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Staining Poplar

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Forum topic by CraigMoore posted 02-12-2012 04:09 AM 15070 views 1 time favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CraigMoore

2 posts in 1383 days


02-12-2012 04:09 AM

I have always heard you can’t stain poplar, so I have never tried. Well, my daughter ask me to make her six shelves for her boyfriends sons. I made them out of plywood & used poplar to cover the plywood edges cause she told me in the beginning they wanted them painted. Now she says they want them stained. I thought I read somewhere you can stain poplar but I dont remember where I read it. Any thoughts??


29 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

5092 posts in 1267 days


#1 posted 02-12-2012 04:16 AM

Sanding sealer first to prevent blotching. Test on scrap first. Good luck.

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RibsBrisket4me

1384 posts in 1196 days


#2 posted 02-12-2012 04:47 AM

Sanding sealer or wood conditioner is key to limit blotching. You CAN stain it, but know the greenish grain turns brown with age and will get quite dark. Also, poplar seems to “raise the grain” quite easily, and I always had to use a fine sanding sponge between stain or poly coats.

I DO like working poplar though. It’s a nice wood.

-- http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid6255915

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Joe Lyddon

7801 posts in 2743 days


#3 posted 02-12-2012 04:48 AM

I stain Poplar all the time!

Works good for me!

I always use a rag and wipe it on… if one area gets darker than another, I merely wipe a little more in the lighter spots & it evens out… no biggy…

My favorite is Trans-Tints… work great!

-- 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"

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2435 days


#4 posted 02-12-2012 01:57 PM

Use aniline dyes, it works better. Arti sold by Highland woodworking or W.D. Lockwood sold by Tools for working wood are the best. Water based dyes are the most color fast, but you will have to wet down the wood and sand a couple of times, to take care of the grain raising.

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bench_dogg

63 posts in 1828 days


#5 posted 02-12-2012 05:12 PM

+1 to what tenontim said.

Test it out on a piece of scrap first. Once you apply the water based dye it will look terrible until you top coat it, don’t panic here.

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AmandasHusband

58 posts in 1384 days


#6 posted 02-12-2012 06:13 PM

On one of the Woodsmith Shop shows I remember them staining poplar w/ a dark gel stain and saying it looked like walnut. I thought it looked good. But not just like walnut like they said.

If you’re not interested in aniline dyes, you could try Charles Neils blotch control stuff. I saw his video on it about a year ago. Looks like it’s pretty good. The Wood Whisperer said something about it in a video or blog of his.

https://charlesneilwoodworking.3dcartstores.com/Charles-Neils-Pre-Color-Conditioner--Blotch-Control_p_47.html

Then, you can let me know how it works as I’m pretty sure I’m going to try it on this “rustic” pine table I just started yesterday for my 2nd favorite mother in law.

-- In this world there's two kinds of people my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

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Joe Lyddon

7801 posts in 2743 days


#7 posted 02-12-2012 07:00 PM

I’m glad I watched Chas. Neil’s video… It clarified a lot!

Looks like he has finally developed a REAL solution to the Blotching problem once & for all!

I will have to get a can of that stuff and experience it for myself…

Thank you.

-- 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"

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2435 days


#8 posted 02-12-2012 07:03 PM

Clear shellac works great for blotch control. Put it on with a brush or wipe it, let dry, then sand. Use the dye color of your choice.

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ben10

41 posts in 1079 days


#9 posted 02-12-2012 07:35 PM

I built bunk beds for my sons out of poplar. I had to stain it to match the store bought dressers…a very dark brown. I used Trans Tint dye stain and water. Worked a couple of coats into the wood, then put a coat of oil based stain on top. Finished it up with 3 coats of poly. It turned out perfect! There was some blotching but it disappeared when the poly went on.

-- Ben

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Joe Lyddon

7801 posts in 2743 days


#10 posted 02-12-2012 08:57 PM

ben10: I like to do the same thing… except, I like to go with shellac instead of the poly… a beautiful combination.

-- 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"

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Howie

2656 posts in 1613 days


#11 posted 02-12-2012 10:34 PM

Look at my projects. Several of them are stained poplar. Use a blotch control and don’t over sand(220 max)

-- Life is good.

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Joe Lyddon

7801 posts in 2743 days


#12 posted 02-12-2012 11:50 PM

You can make Poplar look like just about anything on the dark woods…

-- 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"

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Joe Lyddon

7801 posts in 2743 days


#13 posted 02-13-2012 12:57 AM


“It will get dark but it will never look like those woods.”

Of course… you can’t change the grain… BUT, from a short distance, one can make Poplar appear to be many of the dark woods… Somebody else said that a long time ago… I’m just repeating them… LOL

That is why Poplar is so popular! LOL

-- 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"

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SnowyRiver

51450 posts in 2171 days


#14 posted 02-13-2012 01:14 AM

I have stained poplar without any problems. I always look for clear poplar though for the project. I dont use poplar that is green. In my gallery I have a dove tail jig stand that I made which is stained poplar.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 1462 days


#15 posted 02-13-2012 01:26 AM

I have used gel stain on poplar before and other than some blotching (I didn’t use sealer beforehand because I didn’t know what I was doing) it came out just fine.

This is the bench I made, all the “dark wood” is stained poplar

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/46958

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

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