staining, dyeing, or painting poplar...

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Forum topic by beaver1 posted 03-06-2009 06:50 PM 4873 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 3641 days

03-06-2009 06:50 PM

greetings and salutations all… just finished building a whole whack of frames for my smarter halfs’ art work and have been reading up on stains etc. seems the consensus is to paint them as the stains don’t take well with the greens and purples…she is having an art show and is showing all of them and wants them to be very dark, on the black side…any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!



6 replies so far

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3400 days

#1 posted 03-06-2009 06:57 PM

I would paint them, especially if it does not matter if they show grain or not, spray them with black lack, using perhaps a HVLP gun. This should get them dark/black in no time. I do not know how stain would react, but I do know there is a black “antique” stains available that are close to black which work well too. I think the black lack is the best solution, because 100% sure it is then black afterwords.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View jeh412's profile


129 posts in 3340 days

#2 posted 03-06-2009 07:00 PM

I make a lot of frames for a rug hooking shop—somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 last year—and almost all are painted. Many customers pick a color to bring out something in the pattern being framed and many stick to dark colors just to accent the piece. My son majored in fine art and all his pieces for shows were framed in black.

On some frames that were stained I used Transtint dyes so I could easily get the color the customer wanted. My stained frames are usually poplar.

-- John, co-owner Sawdust 'n Stitches

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3645 days

#3 posted 03-06-2009 07:09 PM

I guess it depends on the Poplar. You mentioned the greens and purple colors, to ME, those are highlight colors and shouldn’t be stained. I’m happy just putting a clear coat on those parts. If it’s “plain white” grain or clear poplar if you will, then it’s fair game for staining or painting. In this instance, I’d go with Painting though, as it’ll be more uniform.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3423 days

#4 posted 03-06-2009 07:14 PM

I just ebonized a table, that turned out REALLY Black. It was maple, but I am sure the method would work well on Poplar as well.

I applied a coat of Real India Ink over the entire piece, followed by a coat of Minwax Ebony Stain, the clear Poly.

-- San Diego, CA

View jerry mayfield's profile

jerry mayfield

36 posts in 4050 days

#5 posted 03-06-2009 07:48 PM

The colors in poplar (greens etc.) will turn brown in a matter of time no matter what the finish. But if dark you probably won’t be able to tell.



-- jerry,mlchigan

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 3519 days

#6 posted 03-07-2009 07:31 AM

If you stain Poplar, be sure you use a pre-conditioner first. Put a double or triple coating on any end grain. I made the mistake of not using pre-conditoner and the stain turned out all blotchy and uneven. I had to sand and redo it.

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