How to make Maple look like Walnut?

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I've finished milling all the parts for what I thought was a simple shelving job, but I've now got an issue. The client has changed her mind about color, and would prefer that I had made everything from Walnut so it would match her counters. Anyone have any ideas on how to dye and/or stain hard maple to look like walnut? I'm not remaking everything, and the client knows this, so we're just going to do the best we can. Thanks in advance.
JP
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That sounds hard. Fortunately it's not your precise problem: your task is to make it look like your client's idea of "walnut" and also to match the counters they already have. Provided you aren't making cabinets for Bruce Hoadley, that should be a lot easier.
I'd equip myself with a bunch of offcuts from your same maple boards, a range of "walnut stains" from my local suppliers and set to making some reasonably sized sample boards, with the full finishing treatment on them. Then present them to the client and let them choose.
You should be able to hit close enough. Certainly close enough for jazz, and your client,
You've not imposed any of your choices on the client, you let them pick it. So that if next week they want it painted purple, you're still off the hook (ie rework is billable).
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On 3/14/2010 10:31 AM, Jay Pique wrote:

Well, the obvious solution is to go down to Home Depot and look in the paint aisle where you will see cans labelled "walnut stain". If you have already done that and not been satisfied with the results then you should say so and why.
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On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 11:24:00 -0400, "J. Clarke"

An even more obvious solution is to go online with the customer present and look at samples of maple that have been stained. Let the customer pick their choice and proceed accordingly.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p 081&cat=1,190,42942
http://robinsonswoodcrafts.com/Finishes.htm
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In addition to the other ideas presented, I'd like to point out that hard maple doesn't take stains particularly readily, and thus you're probably better off looking at dyes instead.
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On Mar 14, 2:26pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I agree with Doug (stranger things have happened) that hard maple doesn't take stains well. But dyes can be disastrous on maple as blotchiness often occurs. I'm leaning towards a semi opaque or tinted clear.
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I would look at the tinted clears also. Minwacks has polyshades in 2 walnut colors. I found it with three clicks. Locally available too. Let the client look at it online if you can. She can pick from there.
RP
RP
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On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 11:07:07 -0700 (PDT), the infamous RP

If you go with polyshades (shudder) see if it comes in a spray can. Brushing that crap just doesn't work well.
-- No matter how cynical you are, it is impossible to keep up. --Lily Tomlin
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I hated to add my 2 cents about polyshades but it does work. Yeah, overbrushing makes a helluva mess. Slam 'er on there and stop. I did like Bob S's idea. Very cool.
RP
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On 3/14/2010 12:35 PM, Robatoy wrote:

Agreed ... another option IME, would be trying a gel stain, which seems to overcome at least some of the tendency toward blotchiness, particularly with dark colors like walnut.
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I have never used a gel stain. But if the blotcherization (*s*) gets reduced, I'm all for trying that. Any brands that come to mind?
r
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On 3/14/2010 1:42 PM, Robatoy wrote:

General Finishes ... the darker the better.
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"Robatoy" wrote:
I have never used a gel stain. But if the blotcherization (*s*) gets reduced, I'm all for trying that. Any brands that come to mind? ---------------------------------------- I used gel on maple and was happy with results.
Check out WoodKote, a little outfit in Oregon that I found while still back in Cleveland back in the 70s.
Found it here in SoCal at a B Moore retail store.
Have fun
Lew
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On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 10:35:45 -0700 (PDT), Robatoy

Yeah, maple is tricky to stain. Try a coat or two gel stain like the Old Master's with and with out dye first and see what happens. Definitely use a tinted clear coat (preferably sprayed) - it will both darken and even things out.
Jeffo
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On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 10:35:45 -0700, Robatoy wrote:

Put on a coat or two of shellac and then add the dye to the next coat of shellac - problem solved. Dewaxed shellac and alcohol based dye of course.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Definitely the way to control/get the color match. For in conjunction w/ walnut depending on how it's finished may want to look at some texturing to help camouflage the plainess of grain of the maple. Of course, the job may not be worth the effort... :)
--


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On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 18:26:43 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Even if he manages to get it the color of walnut, it really isn't going to look like walnut.
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Here's the best way..... :-)
http://www.oakwoodveneer.com/veneer/walnut.html
--

-MIKE-

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Maple is notorious for not taking stain well. Semi-opaque finishes (the kind that make white patches when they chip) are possible, but not necessarily durable.
If it's solid-board shelves, can you glue on an edge of the walnut? That would make the most visible parts immune to chip-off.
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Jay Pique wrote the following:

Rip it all out and replace with Walnut, at her cost, or paint 'em white.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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