Padauk Staining Lighter Wood

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Jacob Lucas posted 10-08-2011 09:06 PM 6947 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jacob Lucas's profile

Jacob Lucas

100 posts in 2455 days

10-08-2011 09:06 PM

I’ve read that Padauk stains any adjacent lighter woods, does anyone have any insight on how to prevent this?

13 replies so far

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3128 days

#1 posted 10-09-2011 03:52 AM

I use padauk and Maple together and I try to finish the Maple before the Padauk. I use different applicators and try to be as dust free as I can before I start. A high pressure air nozzle helps. The padauk is really a problem with Maple end grain or curly grain. Hopefully someone else has a ‘magic’ solution.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Jacob Lucas's profile

Jacob Lucas

100 posts in 2455 days

#2 posted 10-09-2011 03:52 AM


View Jacob Lucas's profile

Jacob Lucas

100 posts in 2455 days

#3 posted 10-09-2011 03:56 AM

The only thing is that im gonna be using the Padauk as trim around some curly maple for a table top, so theyre gonna have to be sanded together.

View Guss's profile


94 posts in 2465 days

#4 posted 10-09-2011 05:07 AM

when using padauk and maple i don’t ever get really aggressive with the sanding grit. When i started I noticed when i would use a 80 grit to make my stuff flat that the red would mix with the white. when i start sanding with a 150 the colors don’t blend as bad then i wipe it all down with grain then apply the finish

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3712 days

#5 posted 10-09-2011 05:23 AM

Scrape , don’t sand : )
Don’t count on the Padauk retaining its bright color if that’s what you’re after.
You’ll need a finish with UV inhibitors to slow the color changing process and you’ll need to test your finishes on scraps because they will also change the Padauk color.
If you must use Padauk , see if you can finish it or the Maple first.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3760 days

#6 posted 10-09-2011 05:53 AM

I pre-assemble without gluing. Then take it apart and sand or scrap and finish. Then glue it up and final sand and put on the final coats. The finished product can come out beautiful if done carefully.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3074 days

#7 posted 10-09-2011 09:25 AM

Scrape. Don’t create dust so make sure you have a good sharp burr. If you can get to the finishing stage without staining, you should be ok.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View 4thumbs's profile


153 posts in 3170 days

#8 posted 10-09-2011 01:46 PM

An issue beyond the dust is the color bleed from padauk when finish is applied. Nowadays I try to limit myself to oil/varnish mixes or lacquer sprayed in thin coats. In my experience with the stuff polyurethane takes forever to dry even after a mineral spirits bath, and the color bleeds badly with shellac padded on.

-- 4thumbs in MO

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#9 posted 10-09-2011 03:12 PM

I had the audacity to make a padauk and maple chess board. It’s pretty hard to make a sloid chaess board without a lot of sanding. In the end I had to settle for some discoloration of the maple. But I did learn (too late) that compressed air after sanding gets rid of a lot of the problem.

A note on padauk color change: UV is the culprit. I have several pieces I’ve made over the years that live in interior rooms with no sunlight, and the redness is 100% intact.

Click for details

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 3533 days

#10 posted 10-11-2011 02:49 PM

I must say that I have never experienced color “bleed” aside from the contamination of paduk dust into the pores of lighter woods. When finishing (with poly) the rag gets all orange but I think that is just residual dust.

I guess I’m not following the term “bleed” in this case. To me…”bleed” means that the actual color is seeping from the wood and soaking into another wood…I don’t see that happening. In my estimation, any “bleed” would be from stray dust.

I’m curious if actual “bleed” happens that is not tied to dust…or am I misunderstanding something?


-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#11 posted 10-11-2011 03:08 PM

Greg, I agree 100%. I’m pretty sure what 4thumbs called color bleed is just padauk dust being carried over to the lighter wood as the finish is applied. It would not happen if there was no dust, but getting rid of 100% of the dust before finishing is easier said than done.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Steven Gaffin's profile

Steven Gaffin

31 posts in 2280 days

#12 posted 07-24-2012 02:37 PM

I have had the same issue with color bleed. However, I don’t just think it is dust. Padauk is a very oily wood and even when you use acetone to remove excess oil for gluing, the rag turns bright orange or red from the oil. I watched my project as it grabbed shellac and you could literally see the oil from the Padauk creeping into the wood. I am using curly maple and the discoloration seems to be showing off the curl of the maple, so I will try to use this to my advantage.

View Richard H. Francis's profile

Richard H. Francis

2 posts in 627 days

#13 posted 10-03-2016 02:14 PM

Reference color bleeding from padauk to a lighter adjacent wood such as maple, all the comments I’ve reviewed from the last decade have good suggestions. My current chessboard table project of padauk and maple has proven that there is a way to avoid the slight color transfer of sanding from the red/orange padauk to the maple. First, when you sand such a surface with an orbital sander, use your dust collection system or vacuum and see that your sandpaper has been properly punctured. Otherwise the color transfer will be exaggerated from the padauk to the maple, sort of like ‘rubbing it in’. After your sanding from 120 to 180 and then to 220, wipe off the dust gently with a tack cloth. Then use a scrubber sheet to knock off any stubborn wood fibers, and again use the gentle application of the tack cloth. Do not use solvent to clean as this will immediately cause color bleeding requiring you to begin again. I know this. Set your piece at an angle at your finishing booth and apply a quick coat of lacquer (I used MinWax aerosol satin). Just a thin first coat and let dry. Lacquer dries super fast, which will seal the wood and prevent color transfer to adjacent lighter woods. That’s the secret behind this success, in my opinion. I first tried shellac which did not inhibit color transfer, but exaggerated it. Following this failure, I re-sanded the entire surface removing the three coats of shellac, and finally sanding into the wood to remove the red tint from the maple as described above. And it worked. The very first coat of the lacquer sealed the wood enough to prevent color transfer. That’s my conclusion. Now I have applied multiple coats of lacquer with intervals of hand rubbing to achieve the desired finish. Best premises.

-- It takes only a little more effort to go first class.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics