Been trying to find a good stain that will color hard maple to a darkish
honey color. Have tried some MinWax, Formby's and all give a nice even color
but way too light. I'm looking for almost the same darkness as a lot of
"early american" pieces. I've never used gel stains - before I go out and
spend more $$ on testing would this work? Any other suggestions?
There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who
Honey color and early American??
Sounds like a job for shellac.
(These links show wood types with shellac types photos)
Bingo! Thanx Phil - I had mixed some Kushi seedlac to try but hadn't gotten
around to it yet. Garnet also seems a good possibility but I'll have to
The links are great for eyeball comparison - thanx again!
The sanding of the hard maple needs to be done with a 150 -180 grit and this
will help to darken your finish.The hard maple doesn;t let the stain
penetrate. Try different snading grits before you spend more money.
Hope this helps with some info...
Table done with aniline dye...
OK, if you sand it to death you will harden the surface, and it will reject
pretty much everything pigment-based. Gel stains, colored shellac or
colored varnishes will hold pigment stain on the surface. They will also
reveal ugliness when chipped. Dye works.
What I've come up with is patience and linseed oil. The honey maple color
we admire is pretty much a product of both, after all. I do a 2:1 thinning
of warmed linseed oil, run to refusal, surface dry after twenty minutes.
Next run, a day later is 50/50 with special care to wipe. Finish is with a
linseed-based varnish, or for soft colonial, just oil and wax. The natural
ambering of linseed seems to be enough, and it only improves with age.
Works even better with a little dye for instant age. Chips scratches reveal
less white, too.
One thing that opened up a whole new world for me for matching stains
or creating them is the use of tint colors, the universal kind that
come in tubes or small plastic bottles. I had to match walnut on an
original door panel of a Dusenberg coupe, so I bleached the wood to
neutralize the purple. The original had an orange-red tone, so I found
the best combination to be red oak Minwax with some medium yellow from
the tube. And its best not to go with anything until you've seen a
sample under whatever finish you're going to be using.
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