Finishing furniture built with hardwood and hardwood veneer plywood

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Forum topic by RShoemaker posted 09-13-2013 08:18 AM 1587 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1986 days

09-13-2013 08:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut finishing question


I’m going to be building a hall tree / bench furniture piece and my plan calls for a combination of black walnut hardwood and black walnut veneer plywood. My concern is getting a similar looking finish on both materials. The last time I built a project like this I used cherry and cherry ply and wound up with visibly different color tones after I finished the wood. I didn’t use any stain – I simply applied a few coats of a clear wiping varnish. Maybe I’m being too picky, but I would have preferred a more uniform color on the cherry project. Anyway, I’m wondering if the same thing is likely to happen on the walnut piece and, if so, are there any strategies for getting a more uniform color?

Also, bonus question: I’ve been trying to find a source of 4/4 black walnut that hasn’t been steam treated. From what I’ve read and seen online, I really prefer the look of the non-steamed walnut, but maybe that won’t matter if everyone recommends introducing some kind of stain to even out the colors. I guess my question is: should I really try to start with non-steamed walnut and then try to use stain to get the plywood to match?

Perhaps I shouldn’t worry about it and embrace the different tones as a design feature :)

I should also add that I’m not looking for a super dark finish – I more or less want a natural walnut look…

1 reply so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4360 days

#1 posted 09-19-2013 03:54 AM

This may help

Also, wood color will vary from tree to tree of the same species. Plywood grades will also contribute to color variations. Higher grade hardwood plywood will have better color consistency and grain matching.

-- Nicky

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