stain over stain?

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Forum topic by Carol2009 posted 10-13-2009 06:52 PM 1301 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 3173 days

10-13-2009 06:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have stripped the sealer/finish off an oak florescent light cover. The wood was previously stained with a light to medium tone stain – looks like it may be honey color. The longer the wood dries after stripping the lighter it seems to be getting.

My kitchen cabinets are finished darker (more medium or a bit darker than medium) so I would like to stain the wood to match. Now that the finish is off can I stain over the previous stain or do I need to sand it right down? As far as mixing one stain over top of another can that lead to severe discoloration like turning green or something weird like that?

I would also like to fasten a hinge to the piece that covers the lights so its easier for changing bulbs but not sure which hardware would be best for this – think a piano hinge might work but am concerned there would be a gap around the other sides where the hinge is not fastened. Also might need clasps/latches or something to keep the panel from opening? Any ideas?

Thanks for your time, Carol

6 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 10-13-2009 07:27 PM

I would clean what you have stripped off with naphtha and put a coat of shellac on as a sealer and then re coat with stain but better yet dye mixed thinly so that you can keep adding more coats until it is the right color. all this is best done when sprayed other than the naphtha. You can buy stains and unwaxed shellac in spray cans. The piano hinge sounds like it will work an perhaps one or two magnetic latches for the latching side of the cover.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kjuly's profile


308 posts in 3311 days

#2 posted 10-13-2009 07:30 PM

Hi Carol,
The short answer is yes and it is easier to refinish something and go darker than it is to go lighter. If you have removed the old finish then I would not be concerned with the new finish changing color or causing any discoloration. It is always a good idea to do a test somewhere that would not be seen. Another suggestion would be to put a seal coat of shellac or linseed oil and apply the stain over that. One caution about a seal coat is that it does not take the stain as well as raw wood so you may have to select a stain that is a little darker or you may have to apply more than one coat of stain.
Hope this helps

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4244 days

#3 posted 10-13-2009 07:31 PM

I don’t think stain over stain will create any problems. The only difficulty will be achieving the color you want. If there are any inconspicuous areas you can experiment on, that would be the way to go.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4016 days

#4 posted 10-13-2009 07:32 PM

Stain soaks down into the wood pores so all the sanding in the world will only reduce your project. If it’s made up of veneer, this can be quite bad. Once the topcoat sealer (polyurethane, shellac, etc.) is gone, you can stain over stain, but you can only go darker unless you paint. And yes, blue and yellow make green so test your stain in an inconspicuous area first. And don’t forget to post it!

As for changing the plexiglass panel, I’d consider hinging one end of the project and sliding the plexiglass in on rails or into a saw kerf. Depends really on how much space you have between that end and the wall. Most time though, the plexiglass is resting on rails and is removed by lifting it out at an angle. Like placing ceiling tiles, ya know?

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Carol2009's profile


5 posts in 3173 days

#5 posted 10-13-2009 08:20 PM

Wow! thank you for all your quick responses!

Would I find naphtha as a product name on the store shelf? Sorry, never heard of it before.

The oak is fairly heavy so am wondering if magnetic latches might would be strong enough? Like the idea though. Perhaps some side supports (like used to keep lids up) would help keep strain off the hinge when cover is down. I’ve broken a few plexiglass covers in my life time with trying to take them out at an angle so really wanted something easier to deal with.

I’ll make sure to test the stain/shellac on the inside of the wood before doing the entire piece.
Thanks a bunch! Carol

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#6 posted 10-13-2009 08:25 PM

You can find Naphtha at most hardware stores it’s a product not a brand name usually found were the paint thinners are. It’s good for removing any contaminates especially after stripping wood. I totally agree about testing the stains first were it can’t be seen on the frame.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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