I'm pricing a cabinet job and they want hickory, just the heartwood. The problem is I can only get calico hickory plywood for the cabinet boxes. I was wondering if there is another type of plywood I could stain to match the color of hickory heartwood? They will be going with a natural stain on the hickory.
From contributor R:
Have you checked out other lumber distributors for the hickory?
I came up with a mix that worked well and in most cases no one could tell where the sapwood was after I applied the sap stain. The mix I used was:
1 part Microton Oak
1/2 part Microton Cherry
16 parts lacquer thinner
I applied it with a spray gun turned down to a very narrow fan whenever I was coloring in alongside the heartwood and just shaded the sapwood to blend. On larger sections that were all sapwood, I opened the gun up and sprayed a little more freely.
The key is to spray it just enough to see the wood fibers appear wet for a brief moment, and no more or less. Too little and the stain sits on the surface of the wood and looks lifeless. Too much and it starts to make tiny puddles of color that look odd. It doesn't take very much practice to get the gun set up and your distance and speed down.
Here's a picture of a sample board I did. On the left side I just applied a clear coat and you can see the light colored sapwood above the darker colored heartwood. On the right side, I used the sap stain to shade the sapwood darker until it blended with the heartwood. If you need to go a little darker, you can go over the area repeatedly until you get a good blend. Or you can add a little more of the Cherry Microton to the mix.