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finishing poplar

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Forum topic by DalyArcher posted 01-22-2018 06:08 PM 869 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DalyArcher

115 posts in 1202 days


01-22-2018 06:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing poplar

My wife wanted an entry way bench for folks to sit and take off their shoes. I came up with this over the weekend:

I had a piece of yellow cedar kicking around a few years and used that for the top with some walnut Dutchmen:

I originally thought my wife would want the frame painted, but now she is thinking stained. I hear all kinds of cautionary tails about staining poplar. What are the preferred recipes out there? Shellac and stain, wood conditioner and stain or oil, gel stains only??

I have never ventured into the world of shellac before. I am generally a Watco oil kindda guy.


14 replies so far

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Andre

1957 posts in 1888 days


#1 posted 01-22-2018 06:28 PM

Looking at the design I think shelacing it now going to be very hard I would of done all the cross members on the bottom rack prior to attaching them, never had a problem with Poplar, sometimes Maple and Birch have not turned out as expected? Poplar does look nice with a few coats of Shellac or French Polish.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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DalyArcher

115 posts in 1202 days


#2 posted 01-22-2018 06:48 PM

Those bottom pieces are not yet solidly affixed for specifically the reason you cited Andre. I plan to finish before final assembly. Right now only the basic frame is glued.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1787 posts in 2072 days


#3 posted 01-22-2018 07:00 PM

You have probably heard that some woods blotch when colored with dye or stain, like cherry and maple. Well, with poplar the whole surface blotches, meaning it is a “ thirsty” wood grain. That cedar on top will probably blotch. Yes use a conditioner, even with danish oil. Otherwise the whole thing will look like it was infused with color and the grain wont hardly show. Since you like danish oil, Here’s a link for blotch control and various finishing oils.

View Andre's profile

Andre

1957 posts in 1888 days


#4 posted 01-22-2018 09:02 PM



Those bottom pieces are not yet solidly affixed for specifically the reason you cited Andre. I plan to finish before final assembly. Right now only the basic frame is glued.

- DalyArcher

Smart move, I avoid sandpaper with Poplar (almost all woods) Plane or scrapper finish with A good French polish would look amazing! IMHO.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View gargey's profile

gargey

1013 posts in 858 days


#5 posted 01-22-2018 09:10 PM

Poplar usually looks like crap, paint it and that will further accentuate the nicer yellow cedar piece.

Your poplar looks nicer than most, but its low light so hard to tell.

You could leave the yellow cedar unfinished.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12227 posts in 2462 days


#6 posted 01-22-2018 10:53 PM

I would paint the poplar and leave the cedar clear. Just tell her that poplar won’t take a stain well, it’s not a lie.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1787 posts in 2072 days


#7 posted 01-23-2018 12:54 AM

Poplar colors just fine IF done correctly

View Mr_Pink's profile

Mr_Pink

104 posts in 454 days


#8 posted 01-23-2018 01:28 AM

I had good luck with Transtint dye followed by a gel stain and shellac.

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Sark

74 posts in 443 days


#9 posted 01-23-2018 01:34 AM

MOSU55 is right: poplar colors just fine If done correctly. And I agree with Mr Pink. Transtint dyes are perfect for popular. Followed by gel stain. Then a clear topcoat (I use General Finish satin poly). They don’t blotch and look great. Stains that contain pigments are much more likely to blotch than a pure dye. So a dye is a good first coat. And the gel stain is thick and not deeply absorbed so also reduces blotching. I’ll post a couple of pictures tomorrow after the sun comes out.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 674 days


#10 posted 01-23-2018 03:36 AM



Looking at the design I think shelacing it now going to be very hard.

- Andre


And why would it be the case ? Shellac sprays very good even from the cheapest sprayer.

View AxkMan's profile

AxkMan

65 posts in 209 days


#11 posted 01-23-2018 11:29 PM

Wood conditioner, 3 layers stain, 2 layers polycrylic.

View Andre's profile

Andre

1957 posts in 1888 days


#12 posted 01-24-2018 12:52 AM


Looking at the design I think shelacing it now going to be very hard.

- Andre

And why would it be the case ? Shellac sprays very good even from the cheapest sprayer.

- Carloz

I meant if he was going to hand wipe, as to the process of French Polish? Never seen a Shelac spray?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View PaGeorge's profile

PaGeorge

21 posts in 519 days


#13 posted 01-24-2018 01:19 AM

Shellac….1st coat untinted…2’d coat tinted shellac with dye….keep repeating coats/ adjusting color until your happy with the tone and # of coats… very light nub removal..final two coat with a poly…Best way I know to beat the blotch monster..
Some would advise to embrace it’s natural tone….There are different ways but that is the safest way if the bride insists…. I’ve done that many times before and never had a pull your hair out moment….

-- PaGeorge

View caboxmaker's profile

caboxmaker

281 posts in 470 days


#14 posted 01-24-2018 03:58 AM

Daly, very nice bench.

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