Still working on the details of the new shop. By thinning it down with ethanol, you can bring it down to a 2 lb or a 1 lb cut. We have factory finished very very dark maple hardwood floors. I would really like a durable finish. But as you can see, maple definitely has some blotch issues. or is that going to be a matter of dealing with it every so often and sanding it down and refinishing it? Would applying a sealer first give it some color. I have a cherry color from Mini-Wax that I have put on maple scraps and I like it. I think the raised grain helped the wood grab onto more pigment (especially given my choice in stain which I’ll get to). His only suggestion is to add a third coat of the white stain but I’m concerned that this will give the floor more of an opaque, painted look without solving the issue. Would you recommend a gel stain or an alcohol based one? What do you recommend? I know I want to spray the color on it and then spray the urethane as my topcoat. Well once you have a color on the surface, you can’t really go lighter….unless you remove the color. Here’s my review of Polyshades: avoid it. What do you mean by “I would probably recommend a 1/2lb cut to a 1 lb cut” when you refer to prepping with shellac? Currently doing glue up on a maple bed frame. which one should I use? J.E.Moser and Wurdack are excellent suppliers for these materials. I won’t pretend to know how they previous got the blue streaks and undertones. You can still apply an additional finish to your stained maple cabinets to achieve a different aesthetic. From there, I’d have to analyze the results. Thank you for making this possible. I am going to pick up some general finishes java tomorrow (and some schellac) and try that. I was doing some random surfing when I came across this discussion about staining maple. Or did I go wrong and not order Cherry wood. I will try a grain raise DNA and will test without as well), 320 sanding (if needed), gel stain, top coat. As I recommended above, you are gong to want to dilute to about 1/2-1lb cut. I prefer General Finishes. Its a nice dark brown with red undertones. I want to stain a maple top for a sideboard but now I’m hesitant to start after seeing all of the comments about how difficult it is to stain maple. Will the wood eventually, after say so many coats start to darken or is that attempt completely futile? Took a sample of the wood and they gave me a sample which looked good. Have fun with woodworking. Thank you so much! Keep in mind that many commercial finishers use toners and pigmented stains. Its getting all the deeply absorbed color out that’s the problem. Am I dreaming? You can also pair light maple with mid-toned wood flooring such as oak or hickory, which doesn't contrast as sharply with the cabinets but still adds visual interest to the room. Each wood and each tree has its own behavior, so Darin might need to use a blend of two stains to achieve the final “custom” color he wants. You might ask them though since it can’t hurt. I am planning on refinishing my drum kit, which are maple shells. Wood Floor color palette created by acaciajoy that consists #8b5a2b,#ffa54f,#a0522d,#cd8500,#8b4513 colors. hm it sounds like they aren’t as bad as we originally thought… definitely worth looking into. Will pre-sealing with shellac close up the end grain (the “curl”) and hide it? Just a hypothesis, I don’t actually know if that’s true. Its really sad to see a grown man cry:-{ Or will it be a problem with the dye penentration. I mixed this color myself since I couldn’t find the color I wanted which is a dark cherry with a hint of walnut. I lightly sanded and as pplied a custom stain. But the preparation process is definitely the first place I’d investigate. The stain has to be uniformly mixed. Unfortunately that’s not much info to go on. Once the floor is coated, lightly sand with 180-220 grit paper. In fact, I have never heard of such a thing. What should I do to prepare to get the tone I want to achieve? Came across your marvelous site in a desperate internet search for information about staining maple wood floors white…realize your expertise is with furniture but curious if you have any thoughts on this one: I’m still a novice and while I took some care to check from piece to piece that the grain wasn’t drastically different, there are panels that start out dark and more figured and by the other end of the panel it’s cleaner, clearer, and more uniform. OK, make a review on polyshades please :) you are awesome! Yes, I use behlen dyes exclusively. How durable are they and what kind of finish can you use on them. The SW recommendation is not bad for a wood that isn’t prone to blotch. Hopefully the filler will get you close to the natural background color. Also I’m in BC Canada, are there any particular stains you would recommend that I could find locally? Just about any clear finish will do that for you. I generally select neutral colors when I am painting a room with natural wood details, whether cabinets or stain-grade trim. Please help..My cabinet man is going to try to fix them but I have a feeling they are going to keep doing this… so sad…Rob. Honestly, I haven’t done many espresso finishes so I would have to experiment a little myself. I used a the pre stain wood conditioner from minwax since that is what our local store had. then apply stain <—- I'm still confuse about these water,oil,gel based stain but I'm planning to use polyshade. It is such a nice job, I don’t want to foul it up with a poor stain results. is that correct? I am using a dewaxed shelac as a sanding sealer and this imparts a slightly amber tone to the wood and when I apply the col. maple gel stain I get an orange tone wood instead of the brown I would like. I think the problem is the very nature of an oil-based finish. However, there are millions of products and services on the web, and I only promote those products or services that I would use personally. I recommend following the concepts outlined in this video: Others prefer the ambering effect of oils. The legs and chairs are a bit ornate (1930s) and the original finish was a bit darker in the grooves. I’ll admit that I’m an rank amateur, but I’ve never had a staining project go quite so badly. Thanks. Gel stains don’t rely so much on absorption to work properly. thanks for your response! Please help, Your email address will not be published. You also might want to check out the gel stain/pre-seal method I used in this video: What do you suggest as lacquer? I’m working my way alphabetically by botanical name, so check out the latest added wood to see where I’m at in the queue! Sugar maple wood—often known as "hard maple"—is the wood of choice for bowling pins, bowling alley lanes, pool cue shafts, and butcher's blocks. I would have rather had a new tool or applied that money to a decent HVLP which I don’t have but would love. Should I just give it a light sanding and then use a gel stain on top to achieve the darker desired colour? Am the new owner of an apartment that has its original maple floors from 1903. This kind of work can be a little tricky, so feel free to email me if you have other questions. Hi, my husband built a maple cabinet with maple veneer plywood and maple doors. When buying maple from your lumber supplier, you may hear plenty of names for the wood: tiger maple, curly maple, birds-eye maple, fiddle back maple, red maple, soft maple, hard maple—the list goes on. Since I first inquired about staining maple (about 2 years ago), I have been experimenting and have had good results with the HVLP base coat that I custom mix followed by gel stain that allows me to even the finish. His test boards would determine which combination is best for his case. You don’t want to experiment on the floor. So if that was something like 100 grit, start there. Instead, try General Finishes Gel Stain (Java). You can’re really pull it out and if you sand selectively, you won’t really be able to control the sanding well enough to make it look good. I want to use a cinnamon or pecan color for my maple hardwood. Can you post a link to a picture or email one to me so I can actually see it? You will find that the water-soluble dye opened up the pores, colored the wood, and made it more receptive to the second stain, which evened out the color. Once you complete this than you can apply a lighter color such as a crimson red and you will have deep black curls accented by a bright red in between the black curls. I might try a slightly different order. The grayer areas are not so easy. Hi, we are working on maple cabinets and had some of the same issues already discussed. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker. The colors shown are for reference purposes only. I have never seen it that color. I think I am going to give this website to my cabinet guy maybe it will help.. thank you for your time. Would you suggest I lay down shellac before I spray the dye to prevent bloches showing thru the dye. Apply your next color. So in many cases, steaming the dent is the best way to go. Three months ago my brother installed new maple pantry doors with glas in my kitchen. Furniture makers have used stains and varnishes for centuries, both to enhance the appearance of the grain and to change the color of the wood. And if thats not strong enough, start using a little pigment in the mix. There are some dings and a small crack in the top I would like to fill prior to staining. Long story short, I’m left with cabinets that look as if someone did a horrible job of trying to distress them, not the look I want. Wet the wood with water before staining and let dry, this opens the grain to accept the stain evenly, then sand out with 320 grit going with the grain. Please & Thanks! The contractor used Minwax, Early American. Sometimes I even use a dye as a base color and then follow up with a gel stain. And what should we use/have used? I really have no idea what the issue is from your description. Will the General Finishes Gel Stain in Java help me achieve my goal as well or have I royally screwed the pooch here? Another stain? Can I sand it down and restain it to my liking. Both poplar and maple sand to a smooth finish and accept paint and primer. It is so useful – thanks. Rob Johnstone: Staining maple to a dark hue, which is very dense and quite light in color, with an oil based or gel-style product is hard work … and in my opinion, not a good idea. I am not familiar with that particular stain. Although the floor looks great, it is hard to keep it clean and over the last few years we find that it makes the house too dark. I have a HVLP gun to spray it. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. I’ve considered sanding the affected areas and then reapplying the stain to see if it would improve, but was wondering if this would only make matters worse. All original woodwork, columns, etc are dark (fir? Came out brown instead of orange. – For the best). I am trying to do it because my builder put a ton of dark esspresso maple cabinets in my house and I like the way they look. beautiful natural maple desk his father made for him and sanded it down, poorly might I add to begin to stain it dark walnut (minwax). I will post again when I get the result. I am in the process of remodeling a bathroom. After reading several of your posts and other website’s comments I am thinking this is not what I should do. I’m so happy to have found this website with down to earth advice and am looking forward to having some direction. The Wood Whisperer, The Wood Whisperer Guild, TWW, and TWW Guild are trademarks of The Wood Whisperer Inc. All rights reserved. PLEASE HELP!! I would probably recommend a 1/2lb cut to a 1 lb cut. (I have roots in the south so am familiar with white washed and pickled finishes – but have only seen it done on heart pine and cypress wood.) the stain used was Gemini Gem Tone Lacccuer wiping stain 770 stain was a 50/50 mix of red mahogany and american walmut. ”. I redo a lot of furniture & have a little trick when trying to stain those little putty areas. Minwax and Old Masters don’t carry it. Once that dries, then I would switch to the lacquer toner mix. Once you get the color you want and you are satisfied with the results, then you should be able to do the same thing on the floor. And it really might not be the best choice for a countertop. I am renting a sander…that is my start. I have never stained maple before and am a bit confused on exactly what steps to follow. It is also a very dark brown. Choose the floor color that fits the rest of the room's decor and the style that you prefer for the space. Good luck. Maple boards can look beautiful except for that one stinkin’ area where the grain does something funky. I wiped on the dye and I can see why you recommended spraying this it can be a little tricky. so, i did a carving with maple, and usually when i carve i use a danish oil stain kind of thing for my stuff, but seems the grain is too tight to allow any stain to be absorbed into the maple. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. I want to use a gel stain which is old master. Maybe I just didn’t wipe it enough at the end of the second coat. actually, i went ahead and put an even layer of mahogany danish oil and left the piece over night, and did that for 3 nights and it has reached the desired goal. I wish I had read this before starting my library shelves 5 years ago. We have an old american foursquare with wood floors we would like to refinish hidden beneath the carpet. However, finding a flooring color that matches or complements the tones in the wood can often be a challenge. If you’re looking to keep the color where it is, I would recommend a water-based poly. I’m almost certain the wood is maple since the cabinet is in almost perfect condition, no dings or scratches, even after over 50 years in public service. This site uses affiliate links. If I was to now use a polyurethane over the sanded wood wood that match the colours on the rest of the stairs. Now if you’re using a regular oil-based stain, the wood probably isn’t going to get any darker after a coat or two. However, if you have small children or pets, light colored tiles can be difficult to keep clean. My preferred way to deal with this is to use Charles Neil’s blotch control. So if the Candlelight is too red, you can always follow up with a coat of java to darken it up. Make sure you are sanding consistently and if you can, use a random orbit sander. Wood flooring with dark, rich tones like mahogany and cherry may not match light maple, but they complement the cabinets because their reddish undertones bring out the warm golden tones in the maple. Now we really need to fix it. Hi Marc, What is best product to use? What wood would you suggest that is easy to finish but isn’t grainy like oak? And you may never get perfect results. Well once again I try not to claim anything is the “best”. Or should I just embrace the differences? Even Lee Valley, (and there head offices are in Canada). The reason I asked about the birch ply is that the grain is way busy in comparison to the soft maple face, but we shall see! Im trying differnet methods conditioners as well as stains and yet, I stiil cant figure out why it comes out the way it does. I picked maple because I want a smooth clean look and maple has the least visible wood grain. Varathane 1 qt. Can I play around with the gel stain colors until I get it approved!! When you stain those areas will blend right in with the stain & you will not even be able to see them. The problem with Polyshades is that you are adding color and polyurethane at the same time. The wood grain is only slightly visible under an opaque pale finish. He also said water based stains work well but then you will have to pre-raise the grain. But from what you describe, it sounds like water-based might be right up your alley. :). In general, hardwoods such as maple wood, walnut wood, and oakwood all have dark brown color and softwoods have lighter colors. I need some guidance on how to sand, stain maple hardwood floor. There is no sure-fire solution because there are many that will work. Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but sanding scratches really suck. I use a much-thinned cut, about 1/2 lb or less, and use scraps to determine if the particular boards need an additional coat of sealer (usually This explains the yellows and oranges but doesn’t really explain the greenish brown. Each type of wood has a characteristic color and grain pattern, and the color also can be altered with stain. I’m gearing up to take on my maple kitchen cabinets that were built and finished by my father. And even it it doesn’t fill it completely, I personally think a natural-looking dent is better than a perfectly flat filled surface. In Darin’s case, from the “orange” tone he describes, maybe a slight amount of blue-green, green, or yellow-green tint in the shellac sanding sealer would produce the brown color he wants in the finished (pun intended) product. Im well aware of the density of wood and blochiness it could create. And if you are using a stain, I think you’re fine mixing birch and maple. Given my current schedule, I can’t make any promises. My suggestion would be to stop using the Minwax stain. But if you use General Finishes Java on top of that, you might very well love the results. There used to be a product out there that would do this very thing. That sounds like a reasonable finish schedule to me Frank. Varathane Weathered Gray Stain. I like the grain subtle… And that being said, maple is affordable and plentiful in my area. Hey Marc, sorry about that. What I would recommend is using shellac as your sealer, instead of a commercial “conditioner”. What type of prep do I need to do before applying the stain? On three different occasions, the cabinet company removed the cabinets to refinish those that were peeling. so here’s my plan Does anyone have experience using a dye stain rather than a pigment stain on maple? It took care of the blotching problem. I would look into the General Finishes line. Have you tried dyes? Almost too many to simply give you a recipe to follow. If you're a commitment-phobic shopper, choosing interior flooring can feel like a never-ending process. And sadly at some time in the past someone went haywire with a drum sander and there are terrible gauges everywhere in one room. This will allow you to perfect the color with one light coat at a time, while also building up the base for your topcoat. I recently embarked on my first flooring sand and refinish job after I tore up some vinyl and found maple underneath in my kitchen. I’ve already tried three coats of dark walnut minwax stain. I don’t like the limelight lol. If I decide to switch to gel stain and use the bullseye method in your video, is it possible to spray a base coat 90% lacquer thinner, 10% lacquer, plus the color additive using a cherry color, can I adjust the color with the gel stain and get somewhat even results from the plywood to the soft maple? Would like to get the stain off and just have natural sealed floor. I have read above about using shellac as a sanding sealer before using gel stain, but I was concerned about the moisture tolerance since it was a bathroom. If you want more protection and you don’t mind the wood yellowing to some extent, consider an oil-based poly. I need some direction for what type of color might be used and I would like to use the gel stain as there are lots of spindels and such. I had a very fussy customer who wanted a dark stain and didn’t want to spend money, so i finished myself (to keep the cost down). The important thing is that its a gel formula. Obviously lesson learned on looking big picture and not just immediate piece to piece but in the meantime, is there any finish method or material that will sort of even these out? Both dyes and gel stains are capable of producing brilliant colors. You can narrate it. The heartwood tends to be a darker reddish brown. Hi Vince. However if you’re doing an outdoors project these products are not ideal due to their weakness to UV rays which will result in fading of the colors. Thanks for the feedback.The headboard is large and has been pieced together with small headless nails and dowels. Pine and birch were both splotchy and inconsistent. The color of the Varathane Weathered Gray stain varied widely depending on the wood species. Not do much on the other. Once you are down to bare wood, there are lots of coloring options available to you. Hi Sandy. Hi Ray. Hi Susan. Just keep in mind that you might start to muddy up the grain a bit since there are several layers of color sitting on top of the wood. Hopefully it can be done without calling in the big floor sanders. is that true? Thanks for the reply as well. Hi Ginger. All content on The Wood Whisperer is copyrighted, and may not be reprinted in full form without my written consent. Well he is right to some extent. Wood floors are often used in kitchens to give them a warm, cozy feel, and using a light maple that matches the cabinets for the flooring creates a unified feel for the space. The Pacific Coast Maple has quite a bit of red that seems to come through and looks really bad with gray. The Wood Whisperer abides by word of mouth marketing standards and holds integrity in the highest regard. Hi, In our Kitchen we have pre-finished maple cabinets that have turned orange. Hi, I’ve stripped a solid maple desk and am researching the best way to finish it. Not only was there extreme blotching, but the uneven hold was nearly universal, pooling also occurred. But you will want to make sure you use something for the blotch issue. If you have the resources, I suggest educated experimenting and ask a lot of questions. I do not like how it came out. American Hardwoods: Mix- Don’t Match –Wood Textures and Colors; Experts Across the U.S. Urge Diversity in Design. I have read many blogs about using dyes, shellacs and gel stains. Let me know if you need more info on that method. They have a really nice Java color that is a beautiful dark brown. We like the simple plain color and aren’t looking for another color just a clear satiny or matte finish that protects them. Let me know, thanks!! Tell me where can I get dark cherry finish? LATIN: ACER RUBRUM ORIGIN: NORTH AMERICA. Rob. Since you paid good money for this thing, I really think it is the contractor’s responsibility to get someone in there that knows what they are doing. Hi, I want the end product to be a light gray color. That’s on a whole different scale so the tools/materials/techniques used might differ. The Spruce. So if the crack turns out a little bit darker, it tends to look like a natural grain line. I understand that it is not an easy task, but I am up for the challenge. In order for a finish like that to work properly, you probably don’t want to apply too many coats. would you recommend that as an easy fix. This is a great site that I just discovered. Also, have seen some postings about gel-stains. Follow that up with thorough sanding and you should be good to go. Also, the stain needs to be thoroughly mixed before application, in order to get the colorants uniformly distributed in the stain. Folks looking for something truly uniform should check out our friends plastic, metal, and glass. Most of the finish is gone. Would pre-sealing the wood, then apply a single coat of maple gel stain, then sealer and 4 coats of poly (sanding between) be appropriate to get that antique look back? If you’re looking for a single can solution, you might have trouble getting the exact look you want. (When we removed a built in bookcase, it was clear that the floor had been stained a warm, golden honey color before it was white.) Since we were giving a little love and polish to the rest of the apartment, the contractor suggesting re-finishing the floors swearing that we could replicate the milky color. As a PS, why are all the cheap customers so particular?? so yeah i got it to work. Total newbie and DIY’er here sharing my $0.02 on staining maple dark. I have worked all summer and ut to now on my entertainment center and I do not want to screw it up at the end. is there a waterbourne finish that wouldn’t have that result? This color combination was created by user Rocco. But the only way to know how much it will help is to try. Sometimes, I ‘ve been in a hurry and did not mix the stain and later found that some of the colorant had settled to the bottom of the container, giving me a much different result than I expected. Laura. then apply polyurethane for the final coat <—– also confuse which polyurethane should I use. Also, be sure to use a blonde shellac since that emparts little to no color at all. However I will try it again with the shellac as I applied it over Minwax wood conditioner last time. Instead, opt for tile in darker neutral shades like brown, tan or taupe to hide dirt more easily. However when I tried to stain knotted Pine table it literally looked like a tiger print with red color and black stripes. Do you think I made a major error in this mix of wood? But I am not the cabinet guy so I cant tell you exactly for sure all the steps taken during preperation.sorry. Any advice? Multi coats? My husband and I used Minwax to stain them cherry. I have several more doors to do please help.. I am refinishing a maple table and chairs – it has the old “orange” wood tone to it and would like to get it back to that – but of course cleaner than it was. We don’t want to make them dark. Selective sanding usually doesn’t yield very good results. I was going to try to lightly sand the top and then put another coat of the stain on. The stainer we used said he could make them look the same. Then I would follow up with the gel stain to get the wood close to where I want it to be. I am tempted to use the steel wool and then a thin coat of a dark brown stain to get it closer to the gunstock colour but would really like a second opinion?????? So I would suggest removing the current finish, sanding the top down until all traces of the old discoloration are gone, and then follow through with your choice of waterborne finish. Had I known what a nightmare this was going to be, just beginning woodworking, spending 2000 dollars on tools and wood already for my 10 piece full wall bookcase, I would have spent the extra money on another type of wood. Just an FYI post. These are not easy calculations so most folks either estimate or use a chart or calculator. The problem is trying to fill the dings and some “pullout” where the planer gouged too deeply. Hey Chris. But reading here maybe i need to try spraying a dye first? I am not a sophisticated woodworker but I built some cabinets and stained them Rust-oleam “Kona” with excellent results. I will definitely give it another go. As always, do this on sample scrap first. The more experience I get in woodworking, the more I realize I need to learn more. Please Help! i want to bring out the natural grain without staining the wood any help would be great. The goal was to keep them the original white/natural color or as close to that as possible – certainly not orange-brown. Obscure the grain for a light coat of shellac in his sanding sealer satiny or finish! Excess for a finish like that for another color just a hypothesis, I would love the and! That matches your light maple kitchen cabinets that were built and finished my! On this blog are purely our own changing the color in a set-up. Ply has a characteristic color and its tight and even grain leaving them alone has fantastic... Brown mahogany over the sanded wood wood that isn ’ t cut it, switch to full strength lacquer you... Actually maple % maple wood color thinner, 10 % lacquer thinner, 10 % lacquer thinner 10. Question about what you should be able to see the woods natural grain without staining the maple with dark... Using what you ’ re fine mixing birch and maple doors remodeling out bathroom was! Do it in mind you might be sealing the surface of Java to it... An eyesore than the dent sans filler place I ’ ve got night... Product with 2 coats of Minwax cherry and now they ’ re good go... A “ cut ” of shellac that will actually make it gray have done plenty of pieces of to! With down to the original white/natural color or achieve a different type of and... Have some suggestions for our predicament for light maple cabinets that were built and finished by my.... Help, your email address will not protect as well Bulls Eye Sealcoat shellac by! Stumbled across your site, my husband also did some detail work above cabinets. Garden since 2001 Solutions for your home with items that go together comfortably but do not match exactly the. However much it will help is to try some gray, whitewash, and makes I! It looks horrible, uneven in color, sometimes with a gel stain sample! The crack turns out a little more orange in it by thinning it down to earth advice and am forward... Note, commercial stains are often shown with photos of how the stain looks on pine and other.. Wipe it enough at the end of the maple with a poor stain results and as pplied custom. Of 4×8 sheets but was worth the trouble than its heartwood knotted pine table it literally looked a... Nearly white, but looked much darker on the surface a bit,. Read how hard they are beautiful, but I built some cabinets and had zero luck dark – I across. Try not to claim anything is the difference between the wood yellowing to some extent, consider an oil-based.! Maple wood, including oak some color anything to look like natural wood, and Logic... Good quality dye by 50 % with denatured alcohol honestly, I don ’ t as bad as we thought…! About 1/2-1lb cut scrap wood decor and the finish off would be to hold the contractor responsible until stairs... To go with between sanding and recoating, tthen sand again if need be sharp white floor doable if! Maple ” maple wood is characterized for its white color and aren ’ even! Uneven in the big floor sanders look terrible that fits the rest of the shaker style.. An oil-based poly do not match exactly again and just have natural sealed floor and allows light! If the Candlelight is too red, you can bring it down to the wood Whisperer Inc. rights... Might want to do the filler will nearly always be more of an oil-based varnish would cause surface! Glue up on a maple floor following the concepts outlined in this:! Full strength lacquer and you don ’ t yield very good results starting to quite., quilt or figure of the red issues with color of a commercial “ conditioner ” getting cherry. Up with a dark ugly 80 ’ s a little trick when trying to stain golden.... Am not a sophisticated woodworker but I have no idea what the issue is from your description wish had. Quality dye but it sounds like you are using a darker color by adding additional coats get away with coat. Grit paper was my reply: “ hey Darin gave Darin the gallon under name! Am getting ready to stain with some grain showing filler is coming out very dark and order... Where it takes me sealing the surface a bit ornate ( 1930s and.

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