Staining maple white

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Forum topic by Canadianbiker posted 05-17-2020 06:52 PM 617 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 776 days

05-17-2020 06:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stain box white maple blotchy

I made a urn and have a maple top on it. I would like to leave the top as white as possible. I find that if I even put wax on it, it gets blotchy. I have seen small boxes that are absolutely white. Can someone tell me what they are doing to make the wood look like that. Is it the stain they are using or is it the type of wood? Thanks for any help.

7 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


4456 posts in 3259 days

#1 posted 05-17-2020 07:15 PM

Shellac flakes super blonde has practically no color. If your thinking about the stuff in a can stop. It’s not the same real shellac doesn’t come in a can.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2938 posts in 4383 days

#2 posted 05-17-2020 07:28 PM

Soft maple is whiter than hard maple and Basswood is very white. I understand that the whitest wood is Holly

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View Foghorn's profile


1522 posts in 847 days

#3 posted 05-17-2020 07:38 PM

Maple can be bleached with mixed results. As Jim says, Holly is one of the whitest woods and the sapwood is much whiter than the heartwood.

-- Darrel

View therealSteveN's profile


10001 posts in 2035 days

#4 posted 05-17-2020 08:01 PM

Overall I call this a Unicorn hunt. At least I have never seen Maple that was finished that didn’t have some degree of yellowing.

This article from Jeff Jewitt, who I believe to be as close to great on finishing as there is, gives some pointers.

Now he is talking NON yellowing, and both pics in the article sure look yellar to me. On the Shellac front, the makers also sell what they term Platinum, and they say less yellowing than the Blonde, or Ultra pale.

Best of luck. If you succeed, pleas post what you did. I’ve been chasing that Unicorn for over 50 years.

-- Think safe, be safe

View CaptainKlutz's profile


5620 posts in 2955 days

#5 posted 05-17-2020 10:13 PM

+1 Unicorn hunt.

No one has mentioned the only non-yellow to start top coat: Water based acrylic or polyurethane?
GF sells HPA, and Rustoleum sells Varathane Ultimate Poly. Both are water clear when applied.
This does not meant they will staff clear forever, but they tend of yellow less over time than oil based finishes. Non of the standard wood finishes stay clear forever. Even ultra blonde shellac gets darker with age and UV exposure.
Another very expensive option is to use automotive catalyzed clear coat. The latest coatings last 10-15 years in sun before they begin to yellow?

Did I mention Unicorn hunt yet?


-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View iminmyshop's profile


409 posts in 3455 days

#6 posted 05-18-2020 02:55 AM

Jim Is right. Holly is the whitest wood. But even Holly, like all woods will change color over time.


View SMP's profile


5315 posts in 1366 days

#7 posted 05-18-2020 03:36 AM

General Finishes whitewash wood stain works pretty good. Then use a non yellowing topcoat.

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