It’s All About Alder

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Alder’s popularity continues to grow as it solidifies its role as one of the most versatile species of hardwood.

Because of its natural consistency, beautiful color, and workability with both hand and machine tools, Alder complements a variety of design schemes and is ideal for projects such as furniture sets, interior doors, cabinetry, and trim and moulding.

The Grain for Stain

Whether you prefer the clean, minimalist modern look that natural finishes provide or the deep, warm luxurious feel of the more expensive species, Alder delivers.

Because of Alder’s rich undertones, little color variation and fine grain, it’s an ideal wood for light or natural finishes and dries to an even honey tone. These qualities also mean that it can mimic the grain of other species of hardwood and is more reliable and predictable in the finishing process. No matter the picture you’re trying to paint, Alder is a versatile and easy-to-work-with canvas.

No Complaints about Paints

There are some woods you just shouldn’t paint—but Alder isn’t one of them! In contrast to other species of hardwood, Alder’s smooth texture, lack of heartwood/ sapwood differentiation, and closed grain make it especially easy to paint and achieve a flawlessly consistent finished product.

To achieve a perfectly painted finish, make sure to start by sanding the wood (with a 180-220 grit abrasive) to smooth the grain. The abrasive planing we use at Northwest Hardwoods minimizes the amount of hand-sanding required, but it’s still crucial to prepare the wood.

Then roll, paint, or spray a layer of primer over the wood to remove any imperfections and give the paint something to adhere to. Sand again once the primer has dried for at least 24 hours using a “very fine” (240-280 grit) sandpaper, and gently blow or wipe the area clean to remove any particles.

Two coats of paint are usually essential for a high-quality look. After the first coat, sand again to remove any bumps or inconsistencies before layering the second. Then, simply apply your finish topcoat and allow to dry.

See for Yourself

Don’t believe us? We’ll be at the 2019 AWFS Fair with painted Alder cabinets! Join us at booth #5703 July 17-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center to learn more about this highly versatile, workable, and paintable hardwood.


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