staining Tiger Maple

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Forum topic by RBWoodworker posted 04-10-2009 01:11 AM 2864 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3352 days

04-10-2009 01:11 AM

Hello everyone.. as most of you know I make maloof rocking Chairs and I now have a delima.. I have never ever stained any figured wood simply because I don’t believe in covering up the natural beauty of it, but I have a maloof rocker that I’m currently working on ( I actually have 3 rockers going the one in the picture I posted is all even and symetrical and will have the natural hand rubbed finish that I always do, but the second rocker..upon cutting the parts, exposed a darker grain that does not match the other parts.. I don’t think this will look it’s best if I leave it like it is, for when I sculpted the seat..I exposed heartwood to softwood where the boards are joined together..I believe I need to stain this rocker darker to allow the color to flow, now I have had experiences with staining maple and know that it’s famous for splotching, so I need to be very careful that in whatever stain I flows on and looks even throughout the chair.. this is where another expert comes in to I need specific step by step and perhaps brands of product if anyone can tell me..the wood is atrociously expensive to just leave it..

-- Randall Child

11 replies so far

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3590 days

#1 posted 04-10-2009 01:15 AM

pictures? I think Pics of the rocker in question will give finishers a better idea of what you are up against.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4401 days

#2 posted 04-10-2009 01:18 AM

Do you have any pieces to practice on. That usually will allow you to try some different combinations to get the correct match.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3352 days

#3 posted 04-10-2009 01:22 AM

I will try and take some pictures tomorrow of the rocker so everyone can see..all I know is that in my just doesn’t look right unless I do something to make it flow.. it’s like the back, and front arms are all out of one maple that looks like a cross between curly, quilted, and spalted maple, and the rest of the parts are all blonde like normal tiger maple..the problem is that on the surface before i started cutting the was all blonde and highly figured with the famous stripping.. but after I cut into it.. it was like hmm.. not sure about this

-- Randall Child

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3804 days

#4 posted 04-10-2009 01:43 AM

I would use Zinsser sanding sealer first. That will seal the grain and allow you to get a uniform look with the stain.
Another thought would be to use Klean Strip wood bleach and bleach out the seat. Whatever you do I would follow Karson’s advice and use a scrap piece to practice on.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3352 days

#5 posted 04-10-2009 03:12 AM

One deal that I’m hearing is that how everyone wants dark furniture that goes with their homes..alot of people are not fans of the blonde woods..(almost said Blonde women…LOL).. and like the darker woods like Furniture Cherry.. I struggle with obscurring the figure of the maple with dark stains, and want a way to stain it, but yet still have people know it’s tiger maple..i will follow the advise and try it on a sample piece first and pray the original will take like the sample did..can anyone recommend a shade of color..I would love ideas based on a piece that they have seen done on tiger maple..

-- Randall Child

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1285 posts in 3737 days

#6 posted 04-10-2009 03:33 AM

Charles Neil did a segment on how to stain tiger maple. I suggest you look for it. He did an excellent job explaining how to stain figured woods.

You might find it on

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View gagewestern's profile


308 posts in 3350 days

#7 posted 04-10-2009 03:55 AM

yes charles has a great youtube on this. his news letter and web site are very good also brian

-- gagewestern

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3767 days

#8 posted 04-10-2009 04:26 AM

My vote is for aniline dye over stain. It penetrates the wood and pops the grain without splotches and the muddy look. It works particularly well on highly figured grain patterns. Check out some of my projects and see how the grain has great depth and takes on a holographic look. Don’t be intimidated by my unconventional colors, aniline dyes do come in more traditional colors. To create the greatest depth, layer on multiple colors. As suggested, practice on scraps.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3352 days

#9 posted 04-10-2009 06:46 AM

Ok.. I have never been on youtube.. how do I find his site on this? and many thanks to you all.. your all a great bunch of guys..

-- Randall Child

View TraumaJacques's profile


433 posts in 3501 days

#10 posted 04-11-2009 06:19 PM

Hey RB cut and past this link if it does not work automaticaly .

Its not long but very informative.

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3527 days

#11 posted 04-11-2009 08:38 PM

I agree with the others about Charles Neil finishing videos. He has a 10 dvd set just about finishing and the amount of information he delivers is outstanding and easy to understand. Whatever wood and how ever it is applied there will be some great info there for you.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

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