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Has anyone tried staining Poplar ?

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Forum topic by MrWoody posted 2245 days ago 27995 views 2 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrWoody

305 posts in 2274 days


2245 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I’ve glued up some panels for a project for my daughter. I used polar because she said she was/is going to paint it, but they have beautiful grain patterns.
If it can be stained, I’m going to try her into not painting.
I would try some scraps, but I don’t seem to have any stain here and I can’t see any point in buying some if I’m not going to use it.
TIA

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.


13 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2321 days


#1 posted 2245 days ago

Poplar can be stained but you will end up with some green areas initially. These will fade to a nice brown with time. So if you can be patient with the piece it will end up a nice shade with time.

I stained all my poplar doors and trim with Minwax Early American and finished them with poly. I really don’t know how long it took since I wasn’t really aware of when the change occurred. I just realized that the greenish tint on some of the panels had simply transformed into a nice brown one day.

Here are some photos:

http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii303/sbryan55/LumberJockPictures028.jpg
http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii303/sbryan55/LumberJockPictures029.jpg
http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii303/sbryan55/LumberJockPictures030.jpg

In the third photo the door on the right is a 6 panel pine door. I was trying to get the poplar and pine to match as closely as I could.

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

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MrWoody

305 posts in 2274 days


#2 posted 2245 days ago

Gorgeous, from the pictures they seem to match.
I’ll tag this and show it to my daughter.
Thanks

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View Critterman's profile

Critterman

595 posts in 2309 days


#3 posted 2245 days ago

Woody, I’ve played with staining it and you have to be careful. Poplar can get blotchy on you so i’d do a seal coat before staining. I haven’t discovered a way to tell where and when it will happen, but I’ve had some pojects that do and some that don’t. Better safe than sorry. Just a heads up.

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

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MrWoody

305 posts in 2274 days


#4 posted 2245 days ago

Thanks for the heads up.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View CoolDavion's profile

CoolDavion

379 posts in 2324 days


#5 posted 2245 days ago

I’ve stained Poplar for this project . I used MinWax brand PolyShade.
Lowes (and probely other stores) sells little 1/2 pint cans, so you can get a little bit of stain without a major investment.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View TampaTom's profile

TampaTom

74 posts in 2253 days


#6 posted 2245 days ago

Either way, I’d recommend getting some Zinnser Seal Coat and cut it half and half with denatured alcohol – wipe that on as a seal coat and sand it down with fine grit paper before you stain. That should control the blotching….

-- Tom's Workbench - http://tomsworkbench.com

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MrWoody

305 posts in 2274 days


#7 posted 2245 days ago

Thanks guys, I’ve talked to my daughter and we’re going to give staining it a try.
Tampa Tom:”I’d recommend getting some Zinnser Seal Coat”.
I suspect that I won’t find that around here, is it similar to shellac?

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View Ampeater's profile

Ampeater

384 posts in 2247 days


#8 posted 2245 days ago

Zinnser Seal Coat is a 2 lb cut of dewaxed shellac and is available at most big box stores.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View Fuzzy's profile

Fuzzy

283 posts in 2488 days


#9 posted 2245 days ago

Several years ago, I made a bunch of Poplar door casing, chair rail, and baseboard to re-do my in-laws house. We did a LOT of research and wound up using WOODKOTE bran gel stain. I’d have never thought Poplar could look so nice. This stuff was great and required no sealing or pre-stain conditioner. Check into it .. .. I think you will be glad you did.

I know there are now lots of gel stains on the market, but I keep going back to what I know to work well for me .. .. and this stuff gets my vote.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View jcees's profile

jcees

943 posts in 2298 days


#10 posted 2244 days ago

Ditto on the SealCoat. I use it straight up, either by brush or sprayer. A light sanding and then I squirt water based dyes out of a bottle sprayer. Let it dry, scuff sand then spray on another light coat of SealCoat then finish with either poly or lacquer. Voila! Note: if you use lacquer, you can skip the last scuff sanding.

I struggled for the first half dozen years of my woodworking life by experimenting with all manner of finishing schedules and the above is what I’ve settled on and have absolutely no qualms in recommending. It is easy to amend, modify or reverse and never fails to impress. I know it sounds a bit too good to believe but it is a matter of keeping it simple rather than falling for some brewmaster’s alchemic secret formula. Although, a light dusting of pixie dust never hurts…

always,
J.C.

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2826 days


#11 posted 2244 days ago

I’d read that it can be stained or dyed to be a pretty good match to cherry. (for what it’s worth)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

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Joe Lyddon

7439 posts in 2552 days


#12 posted 2244 days ago

Tampa Tom,

That sounds like Knipfer’s Rude & Crude method! :) :D

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Justin's profile

Justin

36 posts in 2256 days


#13 posted 2244 days ago

Poplar, I have had luck staining it two ways. The first way was with a coat of shellac, then stained over it. Very good result. And I did noticed that in a short amount of time It had darkened to a more even color.

The other way I had luck and it took the stain very well was with Water based dye stain.

Justin

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