Paint Grade - Birch Vs. Soft Maple


From original questioner:

We're in the hunt for a new local door maker and one of the contenders says they use birch instead of soft maple for their paint grade doors. They claim it's more stable, easier to machine, paints as well and they get it for cheaper.
I have very little experience with solid birch myself, and I can't seem to find a straight answer on the interweb. Anyone have any knowledge on this?

From contributor Ja

Stick with maple. Birch needs more primer to fill the grain.

From contributor Ke

I use 100% Birch for Paint Grade
Stable and no Swelling even on Coastal Projects.

If your painter complains about extra fill work, then get a new Painter

Would NEVER go back to Maple paint grade.

From contributor Je

Maybe depends on type of birch b/c I always find it every bit as squirrily as soft maple?


From contributor St

EVERYONE complains about extra, not planned for, work handed to them by another sub/supplier on a job, you would/will/do also. Paint grade should be supplied primed, needing only touch sanding to be ready for finish paint. So, from that viewpoint, a manufacturer can use white oak for paint grade, it's their responsibility to deliver to spec.

But I'm with Jeff, birch around here is easily as squirrely as maple and more porous to boot. It would have to be cheap to use it.

From contributor Pa

Soft Maple any day, for the reasons stated above and because it's more readily available in my area (NJ). I can even get some nice S4S Maple boards at Home Depot or Lowes.

From contributor La

Red maple - not inclined to go wild, smooth even texture. Better than the mixed soft maples you get. Red maple tends to be harder and machines really well, worth the little extra it costs.