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
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
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.
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
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