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Best Finish for Spalted Maple Reviews 2024 : Our Top 5 Picks

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The stunning and unique spalted maple is a popular choice among woodworkers for wood furniture. It can be tricky to finish such a piece of wood without altering its natural appearance. Finishing Spalted Maple is the right solution.

Using these specialized finishes, woodworkers can preserve the natural beauty of the spalted maple while protecting their woodworking projects. Hence it is imperative to use the best finish for spalted maple.

In this article, we will discuss the top five most effective finishes for spalted maple to help you out. Furthermore, we will discuss a few relevant factors to consider when selecting the right one, in addition to some frequently asked questions for additional information.

Varathane Spalted Maple Finish

General Finishes spalted maple finishes

Minwax Finishing Spalted Maple

Best Finish for Spalted Maple – Our Top 5 Picks

Spalted wood results from a fungus infecting the sapwood of dead or living trees. These fungi cause discoloration, streaking, and the formation of pockets in the wood.

Because it contains a wide range of colors, from white to brown, red to violet, it is a wonderful option for your project. However, it can be enhanced even further by using different types of finishes.

The followings are our top picks for finish for spalted maple:

01. Varathane Spalted Maple Finish

The Varathane finish can be used on different types of wood. A polyurethane finish provides a high gloss finish and provides protection for the curly maple wood. It is also water-based, which makes it easy to clean up.

This water-based formula dries quickly and cleans up easily, making it suitable for almost any finishing project. Wood surfaces indoors, such as furniture, windows, trim, cabinets, and more, are protected with this product.

An amazing product can be used to finish wooden surfaces. It dries to the touch in just 30 minutes and provides coverage up to 31.25 sq. ft. You can also recoat it after just 2 hours.

The finish provides a durable and scratch-resistant surface for your wood projects. This finish is also clear, which allows the natural beauty of the wood to show through.

With the best scratch and stain protection available, this product is an excellent choice for furniture, cabinets, doors, and trim. The best part is that it’s low-odor and fast-drying, so you won’t have to wait long before you can start using your piece of furniture.

This ultimate Varathane spalted maple finish is a great option because it is crystal clear, which allows the natural beauty of the wood to show through. It is also easy to apply, and it dries quickly.

Highlighted Features:

  • The polyurethane provides a high gloss finish
  • It is also water-based, which makes it easy to clean up.
  • Cleans up easily with soap and water
  • The finish provides a durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Allows the natural beauty of the wood

02. Minwax Finishing Spalted Maple

Minwax is a water-based protective finish that comes in a satin finish. It is ideal for use on spalted maple, as it will protect the wood from scratches and other damage while still allowing the natural beauty of the wood to show through.

This Polycrylic protective finish is a durable way to protect your interior wood projects. It is a clear topcoat that protects against spills, dirt, scratches, and more. Using this product is simple, and it provides a beautiful finish.

The crystal clear finish is a protective coating that is ideal for use over all Oil-Based and Water-Based colors and stains as well as all wood species including light woods like ash, maple, and birch.

It offers protection against wear and tears while keeping the natural beauty of the wood intact. It’s also non-ambering, non-yellowing, and low odor, making it a suitable choice for those who are looking for an easy-to-use product.

This protective oil finish poly coating allows for quick recoats in just 2 hours, letting you get projects done faster. However, with a high-quality synthetic bristle brush, it can be easy to achieve a beautiful finish.

It is a water-based wood finish that is easy to clean up with soap and water. This makes Minwax finishing spalted maple a wise choice for anyone who wants a quick and easy finish that is also durable.

Highlighted Features:

  • Easy to use & comes in a satin finish
  • Protects spalted maple against scratches and other damage
  • Non-ambering, non-yellowing, and low odor
  • Quick recoats in just 2 hours
  • Water-based & easy to clean up with soap and water
  • Good choice for those who want a quick & easy finish
  • Can be applied with a high-quality synthetic bristle brush

03. General Finishes spalted maple finishes

The General Finishes Flat Out Flat topcoat is a great way to finish your woodworking projects. It provides a thick, durable finish that will protect your work and look great longer. This topcoat is easy to apply and can be used on a variety of surfaces.

It is a flat, clear, water-based topcoat that is durable and appropriate for use with chalk paint and milk paint. It dries quickly to a sturdy, durable finish and can be used on interior or exterior projects.

These paints are designed to give a velvety look and a powdery feel. However, their very ingredient works against them in the durability department. This wax is ideal to use with chalk paints as it increases the paint’s durability.

The finishes are a convenient option for an easy-to-use, water-based finish. These finishes provide a warm, natural look, and they’re easy to clean up with just warm soapy water.

This finish is designed to preserve the look, feel, and color of your paint job, while also increasing durability. With just one coat, you can achieve a high-quality, long-lasting finish that will keep your project looking gorgeous for years to come.

The General Finishes spalted maple finishes dry very quickly under normal conditions, taking about two to four hours. It covers an area of about 600 square feet per gallon, and it is easy to clean with warm soapy water.

Highlighted Features:

  • Dries quickly to a hard, durable finish
  • Provides a velvety look and a powdery feel
  • Increases the paint’s durability
  • Easy to clean up with just warm soapy water
  • Dries in about two to four hours under normal conditions

04. Rust-Oleum Stained Spalted Maple

The Rust-Oleum is a high-quality protective finish that is suitable for woodworking projects. This gloss finish provides a luxurious, shiny appearance and protects the wood from moisture and other environmental hazards.

It is a protective poly that is designed for outdoor wood surfaces. It can be used on furniture, windows, fences, doors, trim and more to help keep them looking new for longer.

The formula is water-based and easy to use. It can be cleaned with soap and water. It produces a beautiful, natural wood look with a low odor.

This product dries to the touch in just 30 minutes and can cover up to 87 sq. ft. per quart, so it’s perfect for larger projects. Plus, you can recoat after just 2 hours, so you can get your project done quickly and easily.

The finish provides a weather and UV-resistant topcoat that does not yellow and protects against mold and mildew. It is appropriate for use on indoor and outdoor wood projects, providing a natural look that is beautiful and durable.

This finish features a crystal clear, gloss finish that results in a clean and polished appearance. The finish is perfect for bringing out the natural beauty of the wood, and it is also durable and long-lasting.

Rust-Oleum stained spalted maple dries extra fast, so you can apply 3 coats in a single day. There are no brush strokes so you get an even finish without streaks or lines.

Highlighted Features:

  • Produces a beautiful, natural wood look
  • Dries to the touch in just 30 minutes
  • Covered up to 87 sq. ft. per quart
  • Recoat after just 2 hours
  • Weather and UV resistant topcoat
  • Does not yellow over time

05. The Army Painter Spalding Maple Finish

The Army Painter gloss varnish is a sealer that can be used to protect the tabletop, board games, and wargames miniature models from scratches and other damage. It is non-toxic and water-based, making it safe for use by both children and adults.

This is a brush-on varnish that provides a flawless glossy finish for slimy tentacles, eyes, and gives the impression of wetness. It is suitable for giving a shiny result while providing a protective coat for your painted miniature Star Wars, Warhammer, and Dungeons & Dragons models.

It will maintain its clear properties indefinitely, providing the best possible long-term presentation of your painted models. The gloss varnish is stronger than the matt varnish, making it a better option for models that are going to be handled frequently.

With a soft 18ml bottle, you can control the amount of paint that is dispensed, and its dropper design helps to prevent paint from drying out. It can be used to create a variety of different finishes, and it is especially suited to airbrushing.

The Army Painter Spalding Maple Finish is a high-quality, non-toxic, and eco-friendly miniature painting paint. It is appropriate for anyone just starting out miniature painting, as well as for the advanced hobbyist concerned with their health without compromising on the quality of their tools.

Highlighted Features:

  • Non-toxic and water-based
  • Provides a perfect glossy finish for slimy tentacles, eyes, etc
  • Maintains clear properties indefinitely
  • Eco-friendly & can be used with airbrushes

These are our top 5 picks for the best finish spalted maple. We hope that by choosing one of these products, you can find the perfect choice for your new furniture project! But before shopping, there are some things you need to consider.

Considerations for the Best Finish for Spalted Maple

Considerations for the Best Finish for Spalted Maple

When you are ready to shop for the finish for spalted maple, you should consider a few things before making your final choice.

Consider these factors when buying the perfect product:


You want to find something that is going to work for many years and not wear away or lose its effectiveness over time. If it’s exposed to rain, snow, and other elements, you want it to last.

Moisture Resistance

Spalted soft maple can expand and contract based on the humidity levels in the surrounding air. If your finish cannot withstand this kind of change, it will not hold up well.

Ease of Use

You want something that isn’t difficult to apply or maintain, so make sure it is a product you can get great results from.



The way it looks is important, and you want something that provides an attractive sheen without leaving gaps or streaks behind.


You should find a finish that complements the color of your spalted maple, which can vary from light to dark, depending on how much sunlight the wood received during its growth.

Curing Time

How long it takes to dry after the application is extremely important. With spalted maple, this could be hours or days, depending on the product you choose.


You also want something that doesn’t smell strong, which can be unpleasant and bothersome. Even if it is non-toxic, you still may not want to inhale that much of it over extended periods.

Color Fading

Make sure the product doesn’t cause color fading, which means that it is not safe for furniture with leather or fabric. You want something that will protect all of your spalted maple pieces to keep them looking fresh and new.

With these factors in mind, you should be ready to choose the perfect finish for spalted maple!

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s talk about some frequently asked questions that people are more concerned about:

01. How do You Finish Spalted Wood?

You can choose to finish your spalted maple with either a stain or a clear coat. When you use stained wood, the color saturation of the light and dark areas is increased, while clear finishes let us see the natural wood grain.

02. What is Spalted Maple?

This is not a tree, but a board that was taken from a Sugar Maple tree. The board has begun to rot and is said to be spalted. Upon pairing with the water that hydrates the tree’s vascular system, the fungus begins to excrete a dark pigment.

03. How do You Preserve Spalted Maple?

To preserve spalted maple, you will need to keep it sealed in a plastic bag. This has to be done before you decide whether or not to use the wood for constructing furniture.

04. Should I Stain Spalted Maple?

It will stain similarly to normal wood. The purpose of staining appears to be to highlight the basic patterns of spalting, so a dye stain with a transparent hue would be appropriate, either alcohol or water-based.

In Conclusion

Spalted maple is a beautiful wood that comes from the sugar maple, and when stained or finished properly it can look very attractive.

You should consider which type of finish you want before buying your product like whether to use clear finishes for natural grain visibility of stains if you prefer more color saturation.

If this article on the best finish for spalted maple has helped provide clarity on what kind of finishing products are best for spalted maple, we hope that it helps your next project!

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