Beating Poplar Blotch

Category: Do it Yourself

Okay, so I am going to loose myself in the pleasure of filling all of the nail holes in the living room trim and striving to achieve that Zen-like state of bliss known as Renovator's Flow. In the meantime, I'll recap the project that got me to this point in the living room project (while holding my hands over my ears and yelling, "La la la!" if anyone tries to talk about the sunroom.)

I stained the new trim before it was installed. Because it was poplar (which has a history of being blotchy when stained), there were these moments of tension where we wondered how it would turn out. Would it be a disaster?

poplar baybee.jpg

No! No disaster. Here is how I did it:

  1. I sanded down every piece using a palm sander. Twice. Sometimes three times. I figured that this was a lot like exfoliating the skin before applying moisturizer or self tanning lotion. And THAT reasoning is why women should make better woodworkers than men. I'd bet if you pressed him on it that Norm Abram would confess that he is a secret self-tanning lotion user.
  2. I conditioned each piece generously with Minwax Wood Conditioner. I applied the conditioner using a clean rag.
  3. Within no more than one hour of applying the conditioner, I applied the stain (Sherwin Williams Wood Classics stain in Dark Walnut) using a clean rag and wiping it on. I tended to wipe it on pretty thickly.
  4. Within 20-30 minutes of the first application, I followed up by going over the trim again with a clean rag to wipe off any overapplication. This is also how I apply foundation, for those of you who are wondering. It works better on wood than on my face.

My reward?

At least FIVE pros in the home improvement trade walking through the living room over the past week and exclaiming, "That? That's POPLAR? Really!? Wow."

Yeah, Mr. Contractor Guy. Now let me tell you about self-tanning lotion.

Tomorrow, tune in for filling nail holes. Has nothing to do with fingernails, though. Sorry.

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Wow! That really does look fantastic for poplar! Beautiful work!

The trim looks great.

My DW and I have a good system: I fabricate and build - She finishes and paints. We both like our respective "areas of excellence", and it makes for a good team effort.

Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here :)


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