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The Duke
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I should know better because I am a novice at best when it comes to matching stain. This is just a really small job, it's a 3' Cherry support post in the kitchen.

The kitchen is 10+ years old according to the HO and the cherry cabinets have darkened considerably. I took my best novice attempt and went to (sigh) HD and picked up the obligatory Minwax Cherry stain and didn't even come close to matching it. I let it dry and put 2nd coat on the test piece and now it looks spotchy compared to her cabinets and now new damn cherry seats.

I know....get someone who knows what to do.

I'm hoping you guys take it easy on me and tell me how to avoid the splotching first, then how to match it up. Aniline dye? Better stain?
 

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It might be natural, sand down, use a pre stain conditioner, that will prevent the blotch. Do you have some sample pieces of the cherry to work with?. Matching stain is not something that works like an exact science. G

PS, there is nothing wrong with minwax for the job you are describing, often a combination of stain colors are required to match an old job.
 

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The Duke
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I'm certainly educating myself and it's about time too. I want to start doing some higher end stuff soon.

This is what I have done with the recommendation from Gene & Metro. I went back to HD and got some pre stain conditioner from Minwax and you're right Gene, there's nothing wrong with that.

I am assuming pre stain conditioner is thinned linseed oil since that's what it smelled like to me. Not sure though. Oddly enough, the splotching got worse for reasons I assume were on my end. So frustration led me to YouTube where I found some guy named the wood whisperer lol.

This is the video I watched from him

His recommendation was 1 lb cut of shellac first, then gel stain. So, back to HD I went! I'm getting stocked up at least. All my profits are gone so let's go all out!

And I tried that with some better results, but not great. I had sectioned off 3 parts of my test piece with decent results, but not yet there. So i went one step further and this is where I'm at.

I took my test piece, planed it clear of the previous finishes. I sanded it with 150 since it's all I had. 1 layer uncut Bullseye shellac, waited an hour, then sanded smooth with a ROS, 150 grit. Put 2nd coat uncut shellac let stand overnight. Hand sanded with 150. Grabbed Minwax gel stain Mahogany color.

Proud father of a successful stain job. I think I'm going to like looking into finishes for my little projects.

Soon onto the final finish.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Don't bother with the pre-conditioner minwax sells. They have a stain called natural,stain it with that and let it dry, then stain it with the cherry stain. Getting the patina that the original cherry has is not an easy thing to accomplish.

You can go with the wash coat using the shellac, but that will make the stain lighter.
 

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I am surprised that the sealing with 2 coats of shellac and then staining with get stain worked. The wood should be so solidly sealed and even have film build so the stain will be functioning as a glaze and not take into the wood at all. All the figure and character from the cherry grain I think would be lost.

A dye spray only stain would work in this case.
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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Is the post solid wood or a veneer panel wrap?

Solid cherry will darken A LOT. You may not have to stain it at all.

The veneers usually don't go quite as dark, so if you're matching it to solid parts it may require some color.

You are correct that most conditioners are just thinned linseed oil. I usually just buy a can of that, and cut it with mineral spirits myself to make a conditioner. Take some care though, the more oil you use the harder time you'll have getting it dark.

Matching cherry takes some finesse, especially with fillers and putties (nail holes, etc.). Many carpenters make the mistake of puttying to the color of the wood at installation. A year later it looks absolutely hideous when the wood goes dark and the putty doesn't. My attorney's foyer is all paneled cherry that was pre-finished natural--and then puttied by the carpenters after installation. It looks just awful now--you can see every nail hole as a contrasting dot of lighter color.

The cherry in this bath was installed almost a year ago, and finished natural:



You can see the solid jambs and casing parts have deepened in color much more than the veneers on the vanity. The jambs were attached without exposed fasteners--but for the casings and baseboards we didn't putty the nail holes at the time we installed them--knowing they would be going darker.
 

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I should know better because I am a novice at best when it comes to matching stain. This is just a really small job, it's a 3' Cherry support post in the kitchen.

The kitchen is 10+ years old according to the HO and the cherry cabinets have darkened considerably. I took my best novice attempt and went to (sigh) HD and picked up the obligatory Minwax Cherry stain and didn't even come close to matching it. I let it dry and put 2nd coat on the test piece and now it looks spotchy compared to her cabinets and now new damn cherry seats.

I know....get someone who knows what to do.

I'm hoping you guys take it easy on me and tell me how to avoid the splotching first, then how to match it up. Aniline dye? Better stain?
Next time substitute Alder for that Cherry. :whistling
 

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Carpe Diem
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The darkening process accelerates quicker in sunlight. I take that into consideration when selling cherry cabinets in a kitchen, especially if the room sees a lot of direct sunlight in one area more than others.
 

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The Duke
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am surprised that the sealing with 2 coats of shellac and then staining with get stain worked. The wood should be so solidly sealed and even have film build so the stain will be functioning as a glaze and not take into the wood at all. All the figure and character from the cherry grain I think would be lost.

A dye spray only stain would work in this case.
This is what I have. Maybe it's less than stellar. I thought it looked nice.

I did not thin the shellac, but I sanded in between coats. I did about the same amount of application as this guy in the video. The second pic shows my raw board to the right. The board to the left has the 2 coat shellac on top, and the gel stain on bottom.

Sorry for the crappy iPhone pics.




 

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cherry

If it gets what you are looking for, that is all that matters. Just surprised me that you could seal with out of the can shellac and two coats and still get the color you wanted. Seeing the color of the sample though, it looks like a very light stain, almost to matched aged cherry without any stain.

It looks good from the picture.
 

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The Duke
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is the small stick what you're trying to match?
No that's just some leftover from a job a few years back.

This is the best picture I have which really doesn't come close to representing it. iPhone camera is not that good inside. The hood vent I'd say is about what I'm trying to match which it looks like I'm close.

 

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The Duke
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just wanted to post the final picture to show how close I got the cherry finish. See the 1/4 round at the base of the post? That is newly milled, but the exact same as the post. The post is about 2 weeks old and you can see the difference already in the color. The quarter round will catch up to it. Right now, it looks like a neon sign.

 

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Just wanted to post the final picture to show how close I got the cherry finish. See the 1/4 round at the base of the post? That is newly milled, but the exact same as the post. The post is about 2 weeks old and you can see the difference already in the color. The quarter round will catch up to it. Right now, it looks like a neon sign.

Looks good Duke :thumbsup:
 

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It's it fun to do that? Especially when you hit the color right.

I just spent 7 1/2 hours adjusting a color for some drawer fronts and doors so they would match a sample I made for a client from some old stain. What a pain, but I got it.
 

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I'm waking up an old thread, since my question is a variation on the original question. I hope that's OK procedure.

We're making some cherry shelving for a customer who wants the color to be in the same color area, not necessary to be an exact match, as his cherry antiques, which are dark - well into the mahogany area.

I'd like to have it done in the shop rather than sub it out. I plan to have it all sprayed. My preference would be:
1) SealCoat
2) Color coat
3) Clear coat - preferably waterbased poly. We'll shoot one coat of gloss then probably a coat of satin to bring the finish down. We can shoot a catalyzed finish, but I'd rather not - it requires significantly more (expensive) shop setup, teardown, and cleanup.

The question is what can we use for the color coat? Not the color, but a product recommendation. I'd like it to be one coat. I understand we'll lose grain clarity, but that's acceptable. Again, it will be sprayed.

We'll have enough experimenting and sampling to get the color right - I'd really appreciate specific advice about products, so we can eliminate the product part of the experimentation.

Thanks,

Bob
 
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