a bit of the poplar has various shades of green which turn brown and tan with time and exposure to light or Sun. Putting it out in the sun accelerates the change.

View markf's profile

markf

28 posts in 446 days


#5 posted 10-14-2015 03:28 AM

I’ve never tried it intentionally but I’ve seen the results accidentally also. As soon as the green is gone, for my money, there’s nothing more beautiful than poplar, so I say as clear as you can accomplish.
Your’e work here is beautiful

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22006 posts in 1801 days


#6 posted 10-14-2015 04:08 AM

I get a lot of poplar. Quite frequently it has incredible color. I would like to know what he used for a sealer.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Tugboater78's profile

Tugboater78

2446 posts in 1655 days


#7 posted 10-14-2015 04:14 AM

The poplar used in my toolchest ended up looking like this, though it didnt see much sun. Boards originally had the mix of color poplar sometimes has.

Where it has shown the most i had put a thin layer of clear shellac. Just aged that way i reckon.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

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Paul Iglehart

8 posts in 1133 days


#8 posted 10-14-2015 04:29 AM

Monte, here is some more info I found.. He says.. “The warm tone is created by applying age old de-waxed shellac sealer and then tanning the wood for a day in the Cali sun. We then apply a heavy duty water-based clear satin finish. That will handle years of spills and thrills.”

-- The Devils in the Details

View G5Flyr's profile

G5Flyr

51 posts in 1196 days


#9 posted 10-17-2015 04:19 PM



I do not know anything about sun tanned poplar but I sure like the look of these furnitures.

- b2rtch

I couldn’t have said it better Bert!

Thanks for this post Paul! I never cease to be amazed by what I learn on this website. Being a novice I had no idea you could “sun tan” wood. Poplar is plentiful where I live in Virginia. I love it because it is so easy to work with hand tools. I just finished making one of Chirs Schwarz’s English saw benches and rubbed it down with some BLO. It’s now a pukey yellowish color. Late next spring I’m going to put that bench out in the sun and see what happens. Thanks for all the info.

-- G5Flyr

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BurlyBob

3674 posts in 1728 days


#10 posted 10-19-2015 03:27 AM

I’m total agreement with Bert and NoVaDave. I had my first experience wit poplar last month. After seeing this it certainly won’t be my last. Thank you for posting this.

Bob

View joey502's profile

joey502

487 posts in 981 days


#11 posted 10-23-2015 05:22 PM


I do not know anything about sun tanned poplar but I sure like the look of these furnitures.

- b2rtch

I like the look as well, enough so that I have decided to try it.

My shop has been in need of a rolling cabinet to go under the extension table on my TS. The original plan was to use plywood and some cherry scraps laying around but that changed when I saw this post last week. I sprayed the cabinet with black lacquer and added a poplar face frame and drawer fronts. The poplar I used was rough sawn when I started. I sprayed a couple coats of shellac on it at noon today and placed it outside at 1pm.

Here is a pic after 15 minutes in the driveway. I will post more this evening when, hopefully it is tanned.

View joey502's profile

joey502

487 posts in 981 days


#12 posted 10-23-2015 05:26 PM

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