Staining Poplar

I had noticed in another post that staining poplar could be somewhat problematic. h Having no finishing experience with poplar I would appreciate any insights the group could share, so I can stay out of trouble with my best customer. The project is furniture with some fairly broad, flat surfaces. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated !
Ed Angell
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wrote:

a good investment for you at this point would be flexner's book: understanding wood finishing.
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my FIRST thought is for you to stain a sample board to see if there looks like there are gonna be "problems". Pick a stain and give it a try. Pick up a finishing book such as Bob Flexner's popular tome on the subject.
dave
Ed Angell wrote:

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years ago was poplar, stained with Minwax. Worked out just fine. In fact, I'd become somewhat disenchanted with the piece because it looked so bland, until the stain hit it. Improved it dramatically, in my opinion.
Good luck, Henry Bibb
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    Greetings and Salutations.
wrote:

chunk of Poplar over the years, and, will, fairly often, stain it to resemble old Cherry. It works great doing this, and since it has a similar grain to Cherry, works well as a substitute.     I suppose, if a person were to use a "golden Oak" stain or something like that which is more of a light tint than a stain, the results could be less satisfactory. Poplar DOES tend to have a fairly greenish color at times, although that does turn to a nice, dark brown after exposure to air and sunlight. Of course, since it it a tad more porous than some woods, one really does not want to be smearing glue around the outside of the joint with wild abandon. It WILL blotch and look ratty if this happens...but, then, so will MOST woods (Norm's Magic Sponge non-withstanding).     Although Poplar has mostly been used as a "secondary" wood for years (and it works great for that), I think it works well as a primary wood too.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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Poplar is a paint-grade wood...very soft and closed grain so it will blotch. You can try using a wood conditioner, such as Olympic before applying stain. Always use a test piece first.

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Actually. a water based stain will do quite well on poplar (and soft maple). You should sponge water on and let it dry. Sand the raised grain off, and then stain it.
Woodcraft sells *EF Products by General Finishes* that I've had good luck with.
I made a pencil post bed using poplar and stained it with EF stain. I followed that with 4 coats of wipe on poly. It gave me a nice furniture finish.

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A few things I found out about finishing poplar: 1. Use a wood conditioner (eg Minwax) 2. Dark stains will cover the streaks of color. For tops and other flat surfaces, try to find boards without color, if possible. 3. Regular laundry bleach works pretty well to remove streaks. Leaves the wood rather pale though.
    mahalo,     jo4hn
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Try Seal Coat (straight up) or shop mixed 1 1/2 to- 2 lb cut shellac.
BTW, I only I could find a way to live in Hawaii! <G> I spent 5 weeks on Lanakai (sp?) Beach, while my wife worked at the U of H Institute for Astronomy a few years back, and I had to be shoved into an airplane kicking and screaming! Damn, that was a tough summer!
Barry
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wrote:

craft fairs (she makes porcelain dolls etc) and I use poplar mainly because it is cheap and I just hate working with pine....
Typical headboard on a doll bed is 12 x 12 inches I have absolutely no problem when using a Gel stain ...... do not need any sealer ...I just sand to 220 and apply the stain wipre in on then immediately wipe it off...next day finish with wipe on poly...
Never tried to stain large pieces but gel stains (I do not use minwax products...period) work well
Bob Griffiths
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