Pinkish maple
May 31, 2014 | 7:00 pm CDT

Q: We have maple that turns a pinkish color after we have applied a clear finish. Can you direct me towards a solution for this problem?

A: Maple (both hard and soft), cherry and a few other species are very color-sensitive to the application of any chemical on their surface, unless the chemical is perfectly neutral; in chemical terms, pH = 7. If the chemical is basic or caustic (pH over 7), one may see grey in maple and blood red in cherry. If the chemical is acidic (pH under 7), you see pinking. So, I suspect that you need to carefully check the pH of your finish, moving closer to pH = 7 or maybe even 7.5.

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Gene Wengert

Gene Wengert, “The Wood Doctor” has been training people in efficient use of wood for 45 years. He is extension specialist emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.