maple, Pre-stain conditioner, Stain and Finish
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Coffee table: a change in plans

Uneven stain. The red arrows point to a very undesirable look in a prized piece of tiger maple.

For my coffee table project, I had planned to stain the tiger maple a light brown and the rest of the project a very dark brown. My plans changed when I tested stain colors on the tiger maple. The tiger maple looked horrible with the light brown stain.

Maple can be a challenge to stain. I had tested an “antique maple” dye which turned out to be a strange color of yellow. So, instead of continuing to be frustrated with my first try at a aniline dye, I opted for the tried and true Minwax stain I have used for years. I first used a pre-conditioner to help even out the stain, and as you can see the stain was still very blotchy (red arrows above).

So, instead of staining the maple, I have decided to go with no stain on the tiger maple which means it will be a very light color and a medium brown stain for the red oak.

Tiger stripes. After a coat of boiled linseed oil to add some depth, coats of
wipe-on polyurethane add protection.

Tomorrow, I will finally glue the top together and start final sanding on the rest of the table. The end is in sight.

By the way, if the aniline dye had not been such a strange color, it would have been a good way to color the maple. The dye did not lead to a blotchy look like the oil stain did.


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