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Staining Maple

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  • Staining Maple

    I bought a pair of colums legs that are made of Maple and I need to stain them a dark walnut color. Anyone have any good staining ideas? I pretty sure it's hard Maple, a finger nail barley scratches the surface. Did I really type that?
    Oh, I should mention I do not have spray equipment.
    I have read about glue size, glazing, and wash coats, but is there a different way that won't blotch?
    Please check out my web page
    www.woodandwax.net

  • #2
    Re: Staining Maple

    The only way I know to get maple really dark is with water based aniline dye.
    You buy it as a powder, for around $6. Dissolve a little in some water and wipe it on. You can easily darken it by applying more times, or adding more dye powder to the water.

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    • #3
      Re: Staining Maple

      I just made a rustic bed for my 6 year old. I used pine and madrone. Madrone is a hard dense very fine grain wood, not too dissimilar to hard maple in its close grain. It does not take up stain like open grain woods. I stained it quite dark with the minwax oil based walnut stain. I live in AZ and its HOT and very low humidity. I stained the madrone planks in the backyard about 2-3 mos ago, it was hot but not the 112 it was today : ) I just used a cotton applicator (from HD) and wipped on the stain building up layers and rubbing over areas already stained continually. It was drying quite quickly which meant I could build up layers easily. I kept going until I got the darkness and evenness I wanted. It looks very dark and rich.

      Maple is a tough wood to stain darkly however.

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      • #4
        Re: Staining Maple

        Sorry I forgot to mention one trick I read, but have not tried. In the old days, they used to stain oak with ammonia fumes. It reacts with the wood, probably the tannins, and gives a unique look. I'm not sure exactky how they did it however.

        I read a way you could simulate this look - which is dark. All I remember, is that they used a stain and added some black roofing cement/tar. Then stainded with this mix. Sounds strange, but thought I add this.

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        • #5
          Re: Staining Maple

          Thanks for all the help. I went and talked to a professional stainer last night about it. He told me to stay away from the yellow cans of stain. That it is mostly petrolium and wouls blotch on the Maple. He reocmended ZAR that has a conditioner in it, and top with a mix of Tung Oil and Poly. He showed some of his work using this method and it looked great. I am going to give it a try. I'll post some pics when I get it finished, I'll start on it this weekend.
          Whish me luck
          Please check out my web page
          www.woodandwax.net

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Staining Maple

            Sorry I can't post a pic, the customer was in a hurry for the table and I forgot the camera. Thed ZAR stain worked GREAT, even color, went on easy and I even matched it to the Dark Walnut stain on the Birch plywood. I don't think I'll be using Minwax much in the future.
            Please check out my web page
            www.woodandwax.net

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            • #7
              Re: Staining Maple

              sauk,

              I've never used ZAR before. Did your friend give you any pointers on techniques or is it just like all the others?
              My staining skills leave a lot to be disired. I almost always end up with the results I want, but I take the LONG way around. Any bits of wisdom you wish to share would be warmly received.

              Thanks
              Jack

              btw, thanks for the link to your web page
              Last edited by res057; 07-25-2007, 01:00 AM.
              ‎"I've never let my schooling interfere with my education" -Mark Twain

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              • #8
                Re: Staining Maple

                I found with the ZAR that it drys slow and gave me alot of time to work with it and not become tacky. The pro I spoke with told me I could stain half the project, come back 1/2 hour later and finish the job and not have a line in the stain. The stain is almost like a gel stain but I found it easier to work with than gel. I didn't sand past 180 either and got a great finish.
                Please check out my web page
                www.woodandwax.net

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Staining Maple

                  Sauk,
                  Thanks for the infor on the ZAR stain. Got me a can this morning. Works great. Feel like I've been wasting my time with minwax and olympic.
                  Again, thanks!

                  Jack
                  ‎"I've never let my schooling interfere with my education" -Mark Twain

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Staining Maple

                    I've been using Minwax for years and it's good to hear about the Zar stain. I'll give it a try too. Minwax is a good stain but it is soooooo oily, it's not good for building up the color. It just sits there wet! LOL

                    On big jobs, I have Frazee mix up a gallon of fast drying stain. Basically just a stain base and pigment. The one by me has a match formula for all the Minwax colors too. The job i'm doing right now is done with alder. I gave it a lacquer wash coat then stained/wiped and sealed with lacquer sanding sealer. I then turned the gun way down and put on a shade coat for better color. Next will be 2 coats of semi gloss lacquer. Time consuming but the color turns out nice on Alder.

                    Mark


                    ************************************
                    Don't forget to pay your taxes! 12 million illegals are depending on you!
                    Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Staining Maple

                      It does sound like alot of work, but worth the trouble. When you say you turned the gun down do you mean the spray or the air pressure. I am still kinda new to spraying but really like the finished look.
                      Please check out my web page
                      www.woodandwax.net

                      Comment

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