The Effects of Different Stains on Poplar Wood

About: Hi my name is David, I like to make things out of Wood, also like to take things apart and fixed them.

A few weeks ago I wanted to see the effects of different stains on White Pine, well this time I used common Poplar that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot. I have also uploaded the video from my Youtube channel.

I hope this helps somebody before they buy some stain, most big box stores show some samples of the stain, but doesn't show them on different types of wood, this is why I done this.

Step 1: PreStain

I first applied a coat of Minwax Pre-Stain wood conditioner to all the pieces, except the first block. Just brush it on and let it set for about 20 minutes, then you can apply the stain of your choice.

Note I would recommend using Pre-Stain wood conditioner before staining any Poplar wood.

Step 2: Plain

The first block, I left it plain, No Pre-Stain.

Step 3: Steelwool & Vinegar

I mixed some White Vinegar and some pieces of Steelwool in a Jar, you will need to let it set in the Jar for at least a day or two. Then just brush it onto the wood.

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days.

Step 4: Natural Stain

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Natural Stain.

Step 5: Ipswich Pine

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Ipswich Pine Stain.

Step 6: GunStock

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax GunStock Stain.

Step 7: Cherry

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Cherry Stain.

Step 8: Red Oak

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Red Oak Stain.

Step 9: Golden Oak

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Golden Oak Stain.

Step 10: Kona

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Rust-oluem Kona Stain.

Step 11: Classic Gray

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Classic Gray Stain.

Step 12: Driftwood

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Driftwood Stain.

Step 13: Dark Walnut

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Dark Walnut Stain.

Step 14: Special Walnut

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Special Walnut Stain.

Step 15: Red Mahogany

This is what it looks like after drying a couple of days, with Minwax Red Mahogany Stain.

Thanks for checking this out, and I hope it helps somebody that wants to Stain Poplar, and doesn't know what color will look like on it.

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    2 Discussions

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    gpv1

    23 days ago

    This is really helpful, thanks for taking the time to do this. Where i live yellow poplar the most abundant timber resource by far. I have a whole shed full of chainsaw milled poplar boards and looking for ways to make it look better. I've had pretty good luck with minwax poly + stain Bombay Mahogany for a darker finish. Definitely going to give gunstock a shot after watching this. Some of the older timber has attractive purple streaks after milling that persist after drying. Do you have any recommendation for a stain to mostly keep natural look but soften the greens while maintaining the purple?

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    livewire516

    5 weeks ago on Step 15

    Thanks so much for putting this together!! I'm too new to woodworking to justify buying anything more expensive than poplar. Unfortunately, most things that I've seen online about finishing poplar is how to make it pass for another wood. I'm not interested in trying to make it look like something it's not - I just want it to look decent! I think I may end up a set of samples, following your lead - in order to decide what I like, it's best I see it up close in person.