Finding the Grain?


Need some finishing advice:
Background: 18th Century wall paneling of oak (rails) and unknown center panels with carvings. Installed, millwork and paneling matched to continue in room and then all painted with oil primer & 2 coats of alkyd topcoat. Then STRIPPED, and a wood conditioner sealer applied.
I have been hired to match the new wood which is poplar and maple for the panels to look like the old wood. What would be the best way to remove the sealer and bring back the new wood to life for staining? I think the paint removal process with scrappers and then the sealer on top of that is not allowing the grain in the maple or poplar to come through the stains.
Today I will be trying Lacquer thinner to remove the sealant.
Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks.
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On 30 Jun 2005 06:01:22 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

In my amateur opinion there is no process by which you will be able to make either maple or poplar look like oak under a stain. Poplar in particular does not generally stain well and is considered more of a "paint grade" wood. Maple, while frequently having more interest in terms of grain than poplar isn't remotely similar to oak in appearance. You *might* be able to get these woods to harmonize with paint, but I think you are doomed to failure with stain.
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LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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Thanks. I'm not trying to get the wood to look like another type. Just trying to figure a way to make the grain show through more. All that paint/scrapping and sealer have made it almost impossible.
Thanks again.
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" snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com" wrote:

Poplar and (I'm assuming) soft maple have virtually no visible grain to start with...there's essentially nothing there to "bring out"...
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Yes, but you're not the target audience. How much "like" oak does this new panelling have to look ?
How dark is the 18th century panelling? I don't know of any 18th century oak panelling locally that isn't painted. I happened to be looking at some 16th century fully-panelled rooms earlier this week (the Red Lodge in Bristol) and they're so dark that they'd be pretty easy to match. The superb ray-flake figure (riven boards) on 2' wide clear boards might be a bit trickier!
I think you need to have a serious discussion with whoever specced poplar (English ash is much easier to fake as oak) and then wanted fake-oak finish. How close do they need it, and can they afford the time and labour to do that whole "painting with a feather" technique for accurately faking oak.
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Impossible. No matter what you do, you cannot make maple or poplar look like oak.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Thanks for the input. Should prove an interesting challenge.
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" snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com" wrote:

What, specifically is the <wished> for appearance?
I'd suspect it will require one of the following choices to make old vs new "match"...
1. Paint w/ surface prep to fill grain on oak.
2. Solid stain w/ surface prep as above.
3. Some faux finish technique to camaflouge it all similarly...
A transparent stain to attempt the matching w/o hiding the oak grain isn't going to be possible, in all likelihood.
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The finish we're looking for is to match the 18th century paneling as it is. After the stripping....so looks like I'll be matching the color and then faux graining the rest. All the old stuff will remain as is.......
M
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This is the real solution, and is exactly how they would have done it originally
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Want a progress report?
I removed all the sealer and leftover from the paint removal with laquer. I'll sand all the new wood back to finish quality, and just clean the sealer off the "old" wood.
I'm using a dye to match the colors of the old wood, then I'll use homeade oil stains to give it all a uniform color. Follow that with as light a faux grain as possible with glaze to make the poplar look more like the old oak. I expect high entertainment out of this!
Thanks y'all for the input.
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" snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com" wrote:

I strongly suggest you do some practice pieces <first>...
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Always...I'm a professional decorative painter, just have never run into this situation before. I do not want to lose any of the original character of the wood.
By the way, the first steps worked beautifully.
Mitch
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