I'm looking for some opinions on finishing hard maple.
I am in the process of building some furniture for the new baby and have
200bf of hard maple in the shop ready to go! I've been doing some research
on finishing and have read up on some interesting debates/experiences with
Has anyone had an experience that they think would be beneficial? I'm open
to some ideas and have yet to purchase any finishing materials.
I'm thinking of going with a dye for light color, but what are some
recommendations for finish coats?
Any links to finishing techniques that I should check out?
If I was worried about the baby chewing on it I would treat it like a cutting
board (mineral oil type thing) but I was worried about durability I would use
If you want it pretty I will bow to the experts.
Staining maple is (even a light color) is difficult because the wood is so
dense, it has a hard time soaking in to the grain. I prefer a wipe on
polyurethane for maple. Watco makes a nice wipe on poly. I've also had
good results with minwax wipe on poly. If you are feeling ambitious, try
making your own wipe on poly. My formula is 1/3 poly, 1/3 watco oil, and
1/3 mineral spirits. Add or delete the amount of mineral spirits to get the
desired consistancy. I usually apply about 5 or so coats and wet sand
through 600 grit. Apply the final coat lightly with no sanding. IF you do
make your own formula, use gloss poly because when you are done, the sheen
will end up a satin because of the other mixtures you add.
I like the look of danish oil topped with shellac. Tried it (on
recommendation of others in this group) last fall. It came out exactly
as I wanted once I learned how to apply shellac without making a mess
I am in the process of finishing hard maple with a product from Fuhr. It is
their #155 stain. It is a combination of a dye, pigment, and waterbased
binder. It is easy to apply with a rag and I got a nice even color. I plan
to spray a waterbased lacquer.
I find this a good product because: hard maple does not take a pigment stain
very well; I do not have to shoot a barrier coat of shellac over a water
based dye; I can apply it with a rag, brush, or spray; it comes in many
colors; and I can use a waterbased lacquer directly over it.
This is the first time using this product. So far so good. I have no
association with this brand.
I built my new little one a crib and dresser/changing table for his
room last year, and after some asking around here decided to try
shellac. I used red oak and stained first, but the orange shellac is
easy to apply and adds a great looking warm glow to the piece. I
really like how fast it dries. You can completely finish the piece
with 3-4 coats in a single day. Easy to repair the finish as well.
Check out shellac.net.
Pics of my shellaced shtuff here:
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