# Re-Finishing Maple Problem

• posted on May 2, 2005, 9:34 pm

I did a job for a company that ordered 50 maple items. They chose maple because they wanted to match their existing office decor. These are small (2² X 10²) desk name bars with engraved plates. I used hard maple and finished them with Natural Watco Oil then buffed them with Carnauba wax with the Beall system. When they received them, they saw that they were lighter than their office furniture and advised me that their office furniture is done in cherry-maple, a wood that IΉm not familiar with. They asked me if there is a way to darken the name plates and I told them that, if thereΉs a way, someone on this newsgroup will come up with the answer. Sanding and re-staining would be a very last resort. Thanks

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• posted on May 2, 2005, 9:39 pm
How about a naptha wipe-down, sealing coat of dewaxed shellac, followed by toner coats to get the color right?
Dave
Robert Kline wrote:

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• posted on May 2, 2005, 9:42 pm
why not just different colored shellac?

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• posted on May 2, 2005, 10:34 pm

Do you think the naptha will remove the buffed carnuba sufficiently?
Maybe a colored wax, like one of the Briwax varieties. It should be easy enough to test. And I know that THIS time, I would make certain to do a color test against their expectations.
Wanna bet that there is a designer involved? ;-)
Patriarch

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• posted on May 3, 2005, 12:10 am
No, I don't think it's the ideal solution; I was trying to give the OP some suggestions SHORT of sanding it all off, as he indicated he'd like to avoid sanding. :) The best looking finish would probably be sand to bare wood and dye or stain the wood to the customer's spec.
Dave
Patriarch wrote:

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• posted on May 3, 2005, 3:12 am

I wonder if a shellac guru could tell us whether the carnuba wax would, in fact, cause a problem for a waxy shellac, say garnet or buttonlac, overcoat?

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• posted on May 3, 2005, 4:55 am
I did a bit of online research; the results I came up with didn't want shellac put over an obviously waxy surface. I've never tried to coat a heavily oily/waxy surface with any of the shellacs I've used, so I can't say from my limited experience how good shellac is at adhering, but what about shellac based primers; don't those hold back crayon marks, et al?
Dave
Patriarch wrote:

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• posted on May 3, 2005, 10:32 am

What holds back is also held back. That's the way it is with oil (wax) and water (shellac) - they don't mix.
I'd say non-polar and polar solvents, but someone'd probably complain again.

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• posted on May 3, 2005, 9:28 pm
I appreciate the advice. I tried removing the wax and wasn't successful. I'm taking the items back and putting them in inventory and making new ones. Like one of you noted, it's a lesson. Thanks

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• posted on May 3, 2005, 9:29 pm
Hopefully you'll end up with a totally happy client. That might be worth the effort, huh, Robert?
Dave
Robert Kline wrote:

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• posted on May 4, 2005, 3:23 am
Robert Kline wrote:

A bit off topic... But in Cabinet Maker (?) magazine I saw something worth repeating...
One fellow said the way he avoided this (after a similar lesson I will bet) is that he finished a sample item, he then sawed it in half in front of the client. Then he made the entire order, and finished it the same as the sample. He noted that the signatures and the marked and signed samples stopped complaints cold -- as all they had to do was hold the samples against the finished products...
fwiw
--
Will
Occasional Techno-geek