Another Maple question.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 01-07-2013 09:58 PM 1016 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


911 posts in 1969 days

01-07-2013 09:58 PM

I’m starting the assembly on a Mission style book case. After I had started the build I found out that Maple can be a bit of a bugger to finish. I don’t want it to dark and I’m concerned about the blotching thing, so the plan is to wipe on, wipe off a conditioner. Wipe on, wipe off an oil base stain (probably American Walnut) And cover with a water base varathane. This is what I’ve been told by my supplier. I will be using Varathane brand. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

-- Mark

7 replies so far

View gawthrrw's profile


207 posts in 2442 days

#1 posted 01-07-2013 10:12 PM

Mark, I just went through this. I did the same thing but was told to put down a thinned layer of oil varnish before the water based stuff. Make sure it cures before applying the water based varathane. It worked for me.

-- Rob, Dallas TX

View fladdy's profile


93 posts in 3008 days

#2 posted 01-07-2013 10:47 PM

I used a wipe on/off conditioner on some maple with a light brown dye with alcohol. It turned out great. I think the conditioner will be a big help to prevent the blotching.

-- Fladdy

View runswithscissors's profile


2750 posts in 2020 days

#3 posted 01-08-2013 07:42 AM

This is one of the reasons I use stain as rarely as possible. If I want walnut look, why not walnut wood? Maple is a beautiful wood finished natural. When I was doing our kitchen cabinets out of oak (a random mix of red and white, as 95% of it was recycled wood), the granite installer asked, “what stain?” “None,” I answered. His jaw dropped. It seems to be an automatic response nowadays to want to color wood something other than what it is. Now my dad, he didn’t have a lot of money and used mostly ponderosa pine. He stained everything, mostly walnut. And what did it look like? Walnut stained pine. And blotchy, as you might expect. Eventually he started using poplar, and I admit it isn’t a very pretty greenish yellow. But most people paint it, I suspect.

I guess pretty soon we’ll be seeing inquiries about how to bleach walnut to make it look more like pine.

Sorry if this seemed to turn into a rant. I just am not a fan of stain, as you can probably tell.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Austons_Garage's profile


41 posts in 2025 days

#4 posted 01-08-2013 02:30 PM

You could use a conditioner, or you could use a 1/2 lbs cut shellac sealer. The shellac will probably do a better job of preventing blotching. It’s well worth the time and effort to use a dye instead of an oil stain on maple if you are headed to walnut on maple. Seal between color and topcoat.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2572 days

#5 posted 01-08-2013 04:15 PM

Skip all the hooplah with stains. Use zinsser sealcoat tinted with transtint dyes (dark vintage maple looks great on maple), then coat with your water borne clear. No muss, entire finishing schedule done in 1 or 2 days instead of weeks.

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

View ducky911's profile


237 posts in 2784 days

#6 posted 01-08-2013 09:02 PM

maple does note take stain…but you can dye to any color….charles does sell a good conditioner

View Mark's profile


911 posts in 1969 days

#7 posted 01-08-2013 11:42 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions gents. Lots to choose from.

-- Mark

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