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JIMMIEM

How To Match a Stain Color

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I just finished making a couch tray server.  I had asked about the top flatness in another post.  It's Red Oak.  I would like to match the stain color to the 2 end tables which are also Red Oak.  The end tables were purchased many years ago and I don't remember where we bought them or have any paper work on them.  There is a local paint store that will do a color match for me if I can provide a color sample but it isn't possible to bring one of the end tables there.  The smallest available size that the stain comes in is 1 pint cans and are about $8.  I would have to buy several to do my own trial and error matching.  Is there any other way to do this?  

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Take a photo of the end table and check to see if the photo matches the color of the table. The paint store may be able to make a color match of the photo.

Listening to some designers, if you can't get a perfect match, it will look like you tried to match it. Your better off to go with a contrasting color so it looks more like it was planned.

Edited by It Was Al B

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Maybe you could use a build. That is to start with a color and continue to add colors to build the color you want. Do the build on a story board with initial color to whole board and then divide into sections and add a color to one section then other color to other sections til you get close to what you want . I say close because age will have changed the color slightly from original color and exact may not be in the cards.. When Keith comes along he may be able to give you some colors to start with but will need that photo. Steve Mickley gave me this method to make ply look like aged cherry.

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Gerald, I couldn't do it  your way.................without my wife saying " it needs more of that color or less of that":D         and OF COURSE........she is always right

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Home Depot has 8 oz containers of wood stain for about $5 each.  Some stores also have small packets of sample colors (maybe 1/2 oz) for free.  Keep good notes as you mix!  If you're patient, you can get pretty close. 

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I found little envelopes of stain samples at Lowes that are free. They hold maybe a tea spoon of stain and you can mix all your little heat desires. I used to get them for touchup. They are in the paint section.

 

Herb

Edited by Dadio

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Lots of good options.  Thank You for your ideas.

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On 5/12/2018 at 9:49 PM, Gerald said:

Maybe you could use a build. That is to start with a color and continue to add colors to build the color you want. Do the build on a story board with initial color to whole board and then divide into sections and add a color to one section then other color to other sections til you get close to what you want . I say close because age will have changed the color slightly from original color and exact may not be in the cards.. When Keith comes along he may be able to give you some colors to start with but will need that photo. Steve Mickley gave me this method to make ply look like aged cherry.

Gerald has good advice.  It's almost impossible to get a 100% color match on the first shot.  A bit of color theory (knowing how to neutralize colors that are veering off course) and experience are best.  Sample boards help a lot, but do them all the way through the finish.  It will look a lot different if you use a colorless than an amber finish.  You can layer colors with applications of additional stain,glazes, or toners.

 

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I tried some small containers of Minwax oil based stain.  Picked them by comparing the color chart to the piece I'm trying to match.  Based on what one of them looked like when I applied it to some wood It was way off from the color chart.  This could be a real guessing game.  I tested a Natural color stain and my wife liked the way it looked.  I defer her when it comes to decorating so that may be the way to go.  At least I have a starting point.

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4 hours ago, JIMMIEM said:

I tried some small containers of Minwax oil based stain.  Picked them by comparing the color chart to the piece I'm trying to match.  Based on what one of them looked like when I applied it to some wood It was way off from the color chart.  This could be a real guessing game.  I tested a Natural color stain and my wife liked the way it looked.  I defer her when it comes to decorating so that may be the way to go.  At least I have a starting point.

It has always been my impression is that the "Natural" stains are simply the binder (oil or varnish) and thinner, without any colorant.  Use for diluting colored stains or creating your own stain by adding colors like dyes or UTC pigments.  But I'm about to post a TGIF on this topic.

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On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 9:49 PM, Gerald said:

Maybe you could use a build. That is to start with a color and continue to add colors to build the color you want. Do the build on a story board with initial color to whole board and then divide into sections and add a color to one section then other color to other sections til you get close to what you want . I say close because age will have changed the color slightly from original color and exact may not be in the cards.. When Keith comes along he may be able to give you some colors to start with but will need that photo. Steve Mickley gave me this method to make ply look like aged cherry.

Build question.  The Minwax can say that to deepen the stain to re-stain in 4 to 6 hours.  Is this so that the first application has not had time to dry completely and possibly sealed the wood?  What happens if you wait for more than the 4 to 6 hour time period....say 24 hours?  When doing a 'build' process what is it wait time between applications?

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Excess time will not change the color or results. Too little time "may" cause the second layer to remove some of the first since the wipe just moves the stain around on wood or into rag. Just my thoughts have had frustrations with stain so I prefer dye. Also layering different stain using a gel gets quicker results.

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