How Different Woods React to Stain

Views: 12520 | Last Update: 2008-07-10
Poplar good for painting, but not clear coat finish. Learn wood staining tips from a pro in this free woodworking and wood project series from an expert carpenter. View Video Transcript

About this Author

eHow Home & Garden Editor

Video Transcript

Now in this clip we're going to look at different species of woods. Hardwoods and Softwoods, and talk about their different characteristics. Let's take a look. Now this particular example is Birch. It happens, this happens to be plywood. You can see that the wood has been laminated, but this top ply is, is Birch, which is a Hardwood, and obviously it's very light in color. And here we have a piece of Poplar. Now this is a very inexpensive hardwood by comparison to other species such as, as Maple and Cherry. And we'll talk about why that is. You can see this is, you can see this green streaking in the wood. This is very very typical of Poplar, which is why it's not as commonly used for clear coat finishes. But, if your painting, Poplar is a good alternative to a much more expensive Maple. And here we have aforementioned Maple. As you can see, it's a very beautiful close grained Hardwood, takes stain very well, as we'll see, and is very durable and tough. But, it is very expensive. And here we have good old-fashion Pine. Yeah this is, obviously it's a very light wood, and it's very soft wood also. And we'll see how that reacts to stain. But for any number of furniture projects you can't go too far wrong with Pine. Another one of our Hardwoods is Oak. This is a very tough wood also. Tough on your tools. You can see that, if you look very closely, you can see it is very open grain. So all those, all those pores need to be filled during the finishing process. And here we have my personal favorite, this is Cherry. I just, I'm very fond of this grain pattern and coloration. Cherry ages beautifully, it darkens over time. Also very expensive. This is, this is a plywood also. If you're building a Cherry project, if you could find some Cherry plywood, it's, it'll save you a lot of money. And here is a piece of Mahogany, here again if you look closely at this grain, you can see it's also a very porous grain, similar to Oak in a lot of ways. And it's not as expensive as, as Oak or Cherry. But there's a lot of good projects that can be done with Mahogany.