Preserving/Enhancing Green Poplar

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Forum topic by swarfrat posted 03-19-2016 01:34 AM 848 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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39 posts in 1419 days

03-19-2016 01:34 AM

I found this striking piece of poplar and would like to preserve the green streaking. I’ve read that the green fades to brown over time. This is my son’s bass, and he wanted it green. I was preparing to rattle can it hi viz green-yellow (a little darker than most hi viz), because he’s been consistently suggesting green when I ask him for his input on color – but when I saw this piece today I had to grab it.


Can I preserve the green from fading to brown? Can I enhance the contrast without losing the green? What about stain / dying green – either selectively or the whole piece. It still has those nice dark streaks.

Also – the piece is 1/4” thin – too thin to bookmatch, and it’s about 1/4” too narrow for a one piece top. I was thinking of either pseduo bookmatching – cutting to length, taking the remainder, flip it over so the greens are on the inside, and gluing up. Or else contrasting on the outsides straights. Finishing clear was kind of an afterthought. I’m not sure what the best way to fill that 1/4” shortfalll is if I do finish clear.

4 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1786 posts in 2281 days

#1 posted 03-19-2016 01:40 AM

I’d suggest enhancing the green with dye because a good dye is more colorfast than natural wood. Then use a finish with UV inhibitors. UV inhibitors lose effectiveness after awhile but between that and the dye, you can delay the color change for a long while.

-- See my work at and

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1417 days

#2 posted 03-19-2016 01:46 AM

Poplar goes muddy brown. Is fact, no cure. I agree a parrot green dye is called for.


-- Madmark -

View swarfrat's profile


39 posts in 1419 days

#3 posted 03-19-2016 02:53 AM

Based on what I’ve found so far, I’m thinking about trying to get some sort of green-yellow dye mix, and do a burst to black on the edges to cover where I need to piece it. Thanks. Will be interesting looking for the proper color balance on this one.

View swarfrat's profile


39 posts in 1419 days

#4 posted 03-28-2016 04:21 PM

My son was picking all these loud greens. When I started messing with aniline dye, I found that yellow preserved the contrast on the streaking while other colors muted it – so I went with a really yellow electric green. It totally didn’t occur to me until a friend pointed it out, but I don’t think I could’ve made it look more like a pickle if I tried.

I guess it’ll be a “Pickle O’bass”

This is mostly yellow, a little green mixed in, and just clear shellac on the back. I may at some point shoot something else over the shellac, but since I had a shellac wash coat, and was trying to get it done in a hurry – I elected to just stay with shellac for top coats now.

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