An Antique Finish for Tiger Maple
Four hand-applied steps give your piece a period look
Synopsis: Lonnie Bird shares the secret for re-creating the distinctive stripes, three-dimensional depth, and rich amber color of an antique tiger maple finish. Bird’s method pops the figure with water-based dye, then adds luster with a coat of oil. Several coats of shellac protect the wood, and a glaze helps bring out the details and give the piece an aged appearance. A final coat of shellac and wax complete the finish, which gives the appearance of an oil finish with the protection of shellac.
I’ve always admired the distinctive stripes, three-dimensional depth, and rich amber color of antiques made from tiger maple. The challenge is to replicate this century-old appearance on creamy-white, fresh-cut maple. The steps I take to transform tiger maple aren’t difficult and can be done by hand, but the process will stretch over days as you wait for each step to dry. Of course, that’s a…