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How do the professionals get an even stain on maple?

Posted by suzmelon (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 20, 11 at 0:49

I am working with a local builder in building a new house. After much deliberation I have decided to go with maple throughout the house. However, I am having a serious concern over the staining of the maple. I walked through all the big box stores (Lowe's, Menards, Home Depot) and all of their maple cabinet samples and display kitchens appear to have a VERY consistent look on their stain. I liked a stain color on one of the display kitchens at Menards. My builder said they could match the color for me. The stain is called Cashew and it's quite light. Well, my builder (who uses a custom cabinet maker) provided me a stain sample today and it looked HORRIBLE...blotchy, uneven. What do the cabinet makers that supply to these big box stores do to get that even stain? I need to know how to approach my builder in order to get what I want.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How do the professionals get an even stain on maple?

Pretreatments and multiple step finishing techniques. Plus stain/dye recipes instead of single stains/dyes.

Pine is similar. I once did the trim on a prebuilt house and had to stain several added pieces(door trim).

I called the company that built the house and they finally emailed the stain recipe----there were four different stains in specific amounts. Plus using a wash coat of one pound cut shellac as a pre-conditioner.

The buiplder might contact the cabinet company and have them advise on the right process---or just have them do the stain/finish.


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RE: How do the professionals get an even stain on maple?

Agree with Handymac. There are various products and they might be used in as many as 10 different steps. Wash coat, dye, pigment, glazes, toners, and finishes all used in the right sequence. It's not realistic to expect someone to pick up a can or two of some product and replicate the results.


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RE: How do the professionals get an even stain on maple?

"Plus using a wash coat of one pound cut shellac as a pre-conditioner. "

This is the 'secret.'

Maple (and cherry & others) is notorious for blotching.
A light coat of shellac slows absorption down in the correct areas (the ones that absorb more of the shellac) and allows more uniform coloring.

It takes some trial and error to learn how much shellac and to apply, and then how much to remove by sanding after the shellac dries.


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