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Best way to finish Maple

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  • MartyFromKingston
    replied
    Wally,

    Is the spray stain you're mentioning an alcohol-based product, or what? Do you have the exact product info that was on the tin? The reason I'm asking is that I've been doing quite a bit of playing around with toning and highlighting and want to try out various products to see how well they'll work out for me.

    I should mention here one thing that I've tried that totally bombed: spraying a wiping stain to achieve a darker colour. Here's what I did:
    1. sanded the piece to P180
    2. sprayed Target Coating sander/sealer (it's WB) then knocked down the wiskers with P180 again
    3. loaded my touch-up gun with pigmented, oil-based wiping stain and sprayed it on, making several passes (we could also call them layers for the sake of this discussion). I waited a few minutes between each pass to give it time to dry to the touch before assessing the colour, then continuing this "layering" effect until I was really happy with the colour. Note that I did not wipe the stain after any of the passes. What ended out happening is that the colour and tone appeared perfect after I'd played around with applying it.
    4. let it sit for a full day of drying, using a fan blowing air onto it to help ensure the oil-based pigmented stain was fully dry and ready for topcoating. Again, the finish appeared to be perfect: great tone, depth, the right colour, everything.
    5. sprayed on the same sealer as I'd applied under the stain, to lock down the colour.
    6. sprayed on two coats of Target Coatings EM 2000 WB alkyd varnish. I left it to dry for 5 days (the recommended time to allow for a full cure) before installing the cabinet. It looked perfect to me... and more important, my SO.

    Now, here's the tough part: we noticed that the finish wasn't very durable, as evident by a scratch that went all the way through to the bare maple from where I'd dragged the upper section across the top of the base section during assembly on site. A second scratch - again, all the way through to the maple - appeared a few days later, caused by goodness knows what. Arrggh! The hard-earned lesson for me here was that I'd caused could best be described as a dusty stained layer by having sprayed multiple layers of wiping stain. According to Steve Clark from Royal City Paint in Ottawa from whom I get all my stains and toning material, by using a wiping stain in such an incorrect (I'd much prefer calling it "unconventional", as that would make it sound less stupid, right?), I'd created a weak bonding surface. That surface would defy any finish - be it shellac, WB or solvent-based sealer, WB or Solvent-based topcoat - from successfuly bonding to the stain. Because of that, it scratched very easily. Another one of my near-countless mistakes that I've learned over the years!

    (Apologies to the original poster for deviating a bit from his post)

    Thanks!

    Originally posted by Wally in Calgary View Post
    Re: Best way to finish Maple


    Greg -- I use a spray stain from ML Campbell and it really makes the grain shimmer when top coated with lacquer. There is no need to go through any grain raising after sanding to 180 or 220. There is absolutely no blotching and it looks great. It's very easy to use and can be controlled by the number of coats put on.
    Last edited by MartyFromKingston; 10-08-2016, 05:54 AM. Reason: Added section on my mis-use of a wiping stain

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  • bondocasho
    replied
    looking to grasp this maple staining thing (it's tricky!). thankful for this thread!!!!

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  • marshallmosby56
    replied
    Dye type stain is definitely better in this case and if sprayed on the surface might give you a gradual shade and really nice looking maple. Try it and share.

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  • Egon
    replied
    Scrap pieces and experiment with different procedures. Then let SWMBO make the decision.

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  • stephensaugnier
    replied
    I am about to write a post on Maple Floor refinishing and this has a goldmine of information here. Definitely be bookmarking this for reference in my article.

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  • habbrwn
    replied
    vancouver stair refinishing

    Nice thread guys. We'll try to throw this a reference in our wood stair refinishing section later this week. Keep posting like this.

    _____________________
    vancouver stair refinishing

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  • phil
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    It would be interesting to see some photos of experiments if anyone in this thread does any. maybe it is just me but I seem to see a lot of the commercial prefinished doors and such where the color is just too consistent, I mean wood naturally has some light and some dark places, but they seem to aim at averaging the tone out which tends to give a boring effect.

    This idea of using a darker stain and some light sanding then a lighter stain has me thinking. It just might help to give that antiqued look as sanding will naturally cut a little deeper on corners and edges, as opposed to recessed areas like near where panels meet rails etc. in other words the sanding techniques might simulate natural wear found on an older piece, where exposed corners see a bit more wear and nicks and crannys get darker.

    Will these techniques fail if veneer plywood is used?, Sanding is very limited without danger of breaking through, and they have a pretty consistent surface to start with.

    Phil

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  • Wally in Calgary
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    Originally posted by gfee View Post
    nice work, especially like the centre wainscot door panel, almost looks burgundy or cherry color. Back to the maple stuff, unfortunately don't have spray gear, so that is out. talk to me about lacquer, talked to another finisher, he uses nothing but lacquer, of course he was spraying too. can a cut sealcoat be put down on raw then the stain?
    You don't want to put a coat of lacquer on first as it will just hide the grain. I think that ML Campbell makes a wipe on stain the same as the spray stain. It is called Woodsong 2 -- I think. Brian @ Muir uses it I think. Maybe he can chime in or you could PM him. Lacquer needs to be sprayed IMHO to get a proper finish.

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  • gfee
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    nice work, especially like the centre wainscot door panel, almost looks burgundy or cherry color. Back to the maple stuff, unfortunately don't have spray gear, so that is out. talk to me about lacquer, talked to another finisher, he uses nothing but lacquer, of course he was spraying too. can a cut sealcoat be put down on raw then the stain?

    Leave a comment:


  • Wally in Calgary
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    Originally posted by gfee View Post
    thanks for comments, look forward to your shots, trying some samples tomorrow using several of the various processes with maple, firstly really taking note of sanding and raising grain up and down.
    Greg -- I use a spray stain from ML Campbell and it really makes the grain shimmer when top coated with lacquer. There is no need to go through any grain raising after sanding to 180 or 220. There is absolutely no blotching and it looks great. It's very easy to use and can be controlled by the number of coats put on.
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  • gfee
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    thanks for comments, look forward to your shots, trying some samples tomorrow using several of the various processes with maple, firstly really taking note of sanding and raising grain up and down.

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  • Climbin Simon
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    A little while ago, on the "Learn a newbie about oil" thread, Shrlok posted some advice about a finish using equal parts boiled linseed oil, raw tung oil, and polyurethane. (http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...ad.php?t=35013)

    I've just finished a maple dining room bench with it, and am VERY happy with how it is turning out (I'll post pictures soon, once I have another coat or two on). I know that doesn't really address any of the questions about dye, but I have always prefered wood natural anyways.

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  • Wayne - Oakville
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    Originally posted by Lost in the Woods View Post
    I read that for a natural look, an oil poly will yellow over time versus a water based poly.
    I finished my maple kitchen cupboard doors/frames with Varathane WB poly about 7 or 8 years ago hoping they would not yellow over time. They still look great, and I'd probably not realize the difference except for the following. I had also replaced the window trim with maple. The nail holes were patched to match the finish at the time -- these nail holes are currently a lot whiter than the maple cupboards. In summary, either the hole filler turned whiter over time (NOT), or the maple definitely yellowed a touch.

    If you decide to go for a real dark finish, I think that dye is the best method. I've tried getting a dark finish on birch (similar to maple) using regular stains (Minwax), and never did get the dark finish that I wanted.

    ...Wayne

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  • gfee
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    first thing I am going to do is follow mr simpsons advice for a post in 2006, wet it down, let dry and sand to fix any damaged grains, will check it out again, and wet it again and sand. Spoke to a finisher of 31 years he said, works with maple a lot, western is not as bad as the eastern species, but he does the sanding carefully, puts the stain down, seals it and applies more to areas needing it, tops with lacer, the place was 'Once was a tree' in vancouver. Mowhawk told me shellac is just a conditioner. boy is finishing an art in itself!

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  • gfee
    replied
    Re: Best way to finish Maple

    All maple finishers... I'm in the middle of making a large dining table out of pocket maple (think it's called that, has dark holes in it from a vine growing into the wood), looks great, now
    I 'm at the fast approaching dilemma stage of finishing, have been toying with the idea of transtint dyes, have a couple of colors on hand, not sure what the best approach on this to give it a darker look. Should I first be putting down a washout of water (distilled) let it dry, 120 sand then put down a darker dye? I have that 'tobacco brown color' not sure what comes next and it's putting me in a cautious mode right now. Does sealing that come next once the color is where I want it? What about this ' blotching' that I have heard so many people speak of? You sound like you have worked with maple and how to best finish it, I would really appreciate you shedding some ideas on it for me, tks so much. Also, just watched a young woodworker and his Wood Whisperer program, he was putting down shellac first then the color, then sealing, then finishing, check out his site if you want, very well done. This again guys, greg http://thewoodwhisperer.com/73-coloring-blotchy-woods/
    Attached Files
    Last edited by gfee; 10-26-2010, 11:03 AM. Reason: adding more information

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