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Thread: How to preserve rainbow Poplar colors?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    How to preserve rainbow Poplar colors?

    Title says it all.

    One...is there any way to preserve the colors of rainbow poplar?

    and

    Two...how faded does rainbow poplar get when it's exposed to the sun?

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  2. #2
    I wouldn't expose it to sunlight if I could avoid it. The color (mineral staining) can last years if cared for.
    I have some that's quite old that still has vibrant color. If you're truley worried, you can use a finish with UV inhibitors but they tend to have less clarity due to the pigments in the finish.
    How much the color will fade is anyone's guess, evey situation is different.
    https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...-exotic-woods/

  3. #3
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    "Rainbow" poplar is just regular yellow/Tulip poplar that is stained from minerals in the soil it was growing in. There is no way to fully assure you can retain the full effect over time, especially if the sun is involved. Using a finish with a UV protectant can certainly help, but there are downsides to that as Edward mentioned. The same lumber kept away from the sun will be at less risk of fading, but there are other sources of UV within the home as well as natural oxidation.
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  4. #4
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    I don't agree that UV inhibiting finishes lack clarity, at least not the one I've used. Kem Aqua Plus looks as good as any other WB clear coat I've used. It also contains a dual UV package. One acts to protect the finish. This is what most UV inhibiting finishes do. However, that doesn't protect the wood underneath from changing. That's clearly evident if you use Epifanes marine varnish (which also has great clarity, just an amber tint) on a piece of outdoor furniture, as I did on a bench I made from black locust. BL is very light colored but turns golden brown after a few weeks/months of UV exposure. The bench I made and finished with the Epifanes was golden brown after a year.

    Back to Kem Aqua Plus; it contains not only a UV inhibitor to protect the finish itself, but also a second component called HALS that protects the underlying wood from aging from UV light. How long it lasts, I don't know, but if you want to try to maintain those colors in your rainbow poplar, that is the type of finish I would use.

    John

  5. #5
    John, thanks for the info on those finishes.
    I don't see where Kem Aqua Plus has a dual UV package, I'm not seeing the "HALS", could you direct me.
    https://industrial.sherwin-williams....r.9198017.html
    While I don't want to speak for the OP, an amber tint wouldn't be what I want when trying to maintain the natural color.
    Amber is not the same as clear IMO

    There are tons of products out there that have a UV blocker in them but very few are truly clear or made to be used on bare wood.
    Hope you find a product you like.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    John, thanks for the info on those finishes.
    I don't see where Kem Aqua Plus has a dual UV package, I'm not seeing the "HALS", could you direct me.
    https://industrial.sherwin-williams....r.9198017.html
    While I don't want to speak for the OP, an amber tint wouldn't be what I want when trying to maintain the natural color.
    Amber is not the same as clear IMO

    There are tons of products out there that have a UV blocker in them but very few are truly clear or made to be used on bare wood.
    Hope you find a product you like.
    They seem to have changed the verbiage some, but take a look at this on the PDS:

    Advantages: Contains UV absorber to reduce discoloration of natural wood from exposure to sunlight. Excellent film clarity

    But I looked up more info on HALS and found an article by some paint association that said HALS purpose is to protect the outer layer of the finish from degradation. That is not what I remember, but maybe my memory is poor.

    I have used a couple of gallons of SW's Ken Aqua Plus. It contains some form of UV protection and it is clear with no amber tint.

    John

  7. #7
    Thanks a lot, I thought I was looking at the wrong finish at first.
    I appreciate it, good info to have.

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