I am in the process of building a bench for indoor use out of hard maple. It will only get indirect sun when it is complete. This is my first project with this light of a wood (I've worked primarily with cherry in previous projects.) I'm looking for non-yellowing finish suggestions that will keep the natural look of the wood.

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    Blonde shellac adds little colour.
    – Colin
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 13:22
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    What he said. But there are a few additional points to note, the first two are truly colourless and add virtually nothing to the colour of paler woods. The lighter (bleached) shades of shellac add just a hint of additional yellowness. It's not enough to bother some but it is enough that others can't use it even though they're fans of shellac. And note that shellac is not as durable as the first two (although easily repaired or touched up) and provides essentially zero waterproofing.
    – Graphus
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 15:59
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    @Graphus Good comment. Did you mean to put it on Sassafras's answer? It doesn't make much sense as a comment on the question :)
    – Ast Pace
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


Generally the the least yellowing common finishes, in order, would be:

  1. Water-borne poly
  2. "Water white" lacquer
  3. Blond shellac

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