Finding the best stain for maple wood can be a massive challenge for most woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts.

You need to stain maple wood to prevent scratches and secure it from insect infestation, UV rays, mold and mildew, and rain.

Also, Maple woods lose their color richness after many years of use. So, using maple stains will minimize these effects and preserve the color of the wood.

Your search for the best stain for maple ends here. We have compiled a detailed list of popular options to help you pick the best wood stain ideal for your project.

Our Top Picks

Best Stain for Maple

  1. Best Wood Conditioner for MapleMinwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
  2. Best Restorative Finish for MapleHoward Products RF2016 RF3016
  3. Best Stain Color for MapleMinwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain
  4. Best Maple Wood Finishing ClothsMinwax 308210000 Wood Finishing
  5. Best Water-based Stain for MapleGeneral Finishes Water-Based Stain
  6. Best Stain for Maple PlywoodMinwax 61350444 Polyshades Stain
  7. Best Gel Stain on MapleMinwax 260304444 Interior Wood Gel Stain
  8. Best Premium Wood Stain for MapleRust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain

Best Stain for Maple – Product Reviews

1. Best Wood Conditioner for Maple – Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Sale
1 qt Minwax 61500 Clear Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
2,008 Reviews
1 qt Minwax 61500 Clear Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
  • PRE-STAIN TREATMENT FOR ALL WOOD – Ensure wood projects look great with Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Use prior to applying oil-based wood stains to help prevent streaks and blotches. It works by evening out the absorption of oil-based wood stain.
  • PREVENT BLOTCHES – By Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner prior to staining with oil-based wood stains, you can prepare the wood to avoid blotching and streaking, ensuring beautiful results.
  • ASSURES EVEN STAIN PENETRATION – Wood is porous, and tends to absorb stain unevenly. But this wood conditioner for staining evens out the absorption of oil-based stains for natural, even results. Wood may be stained immediately after application.
  • USE ON SOFT AND HARD WOOD – Use this on all your unfinished wood projects, on both hard and soft wood. The pre stain conditioner is especially necessary when working with soft or porous woods like pine, alder, birch, and maple.
  • A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST – Minwax is America’s leading brand of wood finishing and wood care projects.* Since 1904, we have been inspiring consumers to Keep on Finishing. We offer consumers a complete line of products to meet every wood finishing need.

This pre-stain conditioner ensures uniform stain penetration and preps the wood for subsequent applications. Applying gel stains and topcoats when using this conditioner is a breeze.

The pre-stain conditioner has superb coverage of approximately 75 s.q. Per quart. So, you use less paint to get professional results, saving you time and cash. 

By using Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner before staining with oil-based stains, you can prep your maple wood to prevent blotching and streaking, thus guaranteeing you exceptional results.

Although you can use it on any unfinished wood project, the product is particularly essential when working with soft or porous woods such as pine, alder, birch, and maple.

The product works by evening out the permeation of oil-based stains; it restricts streaks and blotches. For professional results, sand the wood thoroughly before applying the pre-stain wood conditioner.

Apply a light coat and give it some time to dry. Allowing it to dry completely in between applications to avoid uneven staining.

What We Liked Most

  • You can use it on all types of woods
  • It guarantees uniform stain penetration
  • It works as advertised
  • It prevents blotches and streaking

What Could Be Improved

  • It takes longer to dry



2. Best Restorative Finish for Maple – Howard Products RF2016 RF3016

HOWARD RF2016 RF3016 Restor-A-Finish, 16 oz, Maple-Pine
6,386 Reviews
HOWARD RF2016 RF3016 Restor-A-Finish, 16 oz, Maple-Pine
  • Restor-A-Finish is a unique finish-penetrating formula that restores wood finishes while blending out minor scratches, blemishes and abrasions
  • Available in nine colors to match almost any wood finish tone; Neutral, Maple-Pine, Golden Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Mahogany, Dark Walnut, Dark Oak, and Ebony Brown
  • With a simple wipe-on, wipe-off process, most finished wood surfaces that seem to need a complete refinishing job can be restored in a few minutes
  • Removes white heat rings and water marks, sun fade, oxidation, smoke damage and most other blemishes
  • Restor-A-Finish restores the finish without removing any of the existing finish

Restor-A-Finish is a one-of-a-kind finish-penetrating formula that repairs wood while combing out dents, scratches, and blemishes. It is available in nine different colors to compliment almost any wood finish tone. 

The stain completely removes ugly watermarks, smoke damage, sun fade, and other defects. It restores the original glamor of the wood without interfering with the previously applied finish.

Some of the colors available include Neutral, Maple-Pine, Golden Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Mahogany, Dark Walnut, Dark Oak, and Ebony Brown.

With just a simple wipe-on, wipe-off application procedure, you can restore most wood surfaces that might need replacement in a few minutes, saving you loads of cash and time.  

Restore it first before you experience the stress and trouble of stripping old paint and sanding scratches. It is straightforward to use Restor-a-Finish. 

Wipe the surface extensively to remove dust and surface grime, then apply the RAF as directed, finishing with 0000 steel wool on all the rough areas.  It’ll take about 45 minutes or so, but it’ll depend on the size of your surfaces.

They’ll look fantastic by the morning. What happens when a polish hardens into a glossy finish – it’s like magic! The surfaces will appear new even if you’ve used them for a while.  

What We Liked Most

  • You do not need to wear gloves when using the product
  • You do not need to wash coat before applying the product
  • You don’t need to use mineral spirits when cleaning maple cabinets
  • You can use it on drawer fronts

What Could Be Improved

  • Some colors are not accurate



3. Best Stain Color for Maple – Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain

1 qt Minwax 70012 Dark Walnut Wood Finish Oil-Based Wood Stain
383 Reviews
1 qt Minwax 70012 Dark Walnut Wood Finish Oil-Based Wood Stain
  • RICH EVEN COLOR – Minwax Wood Finish is a deep penetrating, oil-based wood stain that provides beautiful color and enhances the natural wood grain in one coat. It’s perfect for interior staining projects such as wood furniture, cabinets, doors and more.
  • QUICK DRYING – Staining interior wood has never been quicker. The special formula allows it to deeply penetrate wood pores within 5 minutes of application, resists lapping, and dries in two hours, making all your wood projects quick, beautiful and easy.
  • EASY TO APPLY – Use a clean cloth or wood stain brush to apply this wood stain in the direction of the grain. Wait 5-15 minutes and wipe away excess stain. The longer you wait, the darker/richer the color. Reapply coats for deeper color.
  • DARK WALNUT WOOD STAIN – This dark wood stain provides a beautiful, rich dark walnut color. This classic brown stain looks great on a wide variety of projects.
  • A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST – Minwax is America’s leading brand of wood finishing and wood care projects. Since 1904, we have been inspiring consumers to Keep on Finishing. We offer consumers a complete line of products to meet every wood finishing need.

Minwax Wood Finish is a deep penetrating, oil-based wood stain that gives you a uniform stain color while enhancing the natural wood grain in just one coat.

It’s ideal for most interior staining projects such as wood furniture, cabinets doors, among other things. Minwax wood finish makes staining maple doors and other interior wood more manageable than ever.

The unique formula enables it to deeply penetrate wood pores in five short minutes, repel lapping, and dries in two hours,  causing all of your wood staining projects faster, excellent, and straightforward.

It’s easy to apply this wood stain in the direction of grain patterns with a clean lint-free lag or a high-quality brush. Wait for ten to fifteen minutes before Wiping off excess stain for exceptional results.

The darker/richer the color becomes as you wait longer. You can reapply coats to achieve a deeper color. This dark stain has a lovely, rich dark walnut color.

You can never go wrong with this traditional dark color as it looks fantastic on a wide range of projects. When you are working on curly maple, Let the stain dry before applying your favorite top coat.

Sometimes you do not need to apply so many coats to get the desired hue.

What We Liked Most

  • It Spreads evenly to give you a uniform color
  • It is simple to apply, even if you are a beginner
  • It is unnecessary to apply as many coats to achieve a darker color finish
  • There is no need for thinning

What Could Be Improved

  • The color finish may not be appealing to you



4. Best Maple Wood Finishing Cloths – Minwax 308210000 Wood Finishing Cloths

Minwax 308210000 Wood Finishing Cloths, 0.55, Maple
4,087 Reviews
Minwax 308210000 Wood Finishing Cloths, 0.55, Maple
  • Experience the fast and easy way to finish wood
  • Sand the wood smooth, remove any sanding dust, simply wipe on the stain and finish using the pre-moistened cloths
  • Wipe off the excess with a clean rag, let dry for an hour, and you’re done
  • One easy step
  • Wood Finishing Cloths come in 5 popular wood tones from Natural Oak to Dark Mahogany

Discover the quick and straightforward way to finish maple woods and maple furniture with these great cloths. For excellent results, do light sanding, then remove sanding dust before applying the stain. Finish up using the damp cloth.

Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths take the ease of a single-step wiping stain to new heights. You now have whatever you need in one convenient package, including plastic gloves.

Wipe away any excess stain with a clean lint-free rag, allow the surface to dry for one hour, and you’re finished! Apply another topcoat for a deeper color and sheen.

This wood dye could revive your faded, weathered maple furniture and drawer fronts with such little effort. It might be messy and get all over your if you fail to use the provided glove. However, it’ll scrub off easily when you are done.

If you want something quick and straightforward for minor projects but effective for massive projects if needed, ordering this product is a good step in the right direction. 

What We Liked Most

  • It’s easy to use
  • It’s effective and works as advertised
  • It comes in five popular wood tones
  • It dries quickly and is easy to wash with soap and water

What Could Be Improved

  • It can be messy if you fail to use the included gloves



5. Best Water-based Stain for Maple – General Finishes Water-Based Wood Stain

General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain, 1 Quart, Espresso
1,506 Reviews
General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain, 1 Quart, Espresso
  • High-quality pigments produce rich, dark colors; Can be hand-applied or sprayed.
  • Indoor use only; Formulated to provide workability similar to oil based stains
  • Low odor, low VOC, water cleanup and noncombustible
  • Create custom colors by intermixing GF Water Based Wood Stains or paints, or mix with any GF water based topcoat to tint and tone

General Finishes is well-known for producing some of the best wood stains and finishes available. This water-based wood stain is one of their incredible products that can bring new life to your maple woods and furniture.

It blends easily and penetrates the wood well, reducing imperfections. High-quality pigments in the dye stain produce even, dark colors hard maple.

Apply this water-based wood stain using a brush, a clean stain rag, or you spray it onto the surface and get pro results. Unlike other wood stains, General Finishes Water-Based Wood Stain is odorless and has low VOC levels.

You can use it without wearing protective gear as it won’t emit poisonous fumes, which can be detrimental to your health. It’s also non-combustible, so it’s completely safe to use without worrying about the risk of fire.

It cures to a thick finish, dries quickly, and has broad coverage. Plus, once you’re finished with the application, you can easily clean it up with mineral spirits.

Always play safe when using water-based stains and general finishes gel stains. Work on a test board first so that you can decide if you really like the color so that you can use it on your cabinet doors or on other furniture.

What We Liked Most

  • It deeply penetrates your wood to minimize blotches
  • It is easy to use even with no experience
  • Simple to clean with soap and water
  • It provides adequate coverage
  • Durable

What Could Be Improved

  • Some people find the finish flat and a bit dull



6. Best Stain for Maple Plywood – Minwax 61350444 Polyshades Stain & Polyurethane

Minwax PolyShades Wood Stain + Polyurethane Finish – Quart, Royal Walnut, Satin
3,840 Reviews
Minwax PolyShades Wood Stain + Polyurethane Finish – Quart, Royal Walnut, Satin
  • POLYSHADES WOOD STAIN – Minwax PolyShades is an oil-based wood stain and poly in one. It enhances wood grain by combining beautiful, rich color and long-lasting polyurethane protection in one easy step.
  • REDUCE FINISHING TIME – This one-step wood finish can be used over polyurethane finishes, so you can change the color of your wood surface without removing the existing finish. Use on bare or already-finished wood.
  • BEAUTIFUL RESULTS – This beautiful wood stain provides a rich finish with a satin sheen. It offers a classic, dark brown color that looks great on a variety of projects. Recommended uses: furniture, woodwork, doors, cabinets & accessories.
  • EASY TO USE – Simply give the wood a light sanding with a fine-grit sandpaper, remove sanding dust, and brush on a coat of PolyShades. It’s a wood stain and polyurethane wood finish that easily and effectively transforms your wood projects.
  • A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST – Minwax is America’s leading brand of wood finishing and wood care products. Since 1904, we have been inspiring consumers to Keep on Finishing. We offer consumers a complete line of products to meet every wood finishing need.

Minwax Polyshades Stain & Polyurethane enhances the maple wood texture while also adding an appealing uniform stain color. This polyurethane safeguards the maple woods from speckles and streaks, thus extending its use.  

Even more good news about this product is that you can apply it over other polyurethane finishes. So, you do not have to break a sweat concealing or removing existing woodwork before applying the Polyshades Stain & Polyurethane.

It dries quickly and cleans up easily with the readily available mineral spirits. It is available in gloss or satin finish, and you can find it in an aerosol can if you want.

Minwax Polyshades Stain & Polyurethane is relatively simple to apply, even though the procedure is slightly different. You have to apply the dye stain fast because the coat dries amazingly fast. 

What We Liked Most

  • You can use it over other existing polyurethane finishes. It offers long-lasting protection
  • Produces a deep stain color
  • You can easily clean up using mineral spirits
  • It is available in various colors

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s not ideal for exterior surfaces
  • Failure to follow instructions keenly will give you uneven results



7. Best Gel Stain on Maple – Minwax 260304444 Interior Wood Gel Stain

1/2 pt Minwax 26030 Antique Maple Gel Stain Interior/Exterior Gel Stain
3,888 Reviews
1/2 pt Minwax 26030 Antique Maple Gel Stain Interior/Exterior Gel Stain
  • WOOD GEL STAIN – Minwax Gel Stain is specifically designed to give you full control over the staining process and help you achieve beautiful results. Recommended uses include woodwork, furniture, doors, molding, trim, cabinets, and accessories.
  • UNIQUE NON-DRIP FORMULA – The non-drip formula of this gel stain for wood makes application easy, even for vertical surfaces. It’s thick-bodied, so it stays more towards the surface of the wood, allowing for greater color control during application.
  • DELIVERS EVEN COLOR – Minwax interior wood stain delivers color evenly on wood and non-wood surfaces, such as metal, veneer, and fiberglass. Pre-treat bare wood with Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to ensure you get the most uniform color.
  • ANTIQUE MAPLE STAIN – This beautiful natural wood stain provides a rich, maple-colored finish. It offers a classic, warm color that looks great on a variety of projects.
  • A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST – Minwax is America’s leading brand of wood finishing and wood care products. Since 1904, we have been inspiring consumers to Keep on Finishing. We offer consumers a complete line of products to meet every wood finishing need.

This gel stain provides a rich, consistent color on wood and non-wood surfaces such as metal, veneer, and fiberglass. The oil-based non-drip gel stain formula makes it simple to apply, even if working on vertical surfaces.

This dye stain is suitable for offering the rich look of natural wood to fiberglass and metal doors. Apply the gel stain in one coat. To attain a darker color, apply a second coat.

It is simple to apply with a top-quality natural bristle brush or a rag/cloth. If you are working on old furniture, you may apply multiple coats.

You can refinish kitchen tables, coffee tables, drawer fronts, birch ply, etc. This gel stain will exceed your expectations in terms of stain color and quality. Use one coat on a sanded surface.

A huge advantage about this stain you can use leftovers for other projects, so nothing goes to waste. It’s an excellent purchase. Before applying the poly coat,  allow t to dry for two days.

Use a foam brush to apply it along the wood grain and quickly work it in with a lint-free cloth. Don’t forget to wear gloves.

What We Liked Most

  • It’s easy to work with
  • It has minimal odor
  • It gives you gorgeous color
  • It produces no drips or runs

What Could Be Improved

  • Wear gloves since it’s messy



8. Best Premium Wood Stain for Maple – Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain

Rust-Oleum 260361 Ultimate Wood Stain, Half Pint, Early American
309 Reviews
Rust-Oleum 260361 Ultimate Wood Stain, Half Pint, Early American
  • High performance stain enhances wood grain on interior surfaces such as cabinets, doors, furniture, floors and more
  • Fast drying, oil based formula provides maximum durability and color in one coat
  • Dries to the touch in 1 hour and covers up to 70 sq. ft. per half pint
  • Top coat with polyurethane in 1 hour for long lasting protection
  • Durable, rich finish provides deep, even color without the need for wood conditioner

The Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain is an excellent stain for enhancing the wood grain on maple cabinets and soft maple furniture for extended use.

This great wood stain has a quick-drying formula, so you can use your maple furniture right away without having to wait for hours. The durable finish enhances maple wood grain on interior surfaces such as cabinets, doors, furniture, and floors.

One coat of this fast-drying, oil-based formula offers maximum durability and amazing color. It dries in one hour and covers up to 275 square feet per quart.

We like this dye stain because it doesn’t require as many coats to achieve the desired color. It dries into a rich, long-lasting, and even color after application.

This wood stain comes in various colors and does not require the use of a wood conditioner. The pigmented stain is available in 19 different colors in half-pint and quart sizes and dries in an hour! With just one coat, you can achieve the desired color.

Apply when the temperature is between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the stain during and before you start using it. Wipe away any excess stain with a clean, lint-free rag in the direction of the wood grain.

The longer the stain is allowed to penetrate, the darker it will become. The stain raises and accentuates the natural wood grain.  And ss it stains, it penetrates deeply and seals wood pores. 

What We Liked Most

  • It’s available in different colors
  • It completely seals wood pores for maximum durability
  • It’s affordable and dries fast

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s not appropriate for finished wood



Best Stain for Maple Comparison Table

Education: Can You Stain Maple Wood?

Yes. You can stain all maple wood, although it may be tricky. 

Staining maple wood extends its life and preserves its aesthetic appeal. Though maple wood is a durable hardwood, after decades of use, it develops streaks and blemishes.

It is best to stain it to safeguard it from these blotches and other external elements and preserve its beauty.

How to Stain Maple

Staining maple wood is simple but slippery. Since maple wood has a tight grain, pigment stains do not absorb easily or uniformly. Maple wood is one of the most challenging woods to achieve a uniform stain color.

You must first master a few techniques to stain maple woods excellently. If you want to stain like an expert, practice on scrap pieces first to see how the dye stain appears on the real maple wood piece.

When it comes to staining maple woods, most painters and homeowners encounter uneven staining.

As previously stated, maple wood has a tight grain, is dense, and will prevent larger pigment particles from deeply penetrating the wood. Here’s how to stain maple wood if it’s unfinished. 

Materials Needed

  • A paintbrush designed for staining
  • A clean rug/ sponge
  • 220 grit sandpaper

Procedure

  • Ensure the surface is super smooth- sand your wood starting with 120-grit sandpaper, then 180-grit sandpaper, and finally 220-grit sandpaper. 
  • Mix Zinsser Sanding sealer and denatured alcohol thoroughly with a turkey baster. If you do not need to use a sanding sealer, you can work with a pre-stain conditioner, such as the Min Wax Pre-Sain Conditioner, thinned with mineral spirits instead.
  • Using a clean rag or brush, apply the mixture or conditioner to the wood. Apply sparingly and uniformly.
  • Let the sealer dry for six hours. For best results, give it eight hours or more, depending on the temperature and humidity of your locality.
  • After drying, inspect all of the wood’s surfaces. If one area dries or soaks faster than others, reapply the sealer to that part and let it dry overnight. Since that area is typically blotched, you should make it as uniform as you possibly can prior to applying your finish.
  • After the wood has dried, stain it. Use pigmented oil stains, such as Minwax Red Mahogany Oil-based Stain or penetrating oil stains. To make the wood more colorful, we recommend using pigmented stains. Apply the stain with a natural bristle paintbrush along the wood’s grain. Wipe away any excess stain and let it dry overnight. 
  • Seal the stain with a polyacrylic finish if need be. 
  • Use mineral spirits to clean the maple.

How to Stain Maple Dark

Most DIYers struggle with staining tight-grained woods such as hard maple, cherry, and birch ply. Because after applying the stain to a board with a nice, appealing grain pattern, you may end up with dark, splotchy areas.

It can you disappointed that you have ruined the wood’s natural color. Staining maple without struggling with blotches is possible but challenging.

If you want a darker color on maple wood, use a dye stain. If you use oil-based stains, MinWax Wood Conditioner on maple wood is unbeatable. It eliminates blotchiness and evens out the color.

Most people prefer dark maple kitchen doors or cabinets. Nevertheless, staining maple dark necessitates attention to detail and a certain level of sophistication.

If you follow the instructions keenly, you’ll find it quite easy to darken your maple doors and other items. However, uneven staining is a real hassle. Do the following things to deal with the issue. 

  • First, sand the end-grain to grit that is one or two grades higher than the rest of the wood. If the part is sanded to 180, the end grain should be sanded to 220 or 320. The finer the sanding helps to stop stain absorption.
  • Another method is to use a glue size on the end grain. Mix water and white glue in a 10:1 ratio. Brush the solution onto the end grain and allow it to dry for several hours. After it has dried, lightly sand it and stain it. The glue embedded in the fabric will avoid excessive stain absorption.
  • Wear gloves, goggles, overalls, and work in a well-ventilated location before staining maple wood dark.  If you need to strip the surface off the existing paint, putting on this gear is critical to safeguarding your skin from burns because you’ll be handling caustic chemicals. 

How to remove paint from a surface;

  • Use a dichloromethane- based chemical stripper. Spill the needed amount into a glass bowl. 
  • Use a paintbrush to apply the product and follow the instructions on the label.
  • To thicken your chemical stripper, put in some sawdust. This will make it much easier to remove the paint once it has dried.
  • Wait a few minutes after painting to allow the chemical to penetrate the wood. 
  • You should check the label to know how long it takes for the chemical to permeate the wood.
  • Scrape the chemical stain with a putty knife. Take care not to scratch the wood.
  • Smooth the maple wood with  180-  220-grit sandpaper.

Here’s how to stain maple wood dark after removing the paint

  • Using a damp cloth, soak the wood.
  • sand the maple woods with 120, 180, and 220 grit sandpaper. The goal is to smooth out the maple wood as much as possible.
  • Coat with a 50/50 mix of dewaxed Zinsser Sanding Sealer and denatured alcohol.
  • Allow it to dry for some hours.
  • Lightly rub the wood with a mixture of Aniline-TransTint dye and water. You might not get the desired dark color in the first coat. Put on the dye three or four times more.
  • Allow the stain to dry once you’ve achieved the desired color.
  • After it has dried, apply tinted shellac thinned with a little water to the wood. Apply sparingly to prevent the shellac from reacting too strongly with the denatured alcohol.
  • Allow drying before applying a topcoat such as urethane, oil, or poly. We highly recommend urethane and oil as the stains will cure into a long-lasting finish. Poly will cure to create a waterproof finish. Remember to apply enough coats to achieve the desired hue.
  • You’ll encounter botches if you are using oil-based stains. If you do, mark those places and reapply the stains.
  • On your maple furniture, you can also use gel stains, tung oil, or linseed oil. They produce nearly identical results to most oil stains or urethane.

How to Stain Maple Wood Cabinets

Because of maple wood’s nature, staining maple cabinets might be a little more difficult than you might expect. Generally speaking, maple is a tight-grained, thicker wood, which means that stain does not absorb well.

To complicate matters, maple has some density variants throughout the wood, resulting in some areas with a far more open grain.

As a result, staining can appear uneven since the stain absorbs more freely in areas with a more open grain and less so in areas with a tighter grain.

  1. To raise the wood grain, dampen the wood with a little damp cloth.
  2. Sand to 120, 180, and 220 grits to prepare an even, smooth surface, taking down raised grain.
  3. Apply a thin coat with Zinsser sanding sealer cut 50% with denatured alcohol.
  4. Blend aniline wood dye and water, then apply with a clean cloth with a light hand. The shellac sanding sealer protects against oversaturation, but you can get mild blotching with maple, even with wood dye. You’re unlikely to get the desired color in the first coat. For darker stain applications, click here.
  5. Once you’ve achieved the desired hue and dry the stain, apply tinted dewaxed shellac in a relatively warm shade than the water-based dye—exercise caution by using the right hand because the dyes can react with the alcohol.
  6. Apply your preferred finish as a topcoat. Oil and urethane provide a highly durable finish. Poly will also perform exceptionally well if you need a bulletproof finish.

We advise that you use oil-based and gel stains. Allow the maple wood to dry overnight after wiping away any excess. If you see any flaws, re-stain the part and let it dry. You can apply additional coats until you obtain the desired hue.

You can stain over previously stained maple wood without having to remove the existing one. Nevertheless, the existing stain may interfere with the new stain, resulting in a less-than-desirable finish.

Stain Colors on Maple Wood

Two kinds of stains exist those that penetrate the wood referred to as penetrative stains, and those that sit on top of the wood, known as pigmented stains.

Penetrative oil stains adhere to expertly sanded maple woods, whereas pigmented oil stains require a rough area on the maple wood to adhere to. Stain colors on maple wood include

  • Cinnamon.
  • Traditional Cherry.
  • Natural.
  • Golden Oak.
  • Country Pine.
  • Traditional Mahogany.
  • American Walnut.

FAQs

Does maple wood stain well?

Yes, maple stains very well. However, due to its dense and tight grain structure, staining maple without splodges is tricky. Stains mostly do not soak into the maple and absorb stain unevenly. Because maple is a tightly pored wood, even experienced finishers struggle to achieve a uniform stain color. You can use dark stains and dye stains on maple on maple and get professional results if you follow the right procedure.

Does Maple need to be conditioned before staining?

Yes. You need to condition maple wood before staining it. Conditioning your wood surface with a pre-Stain wood conditioner stops streaks and splodges by evening out the absorption of oil-based stains. You use it on any wood, but it is especially essential when working with soft or porous woods such as maple,  pine, alder, and birch.

Does gel stain work well on Maple?

Gel stain is especially forgiving on splotchy woods such as birch, cherry, maple, and pine. These woods absorb conventional stains unevenly, leaving them messy and unfinished no matter how many thin coats are applied, but they readily accept gel stains. A gel stain coats the surface instead of penetrating the wood grain, creating a professional finish on even the most complicated wood species. Also, check to see if you can use gel stain on laminate wood.

Does Maple wood stain get blotchy?

Yes. Blotching is a common problem with maple. It’s a complex hardwood that blotches as a result of poor sanding. Inconsistent sanding strokes lead to imperfections on the stain. Remove the blotches, by resanding and reapplying gel stain for uniform absorption.

What kind of stain do you use on maple wood?

Gel stain is especially easy going on splotchy woods such as maple and pine as it creates a professional finish even on the most stubborn wood. It coats the surface instead of permeating the wood grain.

Can maple be stained to look like walnut?

Yes. You can stain maple any color you want. So you can stain it to look like walnut, though it will be difficult because maple is challenging to stain. However, staining maple to look like walnut may not be a good idea because it will ruin maple’s natural appearance.

Conclusion

Invest in the best maple wood stain if you want your maple furniture to look fantastic even after many decades of use.

Aside from adding beauty to maple woods, Staining maple is essential for providing extra protection and extending the lifespan of the wood.

Our overall pick is Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. The pre-stain conditioner ensures that the stain penetrates uniformly and prepares the wood for subsequent applications.

Applying gel stains and topcoats is a breeze with this wood conditioner.

Though it’s moderately difficult to obtain the perfect color blend, we have outlined all of the steps you need to take to reach your goal.