I need help with a finsh for Maple that won't amber it or change it's color.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 04-04-2013 11:03 PM 1334 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Blackie_'s profile


4270 posts in 1599 days

04-04-2013 11:03 PM

Hi fellow LJ’s I am working on a nice white maple project and in order to keep the proper theme for the project, I need a finish that won’t amber or alter the pure white of the maple, Here is what I have in my inventory. I already know that Varnish will amber.

100% none wax shellac
Poly wipe, 70 – 30 mix oil base poly and mineral spirits
Tung Oil

Thanks for your help.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

21 replies so far

View dee2's profile


277 posts in 1423 days

#1 posted 04-04-2013 11:30 PM

I use Krylon brand spray lacquer on any light (bass, white oak, balsa, maple and poplar) wood that I don’t want to “amber”. If you go look on my intarsia of white dog, it is still white.
If, like on the tiger, I wanted it to amber, then I use polyurethane spray.
Also, off topic…....did you see the burled box on here at, pretty cool looking!

-- Dee2, OH Aromatherapy....fresh cut wood!!

View AandCstyle's profile


2015 posts in 1344 days

#2 posted 04-04-2013 11:47 PM

Here is another option. I’ve had good luck with the Target products I have used.

-- Art

View Grandpa's profile


3246 posts in 1762 days

#3 posted 04-04-2013 11:53 PM

The laquer I have used turns red but it takes years. I used whatever the lumber yard had onm the shelf. It came in gallons. This was years ago. I think water based polyurethane varnish will stay clear. Some others might know about this.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 1943 days

#4 posted 04-05-2013 12:13 AM

Mineral oil with pure turpentine spirit and a wee bit of caranuba wax
just remember to dissolve the wax in the spirit if you use it


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14367 posts in 2192 days

#5 posted 04-05-2013 12:20 AM

I would go with clear lacquer!........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1517 posts in 1448 days

#6 posted 04-05-2013 12:22 AM

CAB acrylic lacquer for spray
Waterborne poly for brushon

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View cabmaker's profile


1402 posts in 1896 days

#7 posted 04-05-2013 12:55 AM

Water white lacqer.

View DocSavage45's profile


6700 posts in 1929 days

#8 posted 04-05-2013 12:59 AM

Randy it might have a different effect but water based poly seems to produce a non tinted finish?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 983 days

#9 posted 04-05-2013 01:18 AM

Grandpa is right. Water based polyurethane does stay clear. It’s also pretty durable and easy to apply. It dries quickly so you can do 2 or 3 coats in a day. I finished a mahogany huntboard with it about 15 years ago as a gift for my in-laws and the finish is as clear as the day it went on.

View Blackie_'s profile


4270 posts in 1599 days

#10 posted 04-05-2013 01:49 AM

Sounds like if I use what’s on my finishing shelf the Lacquer is the best next to nothing, I’ll give it a test on some maple and see.

Thanks all for your responses a great help.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View gfadvm's profile


13928 posts in 1777 days

#11 posted 04-05-2013 01:49 AM

Randy, Either Deft Lacquer or regular Zinsser Bullseye shellac should work. My maple and sycamore stuff that I’ve posted are finished with one of these. Look at em and see if this is the look you want.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2337 posts in 2196 days

#12 posted 04-05-2013 02:19 AM

Another option is automotive clear coat. You can bet they don’t yellow, whether lacquer or enamel. I painted one of my cars with lacquer awhile back, and when my neighbor across the street was looking for a clear coat for some cabinets, I pointed him to the auto parts store that sells the lacquer. Came out great, and it has the added advantage of being dry in a few minutes…to the point of being able to pick it up.

Personally, I like nitrocellulose lacquer for the yellowing. YTMV.

View Blackie_'s profile


4270 posts in 1599 days

#13 posted 04-05-2013 11:22 AM

Andy, I have both of those in my finishing cabinet, I took a look at your work and left a comment, yes I can live with the look of the shellac thanks.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1664 days

#14 posted 04-05-2013 02:58 PM

Even blonde shellac (I use zinsser sealcoat, a 2lb cut of blonde/clear shellac) will give maple a bit of color. For a completely clear finish I use crystalac super premium from mcfeely’s. I’ve used it on purpleheart and it imparts no color whatsoever.

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

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1503 posts in 3212 days

#15 posted 04-05-2013 05:37 PM

I think the problem is that Maple is going to turn amber no matter what you put on it. That’s what Maple does, and it’ll continue to darken over time.

The polyurethane or some of the super-clear shellacs are probably going to have the least tint, but if you want something that stays white you’re better off choosing a different wood.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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