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Maple finish without showcasing grain

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Forum topic by Seankanary posted 04-27-2017 12:49 PM 212 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Seankanary

2 posts in 229 days


04-27-2017 12:49 PM

Good morning gents,

So I just completed my first woodworking project so bear with as I am new to the game. I built a frame less kitchen island out of maple ply and I’m having a hard time matching the finish of my other cabinets. While I know I’m not going to match exactly, I’d like it to look somewhat similar. My existing cabinets are a natural maple shaker style that have a slightly yellow tone. I have been able achieve the yellowish tone almost exactly by using danish oil…it also gives me a very similar satin finish as well. Here is my question, is there a finish that can provide a similar yellow tone and sheen without highlighting the grain to the level the danish oil is? When I stand back and look at the island, it looks like it was built out of construction grade plywood. My other maple cabinets, you can see the grain, but it’s not remotely as pronounced as on my plywood. I’ve seen other folks build interior furniture out of the nice maple plywood that has a much nicer finish than what I’ve been able to achieve. Any tips or suggestions?


3 replies so far

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LittleShaver

206 posts in 454 days


#1 posted 04-27-2017 01:05 PM

You’re going to have to use something other than oil for your first coat. Oils are best for highlighting grain.

You might try a coat of 1# cut of shellac followed by water based poly. Most shellacs will give you a bit of yellow and water based poly is quite clear and will give you a very protective finish for the kitchen.

Finishing is mostly trial and error. Test your finishing plan on scrap to see if it turns out the way you want it.

-- Sawdust Maker

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Seankanary

2 posts in 229 days


#2 posted 04-27-2017 01:53 PM



You re going to have to use something other than oil for your first coat. Oils are best for highlighting grain.

You might try a coat of 1# cut of shellac followed by water based poly. Most shellacs will give you a bit of yellow and water based poly is quite clear and will give you a very protective finish for the kitchen.

Finishing is mostly trial and error. Test your finishing plan on scrap to see if it turns out the way you want it.

- Dan Hulbert

I appreciate the quick response. Would you suggest buying the flake and mixing my own, or would a premixed shellac be sufficient for me?

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LittleShaver

206 posts in 454 days


#3 posted 04-27-2017 02:51 PM

You have a lot more color options if you go the flake route. I’m a big fan of pre-mixed amber, but that is a personal choice. You may actually need two types of shellac. If you use non-de-waxed shellac for color, you should consider using a coat of de-waxed before the poly to assure good adhesion. I’ve never tried water based poly over non-de-waxed shellac so I’d be a little concerned about adhesion. Perhaps someone else will add their experience.

-- Sawdust Maker

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