Staining rubberwood?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 08-02-2014 03:51 AM 8150 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2114 days

08-02-2014 03:51 AM

Greetings and salutations. I found an old busted up table. The table top is in good condition and I plan to cut it down for useable lumber.

I’m almost certain this table is made of rubberwood. I’ve been stripping the factory finish and sanding it down. The wood is pretty darn boring looking by itself. It’s going to need some stain.

I’ve never worked rubberwood before so I don’t know how it takes stain.

Any suggestions for staining the wood? Will it stain unevenly like oak?

I think I was able to strip and sand off all the previous finish. I’ll do some tests on the underside.


3 replies so far

View Jerry's profile


2654 posts in 1670 days

#1 posted 08-02-2014 11:14 PM

I am no expert by far, but I was intrigued by your question and the name of the wood, so I consulted the oracle and found this:

The word “rubberwood” gives the impression of a flexible, perhaps gummy substance that you must finish with special care. In fact, rubberwood is an attractive hardwood with multiple uses in cabinetry and building. It comes from the rubber tree, also known as hevea brasiliensis, which can grow 50 to 75 feet in height and whose latex sap is the primary source of the world’s rubber. When plantation workers cut down trees that have stopped producing sap, the durable and close-grained lumber they obtain is similar to maple. It accepts stain in the same way as more familiar domestic hardwoods.

  • Sand rubberwood with a palm sander just as you would sand any hardwood. Use 80- to 100-grit sandpaper to remove splinters and other defects and 120- to 150-grit paper to open the grain and prepare the wood for stain. Clean dust off the wood with a rag when you’re finished sanding.
  • Apply a coat of wood conditioner with a paintbrush to help the stain soak in evenly and create a uniform color. Let the conditioner dry before you apply stain.
  • Select any stain color for rubberwood to enhance its natural maple cream to yellowish-brown color. Oil-based and water-based stains penetrate its grain equally well.
  • Apply the stain to the dry wood with a paintbrush. Let the stain soak in for a minute or two, then wipe off the excess with a rag. Always brush and wipe with the grain of the wood—never across it—to avoid streaking.
  • Let the stain dry for several hours before you apply a clear finish.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

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915 posts in 2114 days

#2 posted 08-03-2014 04:15 AM

Thanks for the reply. I did a couple of stain tests. I started with Watco black walnut Danish oil. It’s worked very well for me before on oak. But not on this wood. It blotched.

I suspect the answer would be a dye stain but I have no dyes. And I suspect to get a good look I’ll need the pores to take some color. A washcoat/wood conditioner will make it end up lighter.

It’s nice wood but it’s natural color is quite boring. It needs some coloring. I intend to use Waterlox varnish as the top coat so that might help darken it a bit.

View Rubenkc's profile


1 post in 1039 days

#3 posted 08-13-2015 12:34 PM

Please share how did your staining project go?

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