Spalted box #2: Sampling complimentary wood for accents

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Blog entry by Brodan posted 06-10-2021 02:16 AM 492 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Resaw and prelim assembly Part 2 of Spalted box series Part 3: Lid with wood hinge and interior tray »

Trying to determine complimentary wood(color) for accents on the spalted maple box I’m building. Here’s the basic box. The original post garnered a range of suggestions from white holly in contrast to the black spalt lines to a dark wood like walnut to make it pop.

Disclaimer: This is where my wood ignorance comes in.

Below is a Spalted board with a reddish wood (cherry? Maybe), a dark walnut, and a light wood ( not sure what it is, hand planes easy , almost feels oily although it’s dry). A couple of observations, I should have inserted them aligned with the grain rather than perpendicular which would be more like the finished product and I used clear varnish which still resulted in the whiteish unfinished wood getting that yellow hue. I like the white of the unfinished so may have to try a different finish.

I didn’t have a white wood like holly but may try to find some. Of course I leave for Texas to see the god daughter in two weeks so….

All comments are welcome….

-- Dan, TN

4 comments so far

View sras's profile


6175 posts in 4249 days

#1 posted 06-10-2021 03:13 AM

It’s really a matter of personal taste, but I’d go for the darkest wood you can find.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3655 posts in 4833 days

#2 posted 06-10-2021 05:12 AM


My favorite is the dark walnut. It really makes the spalting stand out.

For a clearer finish on light woods, try water-based poly.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


837 posts in 900 days

#3 posted 06-10-2021 11:22 AM

Alas, it is in the eye of the beholder. For me, either black or white to simply disappear and let the great spalting stand as the only eye catcher.

View Brodan's profile


321 posts in 2423 days

#4 posted 06-10-2021 04:48 PM

I also like the dark walnut. Thanks to all for comments on color. My thoughts are for a band around the bottom and top and for the wood hinge and latch.( although will be searching for a design for a wood latch

Also thanks for the water based poly suggestion. Probably will need to sample some finishes, but that’ll be the first.

Thanks, Dan

-- Dan, TN

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