Such a thing as a SEMI-Transparent paint?

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Old 06-02-09, 07:52 AM
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Such a thing as a SEMI-Transparent paint?

Hi-
We are in the middle of remodeling our kitchen in a 22 year old house, and recently finished stripping the cabinets (maple plywood faces). We made some changes to the cabinet layout, and have a few bare areas that need to be filled in with new wood.

Unfortunately with patching in new wood, it's not going to match the 22 year old aged wood...and will stick out like a sore thumb. Yesterday I went to a cabinet and molding manufacturer, and brought some samples so I could explain the problem. He explained that I not only have a wood-matching problem that I won't be happy with the end result (going a lighter color than the old honey maple colored stain)...and further told me that the cabinets were built with a PAINT GRADE wood. When stripped, several areas came out MUCH lighter than others, almost look like a white pine...again I see that as an issue that I won't be happy with when stained.

He basically said I'm not going to be happy with the end result, unless we painted the cabinets instead of staining. The house is rustic and sits in the woods, has all wood floors, trim, etc. I dread the thought of painting the cabinets, but am starting to feel like I have no other alternative. I've done a lot of reading (and watching videos) of people using faux procedures to produce a wood look, and am not wild about the final result.

So here's my question (finally). Is there such a thing as semi-transparent paint? The goal I'd like to achieve by using paint is to hide the difference between the new patched in wood and the old, yet still be able to enjoy the grained areas of the old wood. I won't be happy with an opaque paint, to me they look bland and show no depth.

Any ideas?
Thanks, Brent
Charlotte, NC
 
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Old 06-02-09, 12:16 PM
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Well the "semi transparent paint" may be what we call a "pickle finish," which is simply taking a particular color paint (usually something that will tie other kitchen fixtures altogether) of your choice and thinning it 30% to make a stain, best done with a quart of oil based satin finish paint. The key will be to attempt to stain the newer wood to match the older stripped cabinets before you "pickle" them by applying the thinned oil base paint. That way if you think something needs a second coat to match better, just brush or spray on another coat. Then you can varnish over your work at least 3 times to seal it in.

Let me know if it sounds interesting,

Bill
 
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Old 06-02-09, 02:06 PM
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Over the years I've had to stain various new pieces of wood/cabinetry to match the old. It isn't quick and easy but it can be done. You will probably need 2 or more different stain colors. I'd use whatever stains would get it close, apply a coat of sealer/poly and see what it looks like. You can then further adjust the colors using a tinted varnish/poly. Once the colors are right, apply 1-2 coats of poly/varnish to protect the altered finish.
 
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Old 06-03-09, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bsmith6356 View Post
Hi-

and further told me that the cabinets were built with a PAINT GRADE wood. When stripped, several areas came out MUCH lighter than others, almost look like a white pine...again I see that as an issue that I won't be happy with when stained.


Any ideas?
Thanks, Brent
Charlotte, NC
Well Paint Grade means quite a bit, make you best attempt at staining, if you're not happy, you'll have the choice of repainting or refacing the cabinets, which when you figure in your time, might be a good alternative.

Bill
 
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Old 06-03-09, 08:46 PM
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Resolution

Billy and Mark-
Thanks for your comments and ideas. I took some samples to an Antique Restoration guy, and he gave me two options (after making the comment that he thinks it's stain grade wood!).

He took a piece of my stripped wood, and put Oxalic acid on it. Brought it down MUCH lighter, very close to the new maple wood that I've patched in.

His other idea was to go ahead and stain everything that I've stripped, none of the new wood. To then bring in a sample of the stripped wood with the stain on it, and a sample of the new maple. He will then mix a new stain for the new wood that will match the other. I'm told he's one of the best stain mixers around (in the area).

I think we're going to go with the latter, although we may use the acid to bleach a couple of the really dark areas of the old wood.

I do have two other questions that one of you might help me with...this was my first time stripping, and there are a couple of places that I sanded a little too far...through the veneer, showing the lovely green poplar below. I know on chipped areas that you can cut out a square and put in a veneer, the thought of that makes me a bit nervous. Any other ideas?

Also, it's been many moons since I've used wood filler. (I remember in wood shop our teaching showing us how you can take wood glue, and mix it with the sawdust...don't think that would be the route to go with stain!) Anyway, I have some nail holes from my gun, and a couple of gaps that I need to fill. Should I use (a neutral) wood filler before staining, or stain and then find the best match for the color we've used?

Thanks again, guys. I'm finally really psyched and moving full speed ahead, I was spinning my wheels trying to make a decision before...my wife was about to strangle me! I guess being anal can be a curse at times.

Brent
If I could attach pics, I'd show you what I'm working with!
 
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Old 06-04-09, 04:32 AM
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pics can be posted by going thru a site like Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket

I don't know if there is any viable alternative other than replacing the veneer where you sanded thru it. There are different ways to patch it but none that will accept stain well [or match]

I always wait until after the 1st coat of poly/varnish is applied before filling the nail heads or cracks. I use colored putty. It's usually best to have a minimum of 2 different [colors] jars of putty. You want dark putty for the dark parts of the wood and lighter for the light areas, maybe even a mixture so all the puttied areas disappear. The problem with using sawdust and glue is it doesn't always stain well.
 
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Old 06-08-09, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post

I always wait until after the 1st coat of poly/varnish is applied before filling the nail heads or cracks. I use colored putty. It's usually best to have a minimum of 2 different [colors] jars of putty. You want dark putty for the dark parts of the wood and lighter for the light areas, maybe even a mixture so all the puttied areas disappear. The problem with using sawdust and glue is it doesn't always stain well.
Ditto Dat...................
 
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Old 06-08-09, 08:26 AM
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Poly

Out of curiosity, why do you sand between coats of polyurethane?

We ended up going natural...we got frustrated because we couldn't find a color we liked, and the differences in the two wood shades. Believe it or not, it looks awesome.

The only area that I had to use new wood in was for a cabinet header/soffit. We were told that the wood was maple, so I bought a sheet of A grade maple for the header. There is NO grain to it, all of the other/old has grain. So we're going to paint the header the same color as the walls.

It's turning out SO much better than I expected.
Thanks again for the input.
Brent
 
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Old 06-08-09, 10:50 AM
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#1 - sanding between coats promotes better adhesion
#2 - sanding between coats gives a slicker finish. Will also help to remove any brush marks left in the poly
 
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Old 06-08-09, 01:32 PM
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Poly

Gotcha. I was doing some reading, and some people recommend sanding, others steel wool. I was planning on sanding, and bought 220 grit. Sounds a little rough after I read about people using 500-600 grits!

I have the first coat on, so not sure what grit to use.

Hey, I realize that they put "apply in a well ventilated area" for a good reason. Sheeeesh. I guess I'd call it a nauseous buzz!

Thanks for the hand-holding!
Brent
 
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Old 06-08-09, 04:30 PM
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IMO anything over 220 grit is over kill.... unless your painting a car.

I usually use 120-150 grit after the 1st coat of poly and 180-220 after the 2nd. Don't forget to wipe off the sanding dust before applying the next coat of poly.
 
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