Please help me identify this type of stain

Old 03-15-10, 03:40 PM
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Please help me identify this type of stain

My home was built in 1972 and this is one of the original baseboards. I have tried to match this in the past with Minwax stain but too much grain shows thru. Is there a different type of stain that is less transparent? Notice that the grain is not that noticable and the stain wasn't heavily absorbed into the grain.

I am replacing my baseboards but the door frames will remain, therefore I want to match it as best I can. I am also concidering replacing them with oak since it will lbe more durable.

Would you use a wood sealer before staining and what type of stain would you use?

Old 03-15-10, 04:30 PM
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Looks like a mixture of stain and shellac was used. One step process and the grain doesn't get blotchy. If this was part of a builders technique, then they probably made up the mixture using a stain that had a similar solvent to alcohol. The shellac no doubt lends a bit of the color after so many years. I don't know what just mixing stain with poly will get you as far as curability so I won't recommend that.

There is something called Polyshades that Minwax makes. It's a blend of finish and color that acheives the same thing. If they have sample sizes, then I'd experiment with that on the pine or the oak to get the matching color you want.
I used this once to experiment. Much less forgiving of overbrushing then anything I've ever used! But they wouldn't make it if no one liked the results.

Man I hope you get better advice than this.
Old 03-15-10, 05:15 PM
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You definitely should not use a wood conditioner or sealer prior to staining. All that would do is make the wood too light, and you would never get it dark enough.

Some of the older stains used to go on about like paint, and if the stain didn't get wiped down, the color will be pretty hard to match. Then add to that, different wood species stain differently, so you will NEVER get a piece of oak to look like that hemlock or SPF baseboard and baseshoe. The grain just will not match and you will get a different look because of that.

The only minwax stain that I have had good luck with when I want a really dark finish is dark walnut. Provincial works well if you don't want it quite as dark and would like a little golden reddish hue. Special Walnut is a tad lighter, doesn't make the grain quite as black and is more of a flat brown with no red. But both will really turn the deep grain black on a piece of oak. And you will have some color variation with red oak or white oak. You probably won't like that either. Pecan on oak might be a little on the light side... but 2 coats of finish lightly wiped after it gets tacky might get you close.

On pine / hemlock / SPF, Watco makes a danish finish that would come close to the right color... their medium Walnut, I think would be closer than their dark walnut, both leave a golden hue on the latewood. But Watco danish oil requires a minimum of 72 hrs to dry b4 finishing with a varnish or poly.

You could also take a sample of your wood into a paint store like Sherwin Williams or Diamond Vogel, and see if they could help you out. Testing colors and giving suggestions is something that kind of needs to be done in person.

Mickblock's, suggestion about using a tinted poly might help you deepen the color and darken some of the lighter grain. Amber shellac might have been used over the stain, giving it a golden hue. You can still buy it at the Menards in our area (Zinsser is one brand.) But Polyshades would work as well. I'm not a fan of it, but it does have it's uses. I'd suggest you use it to enhance or tint a base stain color, after that has had time to dry. The more coats of a tinted poly you apply, the darker and deeper the color will get, and the more it will cover up the appearance of the lighter areas of grain. Spraying it with an airless is best, since it really leaves brushstrokes even if you know what you're doing and work very fast.
Old 03-15-10, 05:55 PM
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"You could also take a sample of your wood into a paint store like Sherwin Williams or Diamond Vogel, and see if they could help you out. Testing colors and giving suggestions is something that kind of needs to be done in person"

This would probably be your best plan of attack. Keep in mind that the wood used today isn't the same as was used when your house was built. The grain [and how the stain reacts] will be different. It would be best to take a section of old base and some of the new base to the store. They need the old to match and the raw new wood to see how different stains will look - and adjust them if needed.

By 1972 shellac as a finish wasn't used much although there were some old timers [reluctant to change] that still used it. Sanding sealer and varnish would be more likely.

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