Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

December, 2004

Black color for Maple

Q. I have an unfinished table made of Maple. I want a dark black finish. Can I paint the table with a flat black paint and then polyurethane the flat base paint? I had chosen a black stain but maple does not stain well.

Yes you can paint the Maple table black, and then apply a clear polyurethane over the black paint. Sand the Maple with a relatively fine grit sandpaper such as #220 grit to smooth up the surface prior to applying the black paint. You might consider applying a thin coat of the clear polyurethane as a sealer or primer coat, then sand again with a #320 grit sandpaper. This way you have a nice smooth base to build your finish on.

I recommend that you use the clear as the sealer for somewhat selfish reasons, if in the future you want to ever change from the black painted look to a lighter stained finish, the black color will be easier to remove from the wood.

When preparing any surface for the application of paints or coatings, be certain to take precautions to protect against breathing in any air borne dust particles or debris that may be created by the prep work. Visit your local paint supplier and tell them what your intentions are. They will be able to recommend products that will be compatible with one another, and will perform as expected.

Please be aware that paints, coatings and solvents are chemicals and therefore you should always pay attention to proper handling procedures and be prepared to wear protective clothing, such as respirators, gloves, coveralls, etc. For further information on the health and safety requirements for the coatings and solvents you wish to use we strongly advised you to contact your local coating supplier. If possible, go the extra step and look for this information on the website of the product vendor.


Jim Burke

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