Staining poplar?

Any comments on your experiences with staining poplar are appreciated. Am leaning towards darker stains maybe mahogany or walnut. Have painted lots of poplar, but never tried staining.
Thanks
G
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If you use a mahogany or cherry stain it will look like those. I did a bunch of house trim jobs, library office stuff and they are all poplar stained that deep rich red and you can not tell the difference (don't beat me up on this please I just did the cut and nail) I did not like the brown finish on poplar.
Good luck.
Gary wrote:

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I have ebonized poplar with Trans-Tint dye with good results. I did not like the results of using Bartley Mahogany gel stain on poplar - blotchy and uneven in color.
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as folks here are fond of responded to these types of questions: stain a scrap piece and see how YOU like it. I tried staining a small shop project, just for the hell of it, and it looked dreadful. Murky and funky; after evaluating it, I decided the yucky greenish natural color was better! Give it a try...most of the poplar I have is too greenish for my tastes, but it's cheap and it's only for shop projects.
dave
Gary wrote:

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I have had good luck using oil based walnut and cherry stains on popular. Good luck!
wrote:

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Bay Area Dave wrote: I decided the yucky greenish natural color

If you can let the poplar age the green turns to brown,
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Yes, I've noticed that the poplar rails/stiles I made for my shop cabinets are looking better than when I first milled them.
dave
Mark wrote:

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Technique we ended up using was to get a can of spray on polyurethane. Spray the wood, sand it, then use non-dye stain (the kind that sits on the surface), then spray it w/ poly again, sand it, then use regular poly w/ a brush or rag. Result looks great, but lots of work :-P
Poplar seems to absorb stains really weirdly so if you use oil based or water based stain, it looks all blotchy.
ken
p.s., the dye based stains were better than the non-dye kind, but the color still wasn't as even as the spray technique...
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I made a small end table from poplar and used T&T varnish oil and blonde shellac. Its not fine furniture, but it doesn't look 1/2 bad.
Chris
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I think one of the keys to staining poplar may be board selection before you start your project.
I once saw a "hunt board", made entirely of yellow poplar, that you would have sworn was walnut at first glance. The piece was all sapwood, with none of the multi-colored heartwood, and it was gorgeous.
A wood conditioner, or a heavily cut washcoat of shellac and some judicious sanding, will cut down on the blotches.
I've always wanted to see if I could reproduce that "hunt board" ... might give it a try before poplar gets as expensive as other hardwoods, which, to my estimation, is just a matter of time.
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Oops...got my steps wrong. First step was using a cut shellac washcoat to keep the stain from seeping in too deeply.
FWIW, the colors came out very nicely. The wood grain can still be seen and we chose a dark mahogany color. This was for door moldings that were pretty complicated to match the existing ancient walnut or mahogany ones...
ken
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Swingman wrote:

Maybe, maybe not. It grows very fast, and it will grow back if you leave a good sized stump, so you can practically harvest the stuff like asparagus.
To give my take on the OP's question, I built with poplar exclusively for years, because it was all I could find that I could afford. I've got some stuff that I will put up against a piece of walnut, and you won't be able to tell which is which from across the room. Get up close, and it's no contest. Now that I have tasted the forbidden fruit, I'm thoroughly addicted to the real deal. Walnut has a lot of character.
Anyway, I did what I did with S4S lumber from Lowe's, sanded with one of those screaming POS 1/3 sheet orbital sanders (not random-orbit, just orbit) and stained/polyed with Minwhacks' finest schlop. I'm not saying it's the road to fine furniture by any stretch, but you can get decent results with minimal technology. I was working out of my kitchen and/or back yard in those days.
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