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Project by Dchip posted 07-17-2009 08:25 PM 1719 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a nightstand I threw together for my girlfriend from some poplar and random hardware I got at the local big box store. I used wood conditioner on the 220-grit sanded surface before applying an oil-based stain, followed by poly and some finishing wax, but the color still came out somewhat blotchy. I am in the process of building another nightstand out of the same poplar (my first mistake was buying alot of poplar from HD, though I had confidence I could make it work) and would love some advice/hints as to make a better finish. I am going to use a better brand gel-stain (General Finish probably) on the new piece, has anyone had success with this? Should a wood conditioner be used with gel-stain as well? I appreciate any and all input.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


13271 posts in 4720 days

#1 posted 07-17-2009 10:58 PM

Nice Stand!

I have used shellac as a sealer before applying stain. It seemed to make the finish less blotchy. I have heard that gel stains will provide more even coverage.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View michaelray's profile


232 posts in 4419 days

#2 posted 07-18-2009 12:37 AM

Nice work Dan. I’ve used gel stain (can’t remember the brand) on poplar before and had pretty good luck.

-- [email protected]

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14188 posts in 4948 days

#3 posted 07-18-2009 06:32 AM

I think you are going the right direction with the gel stain, however I can not notice anything wrong with the photos of your project … keep up the good work and have fun doing it

welcome to lumberjocks

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4542 days

#4 posted 07-18-2009 06:38 AM

nice night stand well done Dan


View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5211 days

#5 posted 07-18-2009 02:58 PM

If you use shellac use it as a wash coat in other words thin it with denatured alcohol. Nice looking night stand, poplar can be a beautiful wood to finish. Experiment on a small piece, until you get what you want.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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