Need help staining maple veneer..!

My sister works part-time as an interior designer and helped design a large number of built-ins for a new construction project. They were built with maple veneer plywood by the contractor. The customer wants them stained to offset them from the natural maple floors and they come up with a gray color they like by mixing together some Minwax pigment stain products. When they applied the stain to some scrap test pieces, the results were terrible. Apparently the veneer is made of book-matched 4 inch strips and it came out looking candy striped. Alternating strips are dark and light and she said it looks ridiculous. The contractor said that he conditioned the wood before staining. Any ideas on how to correct this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance…
Scott
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onoahimahi wrote:

Short answer: You can't stain Maple with pigment stains like Minwax. Look into dye-based stains such as Behlen's Solar-Lux.
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I don't think that is necessarily the stain's fault, and I'm not a Minwax fan. I think it is more people's preconception of what the finished product will look like. In their mind they had a uniform look, but the wood veneer is book-matched maple - light will reflect off the alternating veneer strips differently. Some stains will accentuate the difference. A posted picture would help determine if it is a matter of taste or if there was something wrong with the stain application.
R
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On Mon, 25 May 2009 08:47:35 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

...I think you are correct, it's a matter of how light is reflecting from the surface(s). Think how they mow major league ballparks...
cg
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It sounds like they just stained the test pieces right? So they should try some more tests and use a "toned" film finish. Use transtint dyes or something like that to color some lacquer. Any color you like. Mix it lighter that you want for a finished color and add layers to get the color you want. Spray it for the best even coverage. You need to be careful to get it real even. You can lay down a few coats of clear first so it is easy to remove mistakes and re-do.

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On Mon, 25 May 2009 21:43:18 -0700 (PDT), "SonomaProducts.com"

...that sounds like a solution...don't wanna be the guy to fix it down the line, though. ;0)
cg

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Yes, not the most repairable. If they are not kitchen cabs, they could do the same with Shellac making it a bit more repairable. Also, Maple is a closed enough grain that a few clear coats first will always let you sand back to an un-toned state so you can easily redo whole sections but spot fixing toned work is not so easy but it has been done.

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