Black Finish on Poplar Mantle - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-04-2009, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Black Finish on Poplar Mantle

I have just built a mantle with Poplar and planned to paint or stain it to achieve a dark black but to still show the beautiful grain of the wood. What is the best approach with the least amount of time involved? I believe black stain would work, however, the only black stain I've located so far is MinWax and their's are not actual black. I believe oil based or lacquer are also options, however, which is the easiest to apply? I believe lacquer requires spraying, not sure about oil.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-04-2009, 12:55 PM
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My two options would be:
1) Bleach the wood, then stain it with an ebony stain. Bleaching will ensure an nice even black color.
2) Use a black dye stain. That way you can contol the amount of "blackness"

The dye would probably be less involved but, as always, test it out on a scrap piece to ensure you get the results you are looking for.

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-04-2009, 01:53 PM
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get some waterbased india ink , usually at the craft store, its actually a black dye, and its black...it will not distort the grain , you can use it straight up or use it to help another black waterbased , its the only true black i am aware of , general finishes waterbased black is also very black, but the rest leave alot to be desired, using lacquer is a paint...all you grain will be gone...the dye will "fuzz" the poplar...raise the grain some, after its dry light scuff sand it with some 220 or 320, and do a light redye and you will be ready for a good top coat, lacquers are plastics , if its a working fireplace avoid them, a good oil like waterlox or General Finish ARM R Seal do well, as well as a waterbased topcoats...avoid the yellow cans...
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-04-2009, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike350z View Post
I have just built a mantle with Poplar and planned to paint or stain it to achieve a dark black but to still show the beautiful grain of the wood. What is the best approach with the least amount of time involved? I believe black stain would work, however, the only black stain I've located so far is MinWax and their's are not actual black. I believe oil based or lacquer are also options, however, which is the easiest to apply? I believe lacquer requires spraying, not sure about oil.

Thank you.

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You could use an alcohol (methanol) based aniline dye.

The black is black and it's NGR (non-grain raising). Some brands call it "lampblack". It's easy to use, and dries fast. It can be topcoated with just about any finish, as mantles don't usually get hot enough to create a problem. If you can't spray a finish, a wipe on waterbased polyurethane, or make a wiping version of oil based varnish or oilbase polyurethane will also work.




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post #5 of 6 Old 02-07-2009, 04:05 PM
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this thread reminded me when I was debating staining my deck black.

here is the block of spruce i stained, just to stare at for weeks while i decided if i had the stones to stain it all black !!

you can still see grain, this was a semi-transparent exterior stain (olympic i think)



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post #6 of 6 Old 02-09-2009, 04:02 PM
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I'd take some ebony stain and mix it with wiping poly and rub on the finish. It will take several coats but when you get it the darkness you want, you are finished.
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