We have a lot of people ask about hard maple, and are telling us incorrect information they’ve heard about the wood that we would like to set straight from our own inquiries from the Amish craftsmen themselves.
Hard maple is in fact, a very hard wood. Many people think that Brown Maple is soft in contrast to it, when Brown Maple is also a hardwood. While not as hard, we find Brown Maple is a great wood species for day to day activities and the hardness of Hard Maple is unnecessary in most cases. We only offer light samples of Hard Maple for a good reason – it only looks good when stained light.
Contrary to other opinions, Hard Maple tends to stain blotchy and inconsistent when stained darker because it’s not very porous. The majority of our Amish craftsman have told us this and have shown us examples. Many Amish finishers will not agree to stain Hard Maple dark because they are unhappy with the results. This has to do with the nature of this wood species, and for dark stains we always recommend Brown Maple.
If you decide you want to stain Hard Maple dark, be aware that this will be a difficult piece of furniture to match down the road if you decide to do so. We want our customers to have all the information they need to make big decisions, and knowing the truth behind Hard Maple is a part of this.
For more information about the different wood types, check out our in-depth wood guide