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Forum topic by stxdeadI posted 12-09-2013 02:31 PM 604 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1055 days

12-09-2013 02:31 PM

I’m a new member here and it looks like there’s a ton of information here to use. I’m making this coffee table currently and have a sheet of maple 3/4” plywood to use for the three shelves. It is fresh from lowes and I plan on staining it using min sax dark walnut and ebony combo. I have no experience yet and am literally thinking just paint the stain on the board and that’s it? What is the best way to stain maple wood to get the most figure out of it? Thanks

3 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1912 days

#1 posted 12-09-2013 02:57 PM

Stain will cover the figure.
Dye will bring it out, as will an oil finish.

My question: why would you want to darken nice maple? Much better to get some oak plywood or (if you could find it), walnut, cherry, etc.

Next observation:
I don’t know about where you live, around here, Lowe’s McCoys HD, etc all carry the cheapest grade of Chinese plywood, there is very little figure to bring out.

An alternative is to use Birch plywood and cover with a nicely figured veneer of your choice.

At least in my opinion.
Your mileage may vary.
Objects in mirror are closer than they may appear.
Attempt at your own risk.
Known to the State of California to cause wood working addiction under Proposition 4123.
Don’t try this at home.
Use only under adult supervision.
You’ll shoot your eye out.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2268 posts in 1794 days

#2 posted 12-09-2013 03:05 PM

I used 1/2” maple ply, trimmed with iron-on edge banding, from Lowes to build a closet organizer for my daughter’s bedroom. I put on a washcoat of 1lb cut dewaxed shellac (Zinsser’s Sealcoat), followed by a water-based dark walnut analine dye. The washcoat helps lower the amount of blotching you will get. The figure isn’t too bad in it, some of it even has a little curl to it.

My suggestion, if you’re going to use that plywood, is to rub some denatured alcohol on the plywood and see how the grains really looks. Then pick the best area for your top. You can even make cardboard frame, the size of the piece you’ll need, to frame out the area to get a better idea of where to take your top from.

Practice your finish on scrap plywood (from the same sheet), and any other wood you’re using first, so you don’t get any surprises.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1786 days

#3 posted 12-10-2013 03:46 PM

There are many books on the subject of finishing. Get one.

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

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