stain too brown


  #1  
Old 06-29-08, 06:50 PM
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stain too brown

We had brand new red oak floors put down then stained with minwax stain (early american) and polyurathaned. We then put a new staircase in, with red oak treads. The contractor finished the floor and I finished the treads. Problem is the stairs don't match the floor. Seems the treads are not as red or golden but more brown. I already polyurathaned it with 3 coats. We wonder if either the stain was really different, I put it on too heavy even though I wiped it after a few minutes, I should have sanded it differently prior to staining or it was really white oak (though it looked red). The contractor used a semi matte than a satin. I also did a similiar semi matte and satin. Would a glossier polycoat underneath make it more golden? I did sand between coats of poly but did nothing after the stain but prior to the poly coat.
Thanks.
If my wife was a bit colorblind, I would not have a problem.
 
  #2  
Old 06-30-08, 02:57 AM
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It is hard to say without looking at it but there can be big differences in how wood [same species] accepts stain. Trees grown under different conditions [soil, amount of rain, etc] will stain differently. I'm sure you've noticed the differences in the individual pieces of flooring.

About the only way to change the color of the treads now would be to strip them and start over A shinier top coat will reflect more light so it might change the color appearance some. Maybe she will get used to the color difference over time.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 04:46 AM
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Maybe I will put another 2 coats of polyurathane on it. I would need 2 since the first would would be a semi matte and then a satin so it would not be too smooth for steps. I do think the floors are shinier. He used a Garco brand. I used Minwax. I hope this helps. Thanks.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 04:51 AM
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Minwax is notorious for its poor quality control. If you buy the same color from two different batches, it is rare for the colors to match.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 05:53 AM
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That is very satisfying. I will try more polyurathane. If it reflects more light, maybe it will lighten it up.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 03:56 PM
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I tend to agree with Mark. Wood from the same section of the same tree will not finsh the same. I have used Minwax for years and IMHO, they have a good products. Wood is from nature, and very different.

Was the floor finish/stain the same, exactly?? If yes, I would agree that the difference is the wood, the angle of the light, etc.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 08:01 PM
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Just to add to the previous comments, something else to consider is whether the can of stain was stirred. If you applied the stain without stirring in the "sludge" in the bottom of the can, you obviously won't have the same color as if the can was properly mixed.
 
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Old 07-01-08, 03:55 PM
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Thanks for the added feedback. I did stir in the sludge. I think the problem is I need more coats of poly since it doesn't have the gloss, which will make it seem lighter. (Ihope). Also, it will give it more depth so my wife will see more highlights and differences in color (hopefully more honey color). I did one coat of semi matte and 2 of satin. I think I am going to do another of semi matte and then the satin. I don't want it too slippery. I fine sanded it so I will have to resand with 220 so it adheres better. Let me know if this is wrong. I have to wait for the right opportunity to poly, possibly later tonight. I hope this will help.
 
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Old 07-02-08, 04:39 AM
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220 grit is fine for sanding treads between coats - I've never seen a need to use a finer grit than 220 on interior woodwork.

A well finished satin can be just as slippery as gloss. How smooth the finish is determines how slippery more than what sheen it has.
 
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Old 07-02-08, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I opened the can of stain and saw there was no sludge which confirmed I mixed it well. I think the extra semigloss poly coat made it look better but it still isn't a red tone but more brown. Maybe I left the stain on too long (5 minutes) which is why the red from the red oak is not coming through. I have decided I hate working for my wife. If a contractor is working, no one is near. If I am working, kids are running up and down, my wife is watching every move etc.
I may try a random orbital sander to resand it all off since at least 3 of the treads have ridges from the machine that milled them. I was told to lightly sand (220) and for some stupid reason, I thought these lines wouldn't show. Thank you all for the feedback.
 
 

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