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  • finishing poplar

    I built a small entertainment center out of poplar and i want to stain it. I've heard of a bunch of techniques and that it can be tricky. I'm a novice but i have plenty of time and patience, but not a ton of money to try all kinds of stains, dyes, primers, or whatever on test pieces. What do you think?



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  • #2
    Re: finishing poplar

    MHO... Poplar is more of a wood to use when you're going to paint. (Paint grade) That being said, I have always painted and never tried staining it. I have read some threads about blotchy spots when staining.
    You may want to use a conditioner prior to staining to try to help even it out. Just my 2c
    Try it on some scrap before you go ahead and do your EC.
    Good luck!

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    • #3
      Re: finishing poplar

      I have always stained poplar with a number of projects and it turned out very good. I used the Varathane stain that you can buy at HD and General Finish Arm-R-Seal that you can get at Rockler

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      • #4
        Re: finishing poplar

        Originally posted by penaddict View Post
        I have always stained poplar with a number of projects and it turned out very good.
        As with all other forums... No pictures, it didn't happen

        Seriously though, post some pics so we can see how the projects turned out.

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        • #5
          Re: finishing poplar

          Yes, you can stain poplar.

          The following applies to oil-based stains. I have not used water-based.

          As with pine, poplar sometimes gives a blotchy appearance because different parts of the wood absorb the stain more readily than others. One way to minimize this is to use a "pre-stain conditioner" (also called a "sealer" coat). If you use this, I would recommend deviating from the manufacturer's directions when it comes to drying time. Some say to apply the stain within 2 to 4 hours after applying the sealer. I have tried this and it still blotched. However, if you let the sealer dry overnight, you will get a better result.

          The downside of the sealer coat is that it may not let the stain get as dark as you wish.

          One other tip is to wipe the whole project with a rag dampened with mineral spirits before you apply anything. Any area where there is glue residue, etc that will block the stain will show up readily with the wet mineral spirits, so you can correct it before you stain.

          Hope this helps

          Go
          Practicing at practical wood working

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          • #6
            Re: finishing poplar

            Let see if I can attach a picture correctly.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by penaddict; 04-03-2009, 06:26 PM. Reason: Add more picture

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            • #7
              Re: finishing poplar

              Nice looking work. The poplar that I've been getting has green and black in it. I assume that you chose stock with fairly uniform color?

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              • #8
                Re: finishing poplar

                Originally posted by penaddict View Post
                Let see if I can attach a picture correctly.
                Nice job staining the popular.

                Yes, it helps to select your boards carefully to match where possible.

                Also, if you have frame and panel pieces (no matter what species wood you are working with)
                its good to stain the edges of the panels as when they shrink you will have a
                line of unstained wood which will show (or not) as the seasons and/or humidity levels change.
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                • #9
                  Re: finishing poplar

                  I used Watco Danish Oil medium walnut and i rubbed it on with an old sock. I think it looks pretty good except for a few glue marks. No pre-conditioner used. I still need to put the doors on, i'm having a little trouble with the glass. I'm probably going to use polyuerathane(?) also.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by parttimeninja; 04-07-2009, 05:26 PM.

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