Good Dark Stain for Soft Maple?

Hello,
I'm in the process of building a table for my sunroom, it is being made out of soft Maple. I would like to know if anyone has had any success with dark stains on maple? I'm looking for a stain resembling Mahogany. I've been told the best way to achieve this is by using a dye finish, but I'm not fond of water based dye because of grain raising. If anyone has any positive experiences with staining maple a dark color I'm all ears.
Thank you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I haven't had a lot of luck staining soft maple dark. Sure it stains, but I don't like the highlights and inconsistencies in the color. The finished product looks like some of that crap they used to stain all the mediterranean furniture they sold in the 60s-70s. In those days it was "if it has highlights, put on another coat".
Pine is the same way. So is fir, hemlock and many other soft woods. Doesn't seem all that long ago that heavy pine furniture was the rage...
Anyway use a conditioner before you stain and you should be fine. They are available commercially, and there used to be a lot of homebrew conditioner recipes on the net. One furniture guy I read about just thinned white glue (not yellow) to the tune of 1 part glue to 10 parts distilled water. The distilled water will keep out the minerals that could react with your stain or finish. After application, a quick swipe with clean non-oiled 0000 steel wool and he was off to the stain can.
I like to dye myself, and I spray it. I mix SolarLux dye colors to get what I want, then thin it to one part dye to 3 parts anhydrous alcohol. It takes about four passes of spray, medium light coats only through my HVLP system with a 1mm aircap. You can use any spray delivery system you want as long as the coats of dye are properly thinned or atomized. Multiple coats allow you to cover the piece evenly. It looks nothing like the finished product, so it is a leap of faith when you see it sitting with a brown powder on it.
I don't use water borne products, so this is just for solvent based, by the way. After apply the dye and letting it sit for about 30 minutes after the last coat, I start spraying the finish coats. The dye and the finish melt together, and in turn melt into the wood. You can take real piece of crap wood and make it look like a million bucks doing this.
BTW.. you MUST test this method on a scrap, including the final finish application. That is the only way you can tell if you have it dark enough.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
with blotchy woods like soft maple I get much better results with glazing than staining. with glazing the color is in a layer of finish that doesn't absorb into the wood at all. it takes some skill to make it work, but it's not rocket science.
you'll get better advice over on the homestead finishing forum: <http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.