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Staining Maple

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Forum topic by Wstein posted 01-08-2020 05:32 PM 947 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wstein

70 posts in 3087 days


01-08-2020 05:32 PM

I have a project coming up that needs to be stained a dark chocolate like brown. I am considering using maple for the project. I am doing a quick sanity check on my method for staining to avoid splotches and try and get the best/truest color. I was going sand and then seal the maple with a 1/2 to 1 lb cut of dewaxed shellac. let that dry over night and then apply a water based stain from General Finishes, let it set for about 15 mins then wipe off. How long do I let that dry before I apply a second coat of stain (if needed)?

Also, is maple a good choice for a dark stain? I heard other people say use cherry since it is a darker wood it will stain darker. I am planning on doing some test samples before hand but just looking to get my methods down pat before I start on the test pieces.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005


20 replies so far

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2936 posts in 3319 days


#1 posted 01-08-2020 06:06 PM

Read this for blotch control. Cherry is really not much darker and just as blotch prone. Depends on how dark you actually want the wood. Here is a sideboard I made from red oak my daughter wanted dark brown to match other furniture. If you want this type of color shift it takes a lot more than a coat or 2 of stain. If you just want a little darkening just stain might do what you want. Got a pic of what you are after?

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Kazooman

1540 posts in 3282 days


#2 posted 01-08-2020 06:32 PM

If you have a local source I would recommend looking at Peruvian walnut (also known as Columbian walnut, tropical walnut, and other names). Very nice wood to work with and it is chocolate brown to begin with.

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Wstein

70 posts in 3087 days


#3 posted 01-08-2020 06:45 PM

Here is what the homeowner wants to match, the wood piece on the top is the framing around her mirror.

I did think about the Peruvian walnut, not sure if the client will go for the price and I am not sure I have a good local supply of it. I suggested wenge, the price per bf was too much for the homeowner.

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005

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Wstein

70 posts in 3087 days


#4 posted 01-08-2020 06:52 PM

I just checked my local supplier, they do carry Peruvian walnut, but only 4/4 stock, no 8/4, which i would need since this is for a barn door and needs to be about 6/4 to 7/4 thick.

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005

View Rich's profile

Rich

7738 posts in 1919 days


#5 posted 01-08-2020 06:53 PM

That’s pretty much the same as Transtint medium brown. You can experiment with how much to dilute it to get the depth of color. I’d suggest going with clear alder. It’s inexpensive and easy to work with. You’ll need to use blotch control on it, but that’s easy too. My go to blotch control is 1 part white glue with roughly 6 parts distilled water. Easy to mix up and use, and the results are very predictable.

I slather it on the wood, wetting it thoroughly, then wipe off the excess. Let it dry a couple of hours and sand with 320 to knock down the raised grain. I usually give it overnight to dry completely just to play it safe.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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wildwoodbybrianjohns

2872 posts in 877 days


#6 posted 01-08-2020 09:45 PM

Rich, “blotch control,” why distilled water?

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

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Rich

7738 posts in 1919 days


#7 posted 01-08-2020 10:05 PM


Rich, “blotch control,” why distilled water?

- wildwoodbybrianjohns

No mineral content. It probably isn’t a big deal, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and stick with distilled.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View mike02719's profile

mike02719

306 posts in 5116 days


#8 posted 01-08-2020 10:38 PM

Maple has given me fits while staining. I have been told that the time of year that it was harvested in has a lot to do with its staining characteristics. Birch is a very good species to work with and takes stain very well. There is, however, a flock of new products that could make your job successful. Good Luck

-- Mike, Massachusetts

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ChefHDAN

1837 posts in 4179 days


#9 posted 01-08-2020 11:31 PM

I have to agree with Rich, for that much color shift I’d go with a dye. I have taken crappy contractor handrails to a DEEP brown using Transfast van dyke brown. Since it’s water based you can almost blend the colors with a damp rag to get final finish and control coloring.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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Rich

7738 posts in 1919 days


#10 posted 01-08-2020 11:33 PM


I have to agree with Rich, for that much color shift I d go with a dye. I have taken crappy contractor handrails to a DEEP brown using Transfast van dyke brown. Since it s water based you can almost blend the colors with a damp rag to get final finish and control coloring.

- ChefHDAN

I don’t know how many Furniture to Go fans there are out there, but Joe L’Erario used to call van dyke brown “Morning After Merlot.” Funny guy.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Wstein's profile

Wstein

70 posts in 3087 days


#11 posted 01-09-2020 12:27 AM

I didn’t think of dyes, spent the afternoon playing around with the two dyes I happen to have on hand, Bohiems Medium Brown Walnut and Brown Maple. The two combined on cherry was almost a perfect match. I however don’t have any alder to experiment with, like Rich suggested. I might have to go to my wood dealer and see if they have any scrap alder floating around I can experiment with. I want to get this figured out by the weekend so I know which wood I need to buy.

Now with dye, do you preseal the wood or leave it raw and let the dye do its thing directly?

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005

View Spotcheck's profile

Spotcheck

38 posts in 3856 days


#12 posted 01-09-2020 12:30 AM

Yep Dye. Transfast – the powdered stuff. Transtint, the liquid, will “lift” when you go to apply the next coat in the finishing schedule.

Don’t know about maple. Used it, but never went darker than amber. Now – QSWO – that I have moved from medium brown all the way to very dark mahogany red. You do need to follow the dye with a scrape on/wipe off dark-ish gel stain to fill the open WO pores.

Also – You can ebonize QSWO with quebracho bark tea and iron/vinegar strained soup. I’m thinking that is darker than you’re looking for :)

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

580 posts in 927 days


#13 posted 01-09-2020 01:35 AM

Could you use a colored finish? I mean like a colored urethane or lacquer?

I’ve done a bit of refinishing in the last year and used several different products to better match factory finishes.

I’ve used everything from finishes available at the big box stores, to Mohawk stuff. I prefer other finishes, stains and top coats, but these color laden finishes have given me good results.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Wstein's profile

Wstein

70 posts in 3087 days


#14 posted 01-09-2020 03:00 AM



Could you use a colored finish? I mean like a colored urethane or lacquer?

I ve done a bit of refinishing in the last year and used several different products to better match factory finishes.

I ve used everything from finishes available at the big box stores, to Mohawk stuff. I prefer other finishes, stains and top coats, but these color laden finishes have given me good results.

- Axis39

I have thought about about since I was playing with the dyes, but I have no experience with them. Not sure which finish would be the best, how to mix in the dyes, etc. Since it is basically a commission piece, I don’t want to screw it up since my name is going on it.

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005

View Rich's profile

Rich

7738 posts in 1919 days


#15 posted 01-09-2020 03:17 AM


Yep Dye. Transfast – the powdered stuff. Transtint, the liquid, will “lift” when you go to apply the next coat in the finishing schedule.

- Spotcheck

Not true. I’ve used both and they’ll behave the same. Given the OP’s admitted lack of experience, it’ll be a good idea to read up on using dyes and finishing in general and do lots of test boards.

The General Finishes web site has good instructions. You can read up on using their water based dyes and apply that information to any other water based dye.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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