Need help with stain


Old 07-24-04, 02:10 PM
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Need help with stain

We want to restain our kitchen cabinets. We like the "honey oak" stain that you can find on manufactured doors (you find them on display at Home Depot & Lowe's).
The problem is we can't find a stain that matches the mellow golden brown look. We've tried 7 stains such as Golden Oak, Ipswich Pine, Golden Pecan, etc. The closest we've found was Early American from Minwax, but it has more of an underlying greenish hue. Do you know of what I can do to get that Honey Oak look?

Thanks, Christina
Old 07-25-04, 07:17 AM
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It sounds like you're trying different colors of Minwax stains and that's a step in the right direction. Try mixing your own using various Minwax colors. It's a time consuming process since you'll have to mix a batch, apply it, let it dry, then put on a finish and wait for it to dry. You'll also have to keep track of the proportions of each batch.

Have you stripped the old finish (polyurethane, lacquer, whatever) from the old cabinets? If not, you need to since the new stain won't penetrate through the old finish.

One other thing to remember is that an oil-based polyurethane finish will give an amber hue and water based polys dry clear.

Good Luck
Old 07-25-04, 07:24 PM
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This may involve more that a '1 step' application.
For example, on our new mantle cap that I made, I used poplar, less expensive than oak.
Its a light coloured wood and tight grained. I wanted a 'reddish-oak hue' stain, but the golden oak, didnt cut it. Neither did the American Oak and the variations of oak.
So, on scrap wood, I 1st stained it in 'fruitwood' then once dried...I used some 'reddish' stain that we got from a finishing store, when we tried to match some new 'teak' to old 'teak' cabinet doors for the kitchen.
The 'reddish' stain ontop of the golden oak did the trick...At least The Boss says so.
So you may want to consider a 2 step method to achieve the 'hue' you're looking for. Its not easy...and staining is a 'finesse' kinda of work.....
Good isnt an exact science... in this case!!
Old 08-03-04, 02:09 PM
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Have you tried clear varnish on raw oak? It will darken the natural color quite a bit giving it a "honey" color. If you are restaining, as Dave says the original clear and stain will have to be stripped and you will still have a hard time getting the stain to apply like it will to raw wood. You can use an oil stain to "tint" the varnish to get a lighter coloring. Use a scrap piece to experiment on.
Old 08-11-04, 03:47 PM
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I see what you mean about the color variations in wood, but isn't that part of it's appeal, those subtle variations? Even on a pine project I did in our office, I kind of like the contrast of darker/lighter areas.

As far as getting a direct match, if Christina could get in the family of colors as she has seen in HD and Lowe's, I bet she'd be happy. Most of us won't be able to detect such minor differences. That may be the result of trial and error with mixing stains as Dave mentioned.

Christina, one option may be to try calling the company that makes the cabinets you've seen in these stores. You can probably get this from Home Depot. Tell them that you've purchased a home that has their cabinets and that you're adding some wood trim (crown, baseboard, etc) that you'd like to stain to match. See if they'll sell some stain to you. I know that when we purchased a new wood bathroom vanity from a custom cabinetry company that a local kitchen and bath designer uses, we asked them for additional stain for this purpose and they sent it to us.
Old 08-11-04, 08:17 PM
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Excellent replies and discussion.
All Oak (or any other kind of specialty wood) is not the same - as pointed out..
Wood is wood, and it has its own charactoristics...thats what makes it soooo special.
Ive encountered the same thing when I was re-doing our kitchen, which is in Teak. Teak comes from at least 3 different countries...(perhaps a couple of more) and none of them are the same. So it is 'relatively' impossible to match a 10yr old teak to a current teak...even IF its from the same country/island.
Thats one of the reasons I love dealing and working with wood. Nothing is the same...and it takes alot of work to get things to co-ordinate with what you have. Their individual characteristics make it all the more appealing..IMHO. - 'tho the Mrs will probably disagree.......(ahem....)
Old 08-26-04, 10:35 PM
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Brown is brown, orange is orange, and red is red. You can put a sample down on one part of the wood and two feet over it will not look the same. Hell Golden Oak is nothing but natural. Except if you try to tell a homeowner that they think it is cheap and wont have it, it has to be stained. Too much time and too much $.

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