Rainbow poplar comes from mineral stained portions of the tulip poplar tree. It is uncommon, but not rare. Most often found only in larger trees. Exact causes of the unusual colors of staining remain unknown.
Tulip poplar, tulip tree, whitewood (in its usual, non-stained form)
Intermixed streaks of dark purple, dark blue, dark green, yellow and/or black.
22 - 31 lbs/ft3 (moderately lightweight)
540 lbft (moderately soft)
Very easy to turn when green. Dried wood turns well, with only a slight tendency to tear out.
Very easy to dry. Minimal movement and not likely to develop cracks.
Sands quickly due to being moderately soft. Heavy grits are not typically needed unless heavy tool marks remain in the wood. Can be sanded to a medium shine.
Accepts nearly any finish, and stains are not necessary due to the fantastic color of this wood. Oil and wax finishes typically produce a medium high shine. For the glossiest finish, surface finishes such as lacquer, polyurethane, shellac or tung oil should be used.
There are no known toxicities associated with rainbow poplar.