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John Morris

Painting Poplar

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Folks, I have some nice poplar boards, and I am going to make another vanity with the boards, for another bathroom in our home. The entire vanity will be poplar, the outside will be painted a cream white or off white, and the inside will be varnished.

The poplar I have has those wonderful dark green and dark streaks, I have heard that poplar colors will bleed through most paints, what can I do to prevent the bleed through, or is what I have heard and read a myth?

Thanks!

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John I hate to hear that you want to paint those poplar boards that have all the mineral staining and dark green grain.  I would go buy some cleaner grained boards and prime then well in advance of painting.  Then I would take the other boards and make a nice piece of furniture or a chest out of them.  Stained with a quality walnut stain most people will not be able to tell the difference between it and walnut.  

 

The problem with some of the dark streaks is the mineral content that could possibly leach from that portion of the grain.  The green coloration is the natural color of the poplar and I have never had a problem with that part of the poplar.  I suggest using exterior primer on the vanity because of the moist environment it will be in so there won't be problems later.  Make sure you prepare the wood before you prime and make sure the primer is completely dry before painting. 

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7 minutes ago, MEBCWD said:

John I hate to hear that you want to paint those poplar boards that have all the mineral staining and dark green grain.

Well, poplar aint my favorite wood to use for show wood, so paint it is. Exterior primer is an excellent suggestion, any type or brand primer would be best? Kilz maybe? Or I have also heard of sealing the poplar first with varnish or shellac before painting.

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Exterior Kilz would work well.  If you prep with shellac first that would help seal any areas that might leach.   Make sure you sand well to knock down any raised grain and make sure to add tooth to make sure the primer will bond well.  Also any glue you use should be water proof like Titebond 3

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7 hours ago, MEBCWD said:

Sorry.  Tooth is an old painters term meaning to get rid of any slick spots and make sure the entire surface has a slight roughness so the paint has a place to bite into.

Got it, thanks! Learn something new every day, you know I actually kind of remember dad using that term, but it's been decades since I have heard it.

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These cabinets are poplar with plywood panels, and there wasn't any bleedthrough at all. The finish is simply prime with Zinnser BIN, then spray paint with a 100% acrylic paint....Olympic brand in my case. Truthfully, any good primer will hide the wood stains. I love poplar for painted projects, it does very well with paint. The BIN is very easy to smooth out, has great sealing qualities, and dries very fast.

both copysm.JPG

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19 minutes ago, Fred W. Hargis Jr said:

These cabinets are poplar with plywood panels, and there wasn't any bleedthrough at all. The finish is simply prime with Zinnser BIN, then spray paint with a 100% acrylic paint....Olympic brand in my case. Truthfully, any good primer will hide the wood stains. I love poplar for painted projects, it does very well with paint. The BIN is very easy to smooth out, has great sealing qualities, and dries very fast.

Excellent! Thanks Fred for the great information. Appreciate it much.

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7 minutes ago, Smallpatch said:

I don't even think my area has poplar plywood. I like the solid wood to work with but it seems to create its own dents which is surly not my fault!

I don't think Gene's project had poplar ply Jess, just ply panels, I think the face frames and panel frames were solid poplar, with some other ply panel, I think.

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John I I skipped over the word, with, on Fred's, not Genes

post making him using poplar plywood.

 For plywood I totally use Baltic Birch. I wait till Woodworkers Source has a sale then order, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8." They can't ship the full size 5' x 5' so I have them cut them into 20 x 30" pieces....

   I don't think anyone around here uses poplar on cabinets. Alder maybe , can't remember.

My problem buying plywood its in the back of a pickup for 60 miles and by the time I get home with it, it is already warped where it is unusable. If I try to wait for a cloudy day, by the time I get back home it has rained on it causing more warps..

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14 minutes ago, Smallpatch said:

John I I skipped over the word, with, on Fred's, not Genes

Sorry, I said Gene but meant Fred! Ya, Fred's project!:lol:

Alder is awesome Jess! Ya, we got a ton of Poplar in these parts, cheap and abundant, we burn it like pine and fir.

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2 hours ago, John Morris said:

Sorry, I said Gene but meant Fred! Ya, Fred's project!:lol:

Alder is awesome Jess! Ya, we got a ton of Poplar in these parts, cheap and abundant, we burn it like pine and fir.

That's Okay John. Fred and I are often confused with one another. I'm better looking but, he's smarter. :D 

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