Can you stain poplar to look like cherry?

Asked By: Boubkar Hencke | Last Updated: 26th June, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests woodworking
4.7/5 (72 Views . 14 Votes)
But, with a bit of effort and a couple of extra steps, you can massage poplar (soft maple, birch, etc.) to resemble cherry. The first thing that you have to understand is that poplar does not take pigment stain, especially the so-called “penetrating stain” very well.

Click to see full answer


Thereof, can you stain oak to look like cherry?

Cherry cabinets are can be very expensive. If you have standard oak cabinets but would like to emulate the dark, red-tinted look of cherry, you can do so by refinishing them. You will need to carefully choose the right cherry colored stain and set up a work space.

One may also ask, what wood stain looks like cherry? Alder, poplar and soft maple are the first choices when staining a hardwood plywood with a cherry stain. Other hardwood plywoods, such as beech, birch and oak have a different wood grain and won't look like cherry, even if the color match is perfect.

Keeping this in view, can you stain poplar to look like walnut?

It can be made to look just like walnut, and also cherry. It's true that poplar and walnut have different pore structures, but their grain patterns are very similar, especially when plain sawn. Poplar takes oil based stains very well.

Is Poplar good for staining?

Poplar also looks great stained. In fact, you can stain it to mimic the look of more much expensive woods. Applying a "stain conditioner" to your wood before staining will help, but it will leave you with a much lighter finish. To get the best-looking finish, go for a gel stain.

37 Related Question Answers Found

Is Red Oak good for staining?

Red oak is popular with woodworkers because of its natural appearance. Fortunately, it is also easy to stain. Layering dye, gel stain, and a topcoat is a way to turn red oak a consistent color with a beautiful finish. Each layer should be sealed with shellac and sanded to improve the stain.

Can you stain oak cabinets darker?

Oak is an attractive wood with almost any stain color because it has a strong grain pattern and open pores that absorb stain well, and it does not turn blotchy. However, when choosing a stain color, you must either match the existing color or go darker; you cannot lighten the wood with stain alone.

How well does OAK take stain?

Always a popular hardwood, oak has a strong grain pattern and large, open pores that absorb stain readily. For that reason, oak is attractive with nearly any color of stain. It does not tend to turn blotchy, but like all woods it will stain more evenly after an application of a pre-stain wood conditioner.

Can you stain cherry cabinets?

Cherry wood can be stained with any number of different colors however, just like any other wood species, and this can lead to confusion. Kitchen cabinetry can appear dark brown, grey, yellow, etc.

What do cherry cabinets look like?


Cherry kitchen cabinets are a favorite because of their warm tones and rich look. Cherry tends to have predominantly red undertones; however, it can range in color from pale yellow to deep brown. The texture of cherry wood is smooth and satiny, which allows it to accept stain beautifully.

How do you whitewash honey oak cabinets?

Dip a clean paint brush in a whitewash pickling stain and apply it using smooth strokes from the bottom of the cabinet to the top and then back again. After you have applied the wash, wipe it with a clean, soft cotton cloth. The harder you wipe, the more the wood grain underneath will show in the finished product.

What does stained poplar look like?

Poplar is technically a hardwood, but it's one of the softer ones. This means it will take stain very unevenly. Stain soaks in and usually looks blotchy and lifeless, dull and generally not all that visually appealing.

Is Poplar stronger than pine?

Poplar wood is considered a hardwood by species, but this can be somewhat confusing, as it is typically softer than pine, a common softwood. In most instances, poplar (or at least the wood sold as poplar in home centers) is actually the wood from the tulip tree.

How do you prepare poplar for staining?

Poplar can look awesome if you follow a few steps, first by prepping the surface. I sand with 80 grit, 120 grit and stop at 150 grit with my orbital sander. I take the end grain up to 220 grit since it absorbs more finish than the face grain. The 220 grit will burnish the surface and help even the color.

Does pine stain well?


Pine is hard to stain for a couple of reasons. First, its grain is unevenly dense. Typical wood stains cause grain reversal because they color only the porous earlywood; they can't penetrate the dense latewood. In a nutshell, the conditioner partially seals the wood's surface to control blotching.

Does Poplar stay green?

The answer is simple: The wood is just plain homely. Its color ranges from pale yellowish white to an odd shade of green, and boards are often discolored by dark gray or purplishstreaks. To top it off, poplar doesn't stain well with traditional wood stains.

Does Poplar stain like pine?

Not only does the hardness effect how a wood will accept stain (harder woods tend to accept stains better and more evenly) but also the natural color of the wood. The ever popular and inexpensive Pine has yellow undertones. Birch has pink undertones. Poplar has green undertones.

Is Poplar good for furniture making?

Poplar is one of the less expensive hardwoods. Because poplar is not the most beautiful wood, it's rarely used in fine furniture, and if it is, it's almost always painted. Poplar can be a good choice for drawers (where it won't be seen) because it is stable and inexpensive.

Does mahogany and cherry go together?


The key to mixing woods is keeping the undertones consistent. Woods with warm undertones will look yellow or red - think Cherry, Mahogany, and Hickory. These woods will work well together, even if they vary in darkness and grain.

What is the color of cherry wood?

Cherry wood is a hardwood that comes from the cherry fruit tree. It is known for the beautiful range of colors that it comes in including dark brown, red, white, and yellow. It is a very durable wood and has a satiny, smooth grain which makes this popular.

What wood looks like mahogany?

The Inner Circle: Swietenia
  • Cuban Mahogany (Swietenia mahogani)
  • Honduran Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)
  • African Mahogany (Khaya senegalensis)
  • Utile (Entandrophragma utile)
  • Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum)
  • Bosse (Guarea cedrata)
  • Spanish Cedar (Cedrela odorata)
  • Australian Red Cedar (Toona ciliata)