Curly Maple

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by MOJOE posted 10-18-2011 11:22 PM 1431 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MOJOE's profile


548 posts in 3446 days

10-18-2011 11:22 PM

Will be finishing a small jewelry box soon, and thinking of using boiled linseed oil to lightly “pop” the grain but keep the natural color of the wood. Will Arm-R-Seal work as a topcoat over BLO assuming it has properly cured? Also, if anyone has any other finish suggestions, send them my way…..I’m pretty much open to all ideas.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

4 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35140 posts in 4578 days

#1 posted 10-19-2011 01:15 AM

BLO will not give you a natural color to Maple. it will give you a very definite light brown color. Make sure that you try a sample on some scrap before continuing on your project.

You might try some Deft which is a water clear laquar. I’ve sprayed laquar and I have some deft in a can which is suppose to be a brushing laquar. I think Andy uses Deft in some of his small boxes and they have figured wood and also light color. That seems to be the kind of output you might be asking for.

Send Andy a PM and ask him.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View wisno's profile


88 posts in 3188 days

#2 posted 10-19-2011 08:31 AM

I prefer to use the clear lacquer to make natural finish.
There are several type of lacquer you may use. The Nitrocellulose lacquer is my favorite. It is easy to be handled and applied.


Good luck


View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3228 days

#3 posted 10-19-2011 10:48 PM

Typically, oils tend to darken wood more than lacquer, as Karson pointed out. From my experience, oils also tend to show a little bit more contrast in the grain of curly maple as well, compared to lacquer, I believe, due to the different rates of absorption between the varying grain structures, keeping in mind that oils tend to penetrate the fibers, as opposed to sitting on top of them and building a finish.

If you want to lightly “pop” the grain, have you considered using the dye technique? Something like Vintage Maple by Transtint works well. It’ll add a bit of depth and contrast to the color of the curl in the wood. The color can be controlled by: concentration of the dye and the amount of dye allowed to remain on the piece by either sanding most of it off, leaving most of it on, or somewhere in between.

If you use a couple of my projects as examples, you’ll see the differences, as all of these projects were made from the same stack of curly maple, so the raw boards were all pretty much identical, before the finish was applied. The differences are relatively subtle when looking at the pictures separately. Unfortunately, most of these pieces live with new owners now, so I’m not able to take any side-by-side pictures for you.

Vintage Maple Dye on Curly Maple Beer Bottle Balancer
Cutting Board with Salad Bowl Finish
Serving Tray with Salad Bowl Finish
Tray with Waterlox (oil-based) Finish
Bench with Danish Oil Finish

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View MOJOE's profile


548 posts in 3446 days

#4 posted 10-20-2011 04:09 AM

Thanks for the info guys….also received a very detailed PM from Andy.

@Jonathan – I really like the salad bowl finish on your serving tray…...that natural maple color is just really appealing to me.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

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