Wood for desktop that will take a dark grey stain well?


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I am making a work top for my wife's craft room and we settled on going with a hardwood top stained a dark grey. She wants a glossy finish so I will probably go with kaquer unless there is something more durable. What woods will be good for this both taking an even stain yet showing the the wood patterns well? 

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Gloss will show every flaw in the new top and every scratch in a top used in a craft room. You want a satin finish. You want to make test finish boards before you even make the top.  General has dyes and stains that work well. Minwax will not be your best choice.

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Did you ever notice that if you change one letter in the word gloss you get...gross?  Befitting.

Aside from the obvious problems that Steve mentioned that you can see every flaw and scratch in the finish...it just doesn't look good.  You mentioned that you wanted a species that will show grain through the stain, but the grainier a wood is, the worse it looks under a gloss finish.  If you absolutely positively have to have gloss (for some reason I simply cannot fathom), you'll be better off using a closed-grain species like maple.  But then you'll have to deal with blotching problems when staining.

So if I were tasked with this project, I would choose a species that has an aesthetically pleasing open grain which will take stain well without blotching, then use a satin top coat.

Ash is ideal.  White or red oak would work too but red has an even more pronounced grain and even larger pores...you would not want any level of gloss on any of those species.  They look best satin to matte IMO.

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1 hour ago, wtnhighlander said:

What typeof work will the surface be used for? Might make a difference in material recommendations.

Mostly fabric work (sewing and embroidery). She has cutting and ironing mats she puts down, so never would actual "work" directly on the surface. But it needs to be durable and scratch resistant.

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Poplar, with a watered-down gray latex paint, followed by a water bourne poly, might work quite well. I've seen a painter mix Polycrylic into latex paint to make it smoother and more durable. No reason that wouldn't work with a thinned paint to let the wood grain peek through.

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Make a frame, use mdf for the work surface and poplar hardwood for the edging, coat with a white pigmented water-based topcoat.  She will love you for it. I have made several for quilters & sewing ladies. Make any size and shape you want.

 

Image result for rta shelves with fabric boxes

Then go buy 2 of these RTA shelves with the fabric boxes to mount the top on. They love the storage.

 

-Ace-

 

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