Putting on a Finishing Touch

The Hardwood Council, a coalition of 13 hardwood lumber and product associations, has released tips for creatively finishing maple wood, which it says still ranks as highly favored with woodworkers, carpenters and builders.

July 01, 2003

 

The Hardwood Council, a coalition of 13 hardwood lumber and product associations, has released tips for creatively finishing maple wood, which it says still ranks as highly favored with woodworkers, carpenters and builders.

Blotchiness, a common problem when staining maple or other closed-grain wood, can be avoided by using a light wash before staining, according to the American Wood Finishing Institute. The wash should consist of one part noncatalyzed vinyl sealer to five to 10 parts acetone.

More vinyl sealer creates a greater uniformity to the stain; more acetone allows for deeper penetration of the stain into the wood.

Another trick to eliminate blotches and create a deeper stain is to use a "grain popper" - one part water and one part methanol - in a light, uniform spray over the wood. However, it's a good idea to test this process before finishing the wood because some stain colors give a muddy appearance.

For more information on these and other tricks to working with hardwood, check out www.hardwoodcouncil.com or call the council at 412/281-4980.

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