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Forum topic by Woodyvolt posted 02-04-2018 02:47 PM 717 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Woodyvolt

12 posts in 359 days


02-04-2018 02:47 PM

My daughter wants me to build some furniture for her. I would normally use a hardwood but she plans to paint the finished product. This makes me lean toward using pine which is less expensive and easier to work with.

Any suggestions on which type of wood that I should use?

Thanks


19 replies so far

View Sawdust4Blood's profile

Sawdust4Blood

408 posts in 3219 days


#1 posted 02-04-2018 03:02 PM

The issue that I would have with pine is the softness. Of course it also depends on the style. If she wants a rustic country look, pine might be the best choice. Otherwise, I would consider poplar as an alternative. Still fairly inexpensive but harder.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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mahdee

4020 posts in 1965 days


#2 posted 02-04-2018 03:02 PM

I guess it depends on what you are making. Most big box store purchase of construction pine will more likely develop cracks as they fully dry and or are exposed to heat from sanding and such. If that is what you are going to use, it is best to let them dry indoors for sometime or fill-in the cracks if they develop. Best option might be plywood.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3054 posts in 2370 days


#3 posted 02-04-2018 03:08 PM

My DIL likes to paint a lot of things for those she gets, pine, fir, and plywood. I actuall find the soft wood harder to work with.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Firewood's profile

Firewood

521 posts in 1831 days


#4 posted 02-04-2018 03:11 PM

I agree with sawdust4blood. Pine is too soft and unless you purchase clear (no knots or voids), the defects will be visible through the paint. Poplar is good for painted furniture.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View Rich's profile

Rich

3871 posts in 787 days


#5 posted 02-04-2018 04:06 PM

+1 Poplar

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1366 posts in 1117 days


#6 posted 02-04-2018 04:26 PM

Woodyvolt,

I am just completing a set of shelves for a family member. She wanted the shelves painted. My choice of wood was maple, although I considered poplar. Maple is more durable, works well, and paints up nicely. The only negative with maple is that is twice the price of poplar in my area.

I dislike pine because the resins in the wood foul sandpaper much faster and pitch builds up on the tools requiring more frequent cleaning. But if the resins in pine are not an issue, then I see nothing wrong with kiln dried furniture grade pine.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 789 days


#7 posted 02-04-2018 04:56 PM

Poplar is the best material for painted furniture.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5086 posts in 2549 days


#8 posted 02-04-2018 05:11 PM

Poplar is much more suitable for painted furniture than pine. No resins and more uniform, harder than pine, takes paint well.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10705 posts in 1683 days


#9 posted 02-04-2018 05:33 PM

Alder.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Andre's profile

Andre

2200 posts in 2003 days


#10 posted 02-04-2018 05:55 PM

Made a Bench Seat for my Daughter(My Favorite one!) out of Pine about 12 years ago, on it’s 3rd house and now 3 Gran Kids and still looks good? LOL! at the time here Alder was about the same price?
Made a writing desk (No Paint!) for the Wife out of Alder and Baltic Birch.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

140 posts in 1430 days


#11 posted 02-04-2018 07:30 PM

My 2C. Beech, birch, maple , alder, poplar. All are hard and close grained, small pored and take paint well. Depends what you can grab locally and at what price.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View LesB's profile

LesB

1857 posts in 3641 days


#12 posted 02-04-2018 07:43 PM

I agree with the Alder recommendation but you don’t say what part of the country you live in. Some woods are not available everywhere.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Woodyvolt's profile

Woodyvolt

12 posts in 359 days


#13 posted 02-04-2018 08:42 PM

Thanks to all for the reply’s.

I live in rural central Kansas and only have one local source for material. They do not stock poplar which seems to be the choice of the reply’s.

I will contact them tomorrow and see if they can special order poplar at a reasonable price.

I keep cherry, walnut, and oak to work with but don’t want to use it if it will be painted.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1135 posts in 1014 days


#14 posted 02-05-2018 03:52 AM

Another possibility is soft (red) maple. unlike what the name says, soft maple is not soft. It is just softer than hard maple. It is considerably harder than poplar and it also takes paint well. Around here, it is a little less expensive than hard maple. I don’t know if it is available in Kansas.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1868 posts in 1995 days


#15 posted 02-05-2018 06:40 AM

Pine is not that easy to work with. Alder is a good choice if you can get it. You might not want to paint it once you see how nice it is. I have a alder cabinet if I wasn’t so darn poor it would have been made from Cherry. :)
Let me know if you would like to see pic.

-- Aj

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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