How to Finish Ambrosia Maple: The Ultimate Guide


Finishing ambrosia maple is a process that can seem daunting to some, but with the right steps, it can be an easy and fun process.

In this guide, we will walk you through the entire finishing process from start to finish. We will give you tips on how to achieve the perfect finish for your project, and show you how to use different finishes to create different looks. Let’s get started!

What Is Ambrosia Maple And Where Can You Find It?

Ambrosia Maple is one of the most unique and stunning hardwoods available on the market today. Hailing from North America, this maple variety is characterized by its beautiful grain patterns and vibrant colors.

If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind wood for your next project, ambrosia maple is definitely worth considering. Here’s everything you need to know about this amazing hardwood.

Ambrosia maple is most commonly found in the eastern United States, from Maine down to Virginia. The trees typically grow to between 20 and 30 feet tall, with a trunk diameter of 12-24 inches.

The wood itself is very strong and dense, making it ideal for a variety of different applications. Ambrosia maple is often used in cabinetry, furniture making, and flooring.

One of the most unique aspects of ambrosia maple is its stunning grain patterns. The wood is typically a light cream color, with dark brown or black streaks running through it. These streaks are actually caused by beetle larvae that burrow into the tree’s sapwood.

While some people may consider this a flaw, it’s actually what gives ambrosia maple its unique and beautiful appearance.

Ambrosia maple is a type of soft Maple that has a Janka hardness rating of 700 to 950 lbf. This makes it harder compared to other softwoods, which is why it’s often used for furniture and flooring. It’s also a very popular type of wood for making cutting boards and other kitchen items. Ambrosia maple is sometimes called “ghost maple”.

Ambrosia Maple is typically found in the Northeastern parts of the United States and Canada. The tree gets its name from the Greek god, Ambrosia, who was known for his food and drink that gave immortality.

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The Different Types Of Finishes That Can Be Used On Ambrosia Maple

There are a few different types of finishes that can be used on Ambrosia Maple.

1. Lacquer

The most common type of finish is lacquer. A water-based finish gives the wood a clear finish. It will not be yellow or amber over time as some other finishes can. A solvent-based lacquer will give the wood an amber tint and will add warmth to the wood.

2. Waterlox

Waterlox is another type of finish that can be used on ambrosia maple. It is an oil-based finish that is easy to apply and gives a nice warm amber color to the wood. It is also very durable and will protect your ambrosia maple from water damage and scratches.

3. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is another type of finish that can be used on ambrosia maple. It is a synthetic resin that is available in both water-based and oil-based formulations. Polyurethane is very durable and will give your ambrosia maple a high gloss finish. It is also easy to apply and can be buffed to a high shine.

4. Shellac

Shellac is a natural resin that is available in both liquid and flake form. It is easy to apply and dries quickly. Shellac will give your ambrosia maple a high gloss finish and will protect it from water damage.

5. Wax

Wax is another type of finish that can be used on ambrosia maple. It is easy to apply and gives a nice low sheen to the wood. Wax will not protect your ambrosia maple from water damage or scratches, but it will give it a nice soft feel.

The best way to figure out which type of finish you want to use is to experiment on a scrap piece of ambrosia maple before you start your project. That way, you can see how the different finishes look and choose the one that you like the best.

No matter which type of finish you choose, make sure that you apply it evenly and in thin coats. Too much finish can cause the grain of the wood to rise and it can also make the finish cloudy.

What Is The Best Wood Finish For Ambrosia Maple?

The best wood finish for ambrosia maple is a lacquer. You can use a water-based lacquer, but an oil-based lacquer will give the wood more protection. You can also use a varnish or a polyurethane, but these finishes will not last as long as a lacquer. If you are going to use a finish other than a lacquer, make sure that you apply it in a well-ventilated area.

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How To Apply A Finish To Ambrosia Maple

Once you have chosen the type of finish that you want to use, it is time to apply it to your Ambrosia Maple project. Whether you are using Lacquer, Waterlox, Polyurethane, Sheller, wax, or another type of finish, the process is pretty much the same.

Start by sanding your ambrosia maple project with fine-grit sandpaper. This will help to create a smooth surface for your finish. 

Once you have sanded your project, wipe it down with a tack cloth to remove any dust.

Next, you will need to apply a thin coat of finish to your project. You can do this with a brush, rag, or sprayer. If you are using a brush, make sure to use long strokes in the same direction to avoid leaving brush strokes in your finish.

Once you have applied the first coat of finish, let it dry completely. This usually takes about an hour, but it can take longer depending on the type of finish you are using and the temperature and humidity of your workspace.

After the first coat of finish has dried, sand your project again with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will help to create a smooth surface for your second coat of finish. 

Again, wipe down your project with a tack cloth to remove any dust before applying the second coat of finish.

Let the second coat of finish dry completely before sanding and wiping it down one last time. 

After the final coat of finish has dried, you can apply polish to your project if you want to.

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Tips For Getting The Perfect Finish On Ambrosia Maple

There are a few things to keep in mind when finishing ambrosia maple that will help you get the perfect finish every time.

  • First, always sand with the grain of the wood.
  • Second, use fine-grit sandpaper for the final sanding before applying any finishes.
  • And third, be sure to test any finishes on a scrap piece of wood before applying them to your project.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to get a beautiful, smooth finish on ambrosia maple that will make your projects look their best!

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Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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