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Staining maple

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Forum topic by Brodan posted 12-31-2014 01:17 PM 1616 views 1 time favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brodan

134 posts in 765 days


12-31-2014 01:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I am building a maple flat screen TV stand (first furniture project) .I understand it is difficult to stain maple and get uniform color. What is the best way, in a home shop, to get the most uniform color? With the cabinet ready for stay, I still have to build the skirt and join the cabriole legs, I am thinking about the finish. Red mahogany stain.

I appreciate any advice.

Dan

-- Dan, TN


42 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#1 posted 12-31-2014 01:36 PM

Practice on scraps

Use blotch control. Charles Niels is also a fellow LJer!

I’ve heard that General Finishes are the best as are some others for
staining. Dyes are an option as well.

Looking forward to seeing your fine furniture in the projects
forum!

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kdc68

2526 posts in 1739 days


#2 posted 12-31-2014 01:40 PM

This info may help as well

http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/understanding-stains-pigments-dyes/

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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Moron

5032 posts in 3356 days


#3 posted 12-31-2014 03:13 PM

Ive been at this for over 30 years, full time, and have tens of thousands of hours in the industry, from high volume production cabinetry, to the fine art of finishing very expensive furniture, and built ins.

Just my opinion, but I have grown quite fond of hard maple, left in its natural colour. Most of the time, turning maple into a colour like black walnut, using penetrating stains typically sold to the hobbiest, can have catastrophic results due to blotching, where inconsistent sanding rears its ugly head where the “fix” , takes longer then just starting over. Dyes and non penetrating stains yield a more consistent result but often need specialized spray equipment. Tinted coloured laquers, NGR dyes etc., have their own challenges.

There is an oil made in Germany, that is like the miracle finish. Expensive yes, “Osmo” which Ive had great results with but it reading the directions it warns, “only to be applied by qualified and experienced finishing experts” which is a tad foreboding to some.

When I build things now, I encourage the client, to choose a wood specie, that is the colour they like, in its natural state. Thats not always possible but I try

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Brodan

134 posts in 765 days


#4 posted 12-31-2014 03:37 PM

Thanks for the info, all.

Moron, Wood selection, simply a case of not knowing what I was doing. As I mentioned …first piece. Your point is well taken.

Being a toolmaker for 25 years, I’m finding the build very enjoyable, but looks like finish is going to be my nightmare. I’ve seen info about using a diluted shellac as a conditioner… Thoughts?

Also if I go the natural finish path, is there an “antiquing” option to darken the finish if I find the natural finish too light?

-- Dan, TN

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Moron

5032 posts in 3356 days


#5 posted 12-31-2014 04:12 PM

Diluted shellac, to me, no different then a sanding sealer, by sanding the removal of hair (wood fibers ) prep the surface so it starts out smooth going forward.

If you have access to compressed air, a small gravity fed cup gun, you can tint it. Maple in my opinion doesnt like penetrating stains. With a cup spray gun, you can slowly blend the colour and tone the piece where the underlying stain is uneven, which is almost always, inevitable. Ones mans eyesore is anothers dream, perfection is surely in the eye of the beholder.

As for antiquing the finish, yes you can try : ) but I would let the hands of time do its own work and gracefully let it age. That said, the piece looks very contemporary, and it would be rare to have such clean lines distorted in an attempt to make it look old. Sometimes its easier when inexperience jumps the gun, and a mistake becomes the delight of all eyes that look upon such a nicely executed piece of craftsmanship : )

In the end, you can always paint it. many say its a shame to paint perfect wood, but often it can make a finishing nightmare, into a beautiful piece of cabinetry. Ive done it a thousand times and have no remorse, no regrets

jus sayn

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Brodan

134 posts in 765 days


#6 posted 12-31-2014 04:50 PM

Thanks Moron. Wife just brought me down a coffee from DD which will compliment my pondering the finish as I continue chiseling out the mortises in the legs.

I appreciate your time.

Dan

-- Dan, TN

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kdc68

2526 posts in 1739 days


#7 posted 12-31-2014 05:09 PM

Agreed with Moron that penetrating stains aren’t the way to go. The link I provided above concurs this. I too like the natural look but if I want color I’m in favor of dyes for maple. But whatever you do, my advice is to make a sample board. Prep (sanding) the sample board exactly as you would the TV stand. Apply your choices of finish to the sample board. Pick a few options. Mark on the backside the steps and what you used. Bring sample board to the living area for which the TV stand will be and see how the light in the room and your décor compares to the samples. That may help.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#8 posted 12-31-2014 05:33 PM

Good article kdc68 thanks for posting!

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kdc68

2526 posts in 1739 days


#9 posted 12-31-2014 05:51 PM



Good article kdc68 thanks for posting!

- waho6o9


v
v
Yep…sure thing

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#10 posted 12-31-2014 07:47 PM

When I was @ the finishing stage of the farmers table project I had a hard time finding a suitable stain ,(the whole table legs are made of white Maple),I was told to use a water based dye stain so I did,what I went with was General dark brown water based dye stain easy to apply,as long as the surface is not sanded higher than 120 grit to allow the dye absorb the wood.great product.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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Brodan

134 posts in 765 days


#11 posted 12-31-2014 09:50 PM

kdc68 , thanks for the article.

Ken, I took at look at your table. The color looks more consistent than anything I’ve seen so far. I’ll have to get some of that dye stain and try it in some samples. I’ve been sanding to 320..sounds like that’s toofine.

Attached is a pic of the project. Front and rear apron detail still needs to be cut and finished and legs glues up. Dims are 50” wide , 38” tall and 16” deep

-- Dan, TN

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489tad

3099 posts in 2474 days


#12 posted 12-31-2014 10:02 PM

No expert here but I think spray is the way to go. Seal then dyes. My advice is experiment on the biggest piece you can. That way you can see how the grain reacts to the product. Good luck.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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kdc68

2526 posts in 1739 days


#13 posted 12-31-2014 10:54 PM

Looks good Brodan ! Looking forward to seeing this finished

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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Moron

5032 posts in 3356 days


#14 posted 01-01-2015 01:43 AM

colour

is often best an after thought

if the right bones are there

all things fall where they should

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Brodan

134 posts in 765 days


#15 posted 01-01-2015 04:37 AM

Thanks all. I expect to complete the build, sanding etc in the next day or so…then I’ll start testing finishes.

-- Dan, TN

showing 1 through 15 of 42 replies

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