Maple Turning Pink

Maple sometimes takes on an unwanted pink hue. Here, pros discuss why. December 31, 2005

I would like to know if any finishers out there have experienced maple (veneer or solid) developing a pinkish color under a clear finish after delivery to customer. If you have, please let me know your finishing process.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
Usually de-colorization is caused by the type of topcoat you use. Have you tried using water white CV Krystal? This is a post-cat with high solid and non-yellowing formula that can be exposed to extreme moisture, heat or household chem.

The complaint has been seen on various finish systems, including vinyl, acrylic, and amino. I traditionally would expect yellow or brown discoloration, but not pink.

I made samples for a stain color that included burnt umber and raw sienna mix. It looked fine. I used the same sample again and when the customer looked at it, he said he didn't like the pink tone. I did another sample with the same formula and it was not pink. So I surmised that the wood reacted to the finish. Pre-cat lacquer has an acid in it to make it harden. It must have been that.

As I understand, pinking is a characteristic of some maple. I don't think it has anything to do with the finish.

From my experience, if you add a tiny bit of white tint to your clear and spray it on maple, you get a pinkish hue. I've had to match this color many times and this is how we accomplished it. I'm not sure how this might have happened to you. Some of these non-yellowing have a very white base as opposed to an amber base. Maybe there's something there.

Maple can "pink up" on contact with some acids, as can the heartwood of most pines. Be careful when using pre-cats and AC's, as they contain such acids.