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We all know how hard maple is to stain. I am currently working on this maple vanity which the customer wants a light brown with glazing and fly spots. My boss (uncle) wants me to seal and stain first. My previous experiences with that have been deplorable at best. I was thinking sealing it and straight toning it to desired color first, any thoughts?
 

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We all know how hard maple is to stain. I am currently working on this maple vanity which the customer wants a light brown with glazing and fly spots. My boss (uncle) wants me to seal and stain first. My previous experiences with that have been deplorable at best. I was thinking sealing it and straight toning it to desired color first, any thoughts?
If you mean by sealing using a wood conditioner first and then staining, that is the most common procedure. You could also use a dye stain. It tends to color without the blotching problem associated with maple.

A lot depends on the color if you could apply enough toner to seal first and color with that. A toner essentually is a thin paint so if you apply too much it makes the wood look more plastic than wood. A toner is really intended to fine tune a color shading in light spots or making corrections if you got the stain wrong.
 

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bzguy
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For a dozen years I did custom work almost exclusively with maple, that was the "trend".
Needless to say I have tried everything to get an even color stain.
Best results by far were lacquer based stain thinned out or alcohol based stain thinned with lacquer thinner sprayed slowly on from a distance until you get the desired saturation.
I never tried sealing first but don't see it as a problem except for no penetration of the stain in wood in any later scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
For a dozen years I did custom work almost exclusively with maple, that was the "trend".
Needless to say I have tried everything to get an even color stain.
Best results by far were lacquer based stain thinned out or alcohol based stain thinned with lacquer thinner sprayed slowly on from a distance until you get the desired saturation.
I never tried sealing first but don't see it as a problem except for no penetration of the stain in wood in any later scratches.
Thanks. I have used this method in the past with Mohawk penetrating stain and had good results. Wish me luck.
 

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I've used a waterbased dye stain with good results. Of course the dye by itself looks bad. When you hit it with a topcoat is when it looks really good.
 
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