How to get a dark(ish) color for birdseye maple without too much grain loss?

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Forum topic by jimmy J posted 04-28-2014 02:13 PM 1122 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jimmy J

229 posts in 2373 days

04-28-2014 02:13 PM

I am building a table for our breakfast room and came across some maple which has a lot of birdseye figure in it. My wife is looking for something which is a bit darker than what I normally see birdseye finished with. Does anyone have any pics that show a good darker result? not looking for a Walnut color or anything, but not the yellow / amber which is see a lot. bonus points if anyone has good pics / links, but also has the coloring technique / name as well (e.g. which dye was used).

6 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17377 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 04-28-2014 02:56 PM

No pics but what about using early American maple transtint dye? Its a bit reddish and can be sanded back if its too cark for your taste. Being water based it dries pretty quick too.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Woodknack's profile


11601 posts in 2374 days

#2 posted 04-28-2014 04:50 PM

Agreed, dye is what you want.

-- Rick M,

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1274 posts in 1628 days

#3 posted 04-28-2014 05:04 PM

Dyes, just take a look at the dyes available Transtint, Mosers, Lee Valley.
Make sure you use latex gloves, not nitrile. Don’t know why, but aniline is not blocked by nitrile.

You can mix dyes to get the coloring you want. RGBY modify the hue..
You might like antique maple, or brown, or dark brown.

You can start off with brown, and darken it by adding a slight amount of dk brown.
it’s all in the mx, you need to test. And you need to topcoat because it looks different.
Good luck.

BTW go search for Charles Neil’s pop goes the maple… or something like that.
He shows you how to get more out of it. One of his older video’s before woodcraft.. much better than the woodcraft series..

-- Jeff NJ

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jimmy J

229 posts in 2373 days

#4 posted 04-28-2014 06:25 PM

I’ve seen the CN video. He uses a gel stain to get the pop actually, which was not what I was expecting. Have read a lot about the dyes and seem to be leaning towards the TransTint Vintage Maple color. Was also curious if using the CN blotch control product would reduce the birdseye effect?

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2570 days

#5 posted 04-28-2014 09:29 PM

I use transtint dark vintage maple in sealcoat for my maple projects; it comes out great.

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

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1274 posts in 1628 days

#6 posted 04-28-2014 09:38 PM


No he didn’t. he used a dye. He sanded it off, and re – dyed.
he was building depth.

A gel would not have done that.

-- Jeff NJ

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