I have a little project upcoming that will want some nice stained wood
bits. I don't need to match any existing wood bits, just need to get a
dark, rich-looking, slightly reddish finish on a few drawer faces. My
local HD stocks poplar and maple. Poplar is less-expensive.
Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
About the only thing poplar is good for is staining or painting. It has a
greenish tinge sometimes, I think from mineral inclusions, which can affect
the final color. If you start off with even colored wood it's pretty much
a blank canvas.
I used to make a lot of things out of stained poplar because I didn't know
anything else was available locally. Once I tried real walnut, I haven't
stained anything since. Everything is either walnut, or something that
looks good complimenting walnut. At least I'm a man who knows what he
If you look here:
The house thing, the top of the hutch thing, and the plant stand are all
predominantly poplar with good ol' Minwhacks stain and a plastic dipping of
poly on top.
I wish I had pictures of my most recent stuff, but I don't have a working
scanner or a digital camera anymore. I've come a long way since that first
piece of walnut, and my introduction to shellac.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Actually, I kinda' like the greenish part. I'm using some for a
multi-shelf magazine rack in progress and the green (sapwood?) across
the top contrasts nicely with the white (heartwood?) of the rest. I
even got some water-based poly (which I hate) to see how it will look
I have heard that the gree will eventually turn brown under light, but
that should still look good.
I've heard it is good, I've hear it is no good. Why not buy a small pice to
see if it does what you want in the end.
Better yet, look for hardwood at a hardwood dealer and you may save money in
the end. HD is not a good place for buying wood.
One cool thing I have done with poplar is once you've got it ready to be
finished, but before you stain it, leave it out in the sun for a couple
hours -- longer if you have a nice day. It is very photosensitive, and the
greenishness will turn a nice warm tan, almost like cherry. Then finish it.
I never thought of poplar as a very desirable wood for staining, at least
until recently. My son, a construction superentendent, just finished an
office mall and the architect called for dark cherry red stained poplar for
a confrence room door, base and chair rail trim. My son balked but the
architect told him to have the finisher do it to specs and it looks great!
Generally, isn't this type of finishing done with spray equipment, though?
I think that most of this is done with some kind of tinted lacquer, and the
color does not come so much from the wood being dyed or pigmented as from
the topcoat. Therefore, uneven absorption is not nearly as much of an issue
as applying an even coat. with the HVLP sprayer.
I'm building a large built-in bookcase pout of birch and poplar right now,
and I am seriously thinking of hiring a pro to come in and do this type of
finish so that I don't screw the whole thing up by blotching it.
If you have any input for me (before I spend $1200 on the pro) it would be
Absolutely. This was not, by any stretch, a fine finish but it was
attractive for its use - a multi use office and conference center. It was
pretty much what is used in a lot of residential construction and that
process is not indended to be beautiful - just attracive and quick.
The biggest mistake I made when we built our house was not knowing about
these 3-step production laquer finishes (sprayed stain, sealer, finish). It
sounds impressive but basically it allows a good gun guy and a couple of
high-school drop outs to finish a 2,000 square foot house in two days (while
they are doing another down the street, during dry times).
I did a project using poplar a while back and it turned fine. I used
minwax gel stain (mahogany I think), and then finished with shellac. I
was going for a lighter color than you, but I'm sure it would work with
any color. I didn't have any problems with blotching.
The front is made out poplar, and the sides are birch ply...
On Sat, 11 Dec 2004 18:59:37 -0800, "Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"
Poplar is considered a "secondary" wood and typically used for
interior furniture pieces where the wood is not obvious. HD is the
wrong place to buy hardwoods. If you want a reddish appearance,
consider hard maple, cherry or red oak For a few more dollars
mahogany has a beautiful rich red color.
My brother is a finish carpenter. He commented recently that he rarely uses
cherry anymore for a library, but instead uses poplar. Wipes it with
Denatured alchohol first. I forget his exact words, but it does something
to the pores so that all the peices take the stan in the same manner, for
consitancy of the finish. Perhaps someone else could comment on this
"Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"
He's a finish carpenter. For trim, and wall covering, no one's going to
walk on it. I have poplar in some places in my home. Door openings and
other trim. It holds up fine and carefully chosen pieces have some nice
I don't think I'd care for it. If I were going to sub for cherry, alder makes a
better choice. I think of poplar baseboards, door trim and chair rail and I
think ot bumps and dents. Window trim, fine, crown molding fine. Elsewhere, not
"Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to." Mark Twain
On 12 Dec 2004 22:19:03 GMT, email@example.com (Charlie Self)
So was I.
A "library" to me means lots of shelf edges and bases with shaped
edges and crisp corners exposed to vacuum cleaner tools, chairs, kids,
the occasional idiot with a step ladder, etc...
I also like the wood I'm going to touch to have a solid feel. For
some reason, poplar always feels hollow, like basswood with grain, to
me. Denser woods, like maple and birch feel more like real cherry
when you tap or knock on them.
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