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  • Maple

    What's a good finish for maple? As always...Thanks

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  • #2
    Like a lot of things, it depends. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a finish, such as desired appearance, protective qualities, method of application, etc.

    If you are trying to maintain the light color, waterborne finishes or a pre-catalyzed lacquer go on clear and do not impart an amber tint or yellow over time. Nitrocelluose lacquer will gradually yellow and any oil based finish will add varying degrees of amber tint. Super blonde shellac will go on pretty clear, but is only available in flake form and must be mixed with denatured alcohol.

    If the maple has figure to it, most folks like to use something with a bit of amber in it, in order to highlight the grain. Finishes that go on clear can obscure the figure or at least fail to accent it well.

    Maple doesn't take oil based pigment stains very well. It can look blotchy. If you wish to color the maple, you need to take this into consideration. A pre-stain conditioner will help even out the color, but will prevent much of the pigment from being absorbed, thus making it hard to get a dark color. Dyes are probably a better choice if you wish to make the maple dark.

    Sorry for the long-winded answer.
    Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


    • #3
      I agree completely with Bill. Water-based finish if you want to keep it light, oil-based if it doesn't matter. And no, maple doesn't stain very well in my experience.



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