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How to achieve this color on hard maple?

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Forum topic by Medici posted 02-01-2017 01:49 AM 619 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Medici

45 posts in 419 days


02-01-2017 01:49 AM

Hello,

My sister in law has a beautiful slab of European Beech for her main counter top, and it’s got a really nice dark amber/light brown color that I just can’t seem to get on maple.

Here’s a couple pictures for reference.

Maple is obviously hard enough to stain as it is without blotches; but even so, I cannot get the color right. I have tried mixing multiple minwax stains, (both their regular stains and their gel stains) and still can’t get it right. Even multiple coats of what I thought would work, doesn’t.

This isn’t an uncommon finish color, but has anyone achieved this color on maple before? I would just use beech for my project, but it’s pretty hard to come by here in Upstate NY. Please tell me how you did it!

Thanks!


11 replies so far

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

514 posts in 587 days


#1 posted 02-01-2017 02:24 AM

Having recently gone through a difficult process of staining Maple, I understand your problem. If I was working on your problem, I’d order some of Charles Neil’s blotch controller and several Transtint dyes in the light to dark oak range. I’d blend them in water until I found the right color. It requires patience and time and maybe many test blends. Order 4 to 6 wide mouth blend bottles from the Container Store to hold your various blends and to allow some to be darkened or lightened. I think the bottles are a plastic called Nalgene. I have a bunch of them.

I had probably 8 test boards that I’d try a new dye blend on. I’d write on the edge of the board which blend it was. If I didn’t like it, off to the jointer to ‘clean’ the face of the board. The boards were pretty thin by the time I found the dye blend I wanted.

Have patience.

View Medici's profile

Medici

45 posts in 419 days


#2 posted 02-01-2017 03:05 AM



Having recently gone through a difficult process of staining Maple, I understand your problem. If I was working on your problem, I d order some of Charles Neil s blotch controller and several Transtint dyes in the light to dark oak range. I d blend them in water until I found the right color. It requires patience and time and maybe many test blends. Order 4 to 6 wide mouth blend bottles from the Container Store to hold your various blends and to allow some to be darkened or lightened. I think the bottles are a plastic called Nalgene. I have a bunch of them.

I had probably 8 test boards that I d try a new dye blend on. I d write on the edge of the board which blend it was. If I didn t like it, off to the jointer to clean the face of the board. The boards were pretty thin by the time I found the dye blend I wanted.

Have patience.

- Kirk650

I’ll try that. Will order some this week.

Thanks for the input!

View mrbob's profile

mrbob

182 posts in 407 days


#3 posted 02-01-2017 03:12 AM

Try using Trans Tint dye first, with or without stain after wards. Dyes work different then stains, you dye to get color, you stain after wards to get depth.

View Medici's profile

Medici

45 posts in 419 days


#4 posted 02-02-2017 11:50 AM



Try using Trans Tint dye first, with or without stain after wards. Dyes work different then stains, you dye to get color, you stain after wards to get depth.

- mrbob

Okay, sweet! any recommendation on color for maple, to achieve what’s pictured? I haven’t used Transtint before.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1426 posts in 1828 days


#5 posted 02-02-2017 01:08 PM

Blotch control. Never had any problem getting depth with dye only. Depth is achieved with topcoat sheen. Varying color, as in controlled blotching, or layering color, can create more apparent depth as well.

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Medici

45 posts in 419 days


#6 posted 02-02-2017 01:35 PM



Blotch control. Never had any problem getting depth with dye only. Depth is achieved with topcoat sheen. Varying color, as in controlled blotching, or layering color, can create more apparent depth as well.

- OSU55

I have a can of Minwax conditioner laying around somewhere, I’ll try it out first!

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

542 posts in 1702 days


#7 posted 02-02-2017 02:30 PM

I’ve never stained maple. Ever. But I can nearly achieve that tone simply by oiling it or applying some shellac to it…amber shellac if you want it darker.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

116585 posts in 3415 days


#8 posted 02-02-2017 03:34 PM

The problem with most blotch controls is that they are oil base making it the same solvent as many stains, which when applied it can dissolve the oil base blotch control still allowing blotch to occur, Charles Neils Blotch control is water based and has great reviews including my own.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1430

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5466 posts in 2651 days


#9 posted 02-02-2017 05:12 PM

Try a shellac washcoat as a pre-stain conditioner. I use Bullseye Seal Coat thinned 50/50 with denatured alcohol.

Then scuff sand and apply the dye. Finally topcoat.

Do at least one of your sample boards this way, you will be amazed at how much control the shellac wash coat gives you.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1426 posts in 1828 days


#10 posted 02-03-2017 12:49 PM

No, not the Minwax conditioner or other oil based conditioners. They are simply solvents that will evaporate with time. I think there is one out there with some solids content. Re-read the blotch control blog.

View Medici's profile

Medici

45 posts in 419 days


#11 posted 02-03-2017 12:56 PM



No, not the Minwax conditioner or other oil based conditioners. They are simply solvents that will evaporate with time. I think there is one out there with some solids content. Re-read the blotch control blog.

- OSU55

Oh sorry! I didn’t mean minwax. I meant water based conditioner haha.

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