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Tip #244
Stop guessing about the appearance of wood stains and fillers


So, you're near the end of building your project and it's now down to selecting the right wood filler to fix a few minor errors…and the right stain to create the look you want. But what's the best stain to use on maple to achieve the reddish-brown hue that you've been wanting ?

If you had a Sample Library, you'd know.

Here's how to make your own Sample Library.

Start with 4"w X 24"l samples of the woods you typically use or imagine you'll be using for your projects. On one side of each sample board, stain 1" to 1-1/2" wide stripes, using the various stains you have available. If you have more colors, you may have to make your Sample Boards a bit longer. Once stained, be sure to write the brand and color of each stain within its stripe.

Then, turn your Sample Boards over and drill a series of 1/4" dia X 1/4" deep holes, about 2" or so apart. Fill these holes with a selection of the different wood fillers you have and use regularly. Leave one grouping of these fillers unstained.

If you like, make additional groupings of the different fillers and stain each with the different color stains you might use.

Now, you have Sample Boards for quick reference on your future projects.


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