Dye Vs. Tinted Shellac on Hard Maple

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Forum topic by Dchip posted 691 days ago 1170 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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267 posts in 1877 days

691 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I’m soon gonna be finishing a hard maple kitchen table top, and I wanted to give it a SLIGHT color. I’m thinking that even an amber shellac may do the trick, possibly with a little dye. I plan on doing test pieces, but I want to limit buying unnecessary finishing products, so I’m hoping to narrow it down to 2 or 3 top choices.

Thanks for the input.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

5 replies so far

View shampeon's profile


1346 posts in 808 days

#1 posted 691 days ago

Getting an even dye color on maple is extremely difficult. It just gets blotchy. I’d seal with clear shellac, see how it looks, and then do some toner coats on top. If you mix your own shellac from flakes, you can mix and match blonde, amber, and garnet flakes to get the tone you want. Then top coat it with poly or lacquer.

Test on scrap first, as always.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2199 posts in 1784 days

#2 posted 691 days ago

Ditto. Seal first then tone with tinted shellac. You’ll like the look.

-- jay,

View NiteWalker's profile


2709 posts in 1202 days

#3 posted 691 days ago

Tint the sealer coats. Dark vintage maple transtint looks great on maple.
Works great.

I don’t have many finishing products in my shop; zinsser sealcoat for sealing, my clear coat (crystalac super premium), and some transtint (alcohol soluble for tinting) and transfast (water soluble for dyeing wood to bright colors). Does everything I need.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View a1Jim's profile


112010 posts in 2202 days

#4 posted 691 days ago

Use Blotch control first and then spray thinned down dye/stain until you get the shade you want.

-- Custom furniture

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1419 posts in 986 days

#5 posted 691 days ago

Assuming the table gets used, shellac is not a durable finish. Use a wipe-on poly, tinted or not to the desired shade.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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