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Forum topic by Philip "Pip" Storm posted 05-03-2012 12:33 PM 1107 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Philip "Pip" Storm

130 posts in 2299 days

05-03-2012 12:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question trick tip resource maple finishing shaker

I’ve done plenty of projects requiring a good finish but this time around I’m building my own kitchen cabinets and I want to make sure I’m doing things right. I need any help you kind people are willing to share. I can tell you that they will be maple and maple plywood for exterior and birch plywood for interior. The maple will be stained with your basic wood stain with a satin finish. (dark, similar to chestnut and gunstock) The birch will be natural but finished for protection. What I’m looking for is steps, techniques, materials, tips, etc. So far, I’ve been testing different stains on scrap to get the color I want. I’ve gone so far as using pre stain conditioner on half the samples. I know that maple is a hardwood, so is still a good idea to treat with the pre stain? This is an example of some of the info I’m looking for. Thanks in advance.

-- Well, I'll be screwed, glued, and tattooed!

8 replies so far

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2192 days

#1 posted 05-03-2012 01:38 PM


Are you spraying your topcoats or brushing?

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4901 posts in 3924 days

#2 posted 05-03-2012 02:32 PM

Maple will blotch like crazy, so I use a shellac (dewaxed) wash coat to seal, stain as desired, buff off any nibs, spray if ya can. You’ll get a smoother finish.


View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2318 days

#3 posted 05-03-2012 03:23 PM

maple does tend to blotch, this can be reduced dramatically with any pre-stain conditioner, and if you’re going for a dark color, you may want to test on a few scrap pieces to make sure the wood will take your stain, cause sometimes maple won’t take certain types of stains….
Last time I did a stained maple job with a dark stain on maple I used gemini’s annyline dyes and lacquer wiping stain, turned out awesome, only, the guy never finished his floors so I don’t have pictures of that job yet….. a year later….

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3540 days

#4 posted 05-03-2012 11:15 PM

I like Charles Neils Blotch control it makes hard wood and plywood come out with the same color, and General finishes stain/dye. I like to spray mine.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2599 days

#5 posted 05-03-2012 11:27 PM

Can’t help you much on the stain, but you should definitely spray the finish if you have an air compressor. If you don’t have a gun, harbor freight sells them for around $60. One of the very few HF tools I actually use, and I have had it for over 4 years. You will be much happier with a sprayed finish and takes a fraction of the time.

View Philip "Pip" Storm's profile

Philip "Pip" Storm

130 posts in 2299 days

#6 posted 05-05-2012 12:15 PM

Thanks y’all. Hopefully with these great tips our cabinets will be something to admire and be proud of.

-- Well, I'll be screwed, glued, and tattooed!

View Philip "Pip" Storm's profile

Philip "Pip" Storm

130 posts in 2299 days

#7 posted 05-05-2012 12:15 PM

@ ajlastra, I plan on spraying.

-- Well, I'll be screwed, glued, and tattooed!

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 3951 days

#8 posted 05-05-2012 02:17 PM

+1 on Charles Neil’s Blotch Control …

Spraying is my method of choice for a lacquer, but, for varnish/poly, I prefer to thin to an extreme, and wipe on several coats with an old t-shirt wrapped in a piece of pantyhose in tandem with a good brush for cleaning out corners & crevices.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

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