Help With Hard Maple


Old 02-22-10, 09:57 AM
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Help With Hard Maple

I have tried going through the forums looking for ways to stain hard maple but I can never find something that is exactly what I am looking for so I thought I'd try this.

A few years ago someone gave me a desk. The finish was in really bad shape but I didn't really have the time to refinish it until now. I really had no idea who made the furniture or how old it was until I started stripping the old finish. Under one of the drawers was a stamp from the furniture company Consider H. Willett and from the Golden Beryl Maple collection. I found out the company stopped making furniture back in 1962 so it's at least 50 years old. I was about to refinish it using a normal Minwax oil based wood stain and poly finish but decided to check on the internet to make sure how to stain maple. Thank goodness I did because I've read a few horror stories of major blotching with hard maple.

So my questions are: How do I stain and finish the hard maple? Should I go with a dark or light color? (I know that it's hard to see the grain on maple and usually color is just a preference, but is there something that just works better on maple?)

By the way, I don't have a spray system as I'm just a beginner with this stuff.

Here are some pictures. Sorry about how big they are. I didn't know how to make them smaller.

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Old 02-22-10, 03:36 PM
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Pics did not come thru on my machine. Maple is wood, and you can stain wood. It must be bare wood with no old finish. How long you leave a stain on usually determines the depth of color. Some woods take longer, but never let the stain dry. If you have a sample that helps, if not use the underside as a sample.
Old 02-22-10, 05:31 PM
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You can try a gel stain or a combo stain-sealer, minwax makes both. I know those will work better but as far as the specific process I am no expert. I believe you use the gel stain one coat let dry and than sand and clean. Than you mix gel stain and poly 50-50 mix, apply one coat and let dry, sand and clean. Than a coat of poly let dry and aooly a second coat if necessary. The lighter the stain the less chance of blotching. Sand the wood with 320 sand paper prior to stain and in between each coats. I would definitely try it first on a hidden spot.
Old 02-23-10, 04:42 AM
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What color are you wanting to stain the maple?

Maple doesn't deal well with dark stains which is why it is normally finished natural or with a light color stain. It is possible to stain maple dark but it's not as easy as using a dark stain with other types of hardwood. Tinted polys work but they aren't necessarily easy to apply.

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