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Question about staining bamboo

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bwang posted on Wed, Jul 9, 2003 10:49 PM


I had a general question regarding bamboo furniture that I was hoping someone could help me out with. I'm currently making a bamboo ladder and was wondering how you would stain it to give it a more darker, golden hue. The bamboo is currently untreated and is its natural yellowish color. I pretty new to woodworking so any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


Got sandpaper? Get sanding! Sand off all the skin, then stain. Or, go to Big Lot's and get one cheap.

Leave the bamboo skin on and get a handheld torch (you can buy the kind that are fueled by a small propane can). With a slow and easy technique you work the torch across a small section at a time and the bamboo gets a rich amber tone and will get darker if you hold it in one spot. You must torch it before you assemble it or your lashings will catch fire.

I was torching a peice of bamboo just yesterday. It works and can be easier then all that sanding.



No sanding. Use "Orange" Shellac also called amber. Made by Zinsser. get at Home Depot.
Use many coats, sanding in between.
There's nothing more Tiki than Orange Shellac!!!!
Good Luck!


We just stained some bamboo with your basic off the shelf stain from Home Depot. No sanding and it looks great. A nice honey gold hue.

Did you leave the stain on or wipe it off?


I torch first, then stain bamboo. No sand. Look good.

On 2008-03-18 11:55, KAHAKA wrote:
I torch first, then stain bamboo. No sand. Look good.

Hey KAHAKA, can you post a picture of that? I've seen naked 'boo, torched 'boo and stained 'boo, but I'm not sure I've seen torched AND stained 'boo. Sounds like it got the Witco treatment. So does that mean torching it burns off its outer skin?

I'm about to begin a home project with a fair amount of bamboo that I am either going to stain myself or buy pre-stained. Weighing my options...


I torch then and steel wool while the 'boo is hot for my projects.

On fresh bamboo use a small propane torch. It will give it a great look, plus it hardens the resin which will preserve it. Natural drying will allow the resin to dry up and allow it to be brittle.


I torched and stained the bamboo for these lamps. Some I layered the stain on, others I put just a coat or two over the torching.

Pages: 1 10 replies