Mixing Maple and Poplar

      Maple and Poplar have similar characteristics, and can be combined in a paint-grade project. April 2, 2013

So I have a built-in coming up that's to be painted. I typically use soft maple for the face frames and the stiles and rails of cab doors. The unit will get casings that match the rest of the house. The thing is they only come in poplar, some in pine. I could make my face frames, doors, shelf edging, and etc. in poplar but I like the durability of the maple. Am I being overly obsessive?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor M:
Maple and poplar have very similar characteristics when painted or stained. I don't see any issue at all in mixing them when they'll be painted. I've actually put poplar crown on a stained maple kitchen before and dyed it to match. Poplar was all I could find and it turned out fine.

From contributor L:
No big deal! Make your cabinet like usual and use the poplar casing.

From contributor G:
Maples grain is much tighter and will not telegraph through the paint while it can with poplar if it isn't treated correctly.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Yellow poplar is widely used for millwork. Yellow poplar is very close to silver maple (one of the soft maples), but is not as strong or hard as red ample (another soft maple). I have never heard of grain raising problems with yellow poplar. Perhaps the reference about grain raising applies to aspen poplar, a different species.

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