Author Topic: Condition Poplar wood?  (Read 3005 times)

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Offline Mace

  • Posts: 15
Condition Poplar wood?
« on: February 12, 2018, 06:36 PM »
Hello, can anybody tell me if poplar wood needs conditioner before staining? I'm going to stain a handrail with oil stain.

Thank you in advance.


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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2496
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 06:43 PM »
Most definitely you will want conditioner.  I use Charles Neil's conditioner also known as blotch control.  You can order it from him directly - just google it. 


Poplar, Maple, Pine, Cherry are all prone to blotching when staining.


Any conditioner will reduce the absorbancy of the wood to a stain.  Charles recommends Jel stain on top of conditioner as a great way to control the finish.  The other alternative is a dye that you spray.  He has a YouTube channel as well as a set of DVD's that give you some tips.


Try on some scrap first.


neil

Offline Mace

  • Posts: 15
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 10:54 PM »
Just ordered a quart. He recommends gel stain or spraying a dye..... well, being that I never heard of wood dye until now and I have only used gel stain one time, can I use an oil stain?

Thank you.

Offline RDMuller

  • Posts: 294
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 11:30 PM »
Gel stain is  nothing more than an oil stain which is pigments and oil which has then had a thickening agent added.  THese agents are things like attapulgite clay (a kind of dirt) xanthine gum and other stuff.  Believe it or not these things are cleared by FDA for use in food.  HOw do you think thy keep pickle chips in suspension in 1000 island salad dressing.
TRicks:  learning how to SPRAY on the right amount of blocker.  TOo little will not prevent blotching.  TOo much and the wood will not accept stain.
Sand wood no higher than 150 or 180 grit.
Gel stain to a color shade that is lighter than the final color you want. Remember you can mix the gel stain color to adjust.  I haven seen guys through some white oilbase paint in to lighten.  Red cherry plus brown walnut makes a nice reddish brown.
Then spray a dye such as transtint on to darken the color to where you want to be.  Darkening is easy, lightening is impossible.  You can also shade problem area with the spray dye.
Most importantly, test on sanded scrap pieces of wood.  Good luck.  It sounds like you are jUst getting started. I can do anything with polar!
During this process test spray some of your topcoat at various times to see if it makes the color look different

Offline Pnw painter

  • Posts: 154
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 12:24 AM »
A conditioner may help reduce blotchiness and control the amount of absorption, but wether or not you should use a conditioner depends on many factors.

It would be helpful to know what stain and finish you plan on using also. Also, what is the look you’re attempting achieve?




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Offline Twoodman66

  • Posts: 95
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 04:39 AM »
Charles conditioner works great on poplar

Offline deltoune

  • Posts: 1
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 10:13 AM »
Same here Charles conditioner is the best

Serge

Online HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 778
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 10:42 AM »
A conditioner may help reduce blotchiness and control the amount of absorption, but wether or not you should use a conditioner depends on many factors.

It would be helpful to know what stain and finish you plan on using also. Also, what is the look you’re attempting achieve?
...

I agree that it depends on the look you want.  I'm not too familiar with finishing poplar, but I do a lot of work with cherry and I very seldom want the uniform look.  I don't even like to use the word "blotch" because it implies that the color variation is ugly, and I think that it is often very attractive.  Color variation often indicates to me that something interesting is going on with the grain, and most of the time the finish brings it out by exagerating it.  It is something of a crap shoot - one small "blotch" in the wrong spot of an otherwise naturally uniform board can be distracting, but I've not found that to be common.  More often there is a pattern or consistency to the color variation that you can take advantage of if you have the luxury of reading the grain and choosing boards accordingly.

On the other hand, there are some situations where the uniformity just fits what you need better.  In a large panel, for instance, you might not want huge color variation in one board when the others are relatively uniform - it would distract from the overall panel and look out of place.  The same would go for a floor.  So a lot depends on what look you want, and what wood you have to select from.

Offline Mace

  • Posts: 15
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 06:48 PM »
I have been painting for about 15 yrs. As far as wood work goes I have never done anything more than stain some steps, handrails and mantels. Until I went on my own a few months ago, the guys I worked for in the past didn't really put care into their stain work. None of them knew how to color match, none used conditioners..... basically oil stain followed by two coats of water based poly.
I know how to spray paint but never sprayed dye and the rail and posts I'm doing is inside a home.....I'm not even going to attempt to spray the dye on this job lol!


Offline sheperd80

  • Posts: 118
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 11:29 PM »
Ive done alot of experimenting with staining poplar because i get alot free from work. What ive found is that conditioning helps alot with blotchiness, but nothing hides the green tinge of poplar, short of painting it or slathering it in thick coats of gel stain. Ive tried various combinations of conditioners, dyes, and toning the top coat. It may not look green at first but put a stained board next to any other species and youll see it. Even next to paint the green will rear its ugly head.

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« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 11:31 PM by sheperd80 »

Offline rumble-chicken

  • Posts: 17
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2018, 12:04 AM »
I learned the hard way about not pre-conditioning poplar,  got some pretty noticeable splotching.  I used the minwax one from home depot at first and it yielded decent results. Got better results from the General Finish version.  Will have to try the Charles Neil one recommended. 

Offline BJM9818

  • Posts: 212
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2018, 05:08 PM »
I may be ignorant but I always thought Poplar was a paint only wood because of its green color?

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2196
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2018, 11:01 PM »
I may be ignorant but I always thought Poplar was a paint only wood because of its green color?
. I use to fear staining Poplar but Gel Stains and applying multiple colors instead of just a single oil stain made all the difference with making Poplar not appear green tinted or green hues.
 I should have some pictures of some wide Casing that I made even and brown in color.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2196
Re: Condition Poplar wood?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2018, 11:07 PM »
Even color and inexpensive too..
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....