Knotty Alder Cabinets... Is this 'Blotchy'?

fst96seOctober 12, 2011

Hey all, I am thinking of having some new cabinets installed in my kitchen, and I really like the look of a nice dark stained knotty alder. I am attaching a few pictures of a couple kitchens I like.

Is the "blotchiness" I hear some talk about? I really like this look.

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There is some blotching present

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 5:42PM
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There are 2 things going on here. The figuring in the wood is quite dramatic and probably what draws you to these cabinets. There is blotching, some of it preventable, some not so much. If you'll notice the raised panel on the door on the lower between the ovens, that's blotchy as are the drawer fronts. Also notice the drawer edges that are rounded over, this is preventable as are most end-grain staining problems. There are also some careless choices made by whoever laid up the doors. This is gorgeous wood though.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 9:36AM
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End grain staining darkening is a seperate problem from blotching.

End grain always absorbs stains differently than long grain.
Some woods are wore than others (large pores in the wood) and should be treated to prevent excessive darkening before staining.

Blotching is caused by the wood fiber not being parallel to the cut surface.
This to alters how the wood absorbs stain, tending to create darker areas in the midst of what appears as figured flat grain.

It is harder to mitigate, but it can still be minimized by using a coat of about 1 pound cut shellac on the surface before staining.
The shellac is absorbed and helps fill the pores that then cannot absorb the stain as easily.
A light sanding removes the shellac that is on the surface allowing the stain to penetrate those areas as desired.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 11:11AM
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