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Finish for Hard Rock Maple - but not maple

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

I bought a small kitchen table and three chairs at a tag sale for $25. My neighbor has scrapped off the old finish and done most of the sanding for me to refinish the pieces. He says they are hard rock maple - googling it - I think he is right. The wood is almost white and vey hard. Now - I don't like the "Early American" maple that I grew up with. Can't stand it. I bought whitewash stain and it is really, really hard to use - I found "ebonyzing" on the internet - but the instructions are confusing. Any suggestions? Alternate ideas for finishing? All suggestions appreciated.

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