Finishing / Staining Maple Wood Veneer


I have been told that maple veneer does not take stain well. I'm going to be building some custom custom cabinet, shelves and walls and wish to use maple veneer. Is there anything special I should know about staining maple (or other varieties of) veneer?


Because of the tight grain of maple, it sometimes repels stain rather than allowing it to soak in. In the case of maple specifically, it is best not to sand with anything higher than 180 grit paper. Too fine of sandpaper will only close off the already fine wood grain. Also, most stains use pigment for color but there are some dye stains that get better results. The reason for this is that pigments are microscopically larger particles than dye, therefore on a tight grained wood such as maple, the smaller particles in dye stain penetrate the wood fiber much better than the larger pigment. With pigmented stain, you end up wiping off most of the color simply because it doesn't penetrate the wood fiber.

Dye stains are available pre-mixed or in a powdered form you mix with either water or a solvent such as alcohol. They are available at reputable woodworking stores, through mail order companies and online. It would be in your best interest to speak with a reputable finish expert and determine which product will work best for you.

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