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Staining and varnishing walnut finials to blend in with existing woodwork

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Forum topic by jayess111 posted 05-28-2012 01:05 AM 1246 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jayess111

5 posts in 1650 days


05-28-2012 01:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut finishing modern question

I’m having two finials made in walnut wood for the newel posts (one of which is circled in red) on this old staircase mainly because of the beautiful grain that walnut has. The wood turner is overseas and can’t stain and varnish the finials as he is not confident he can match it with the existing woodwork.

The colour reproduction in the photo is not so great as I had to use a flash. The actual colours are a shade or two darker; similar to a golden teak (treads and wall-side handrail) and a light almost rosy maple (the rest). The varnish is glossy. The staicase was stained and varnished over 40 years ago and I have no idea what wood or finishing treatments were used.

Does anyone have any idea on how I should finish the finials to get a result that will complement and blend in with the rest of the staicase?

I was thinking about keeping the final colour as light as possible, in the yellow/pink area and finish the finials in a high gloss to accentuate the grain.

I’m a newbie to all of this and in awe of some of the magnificent projects I’ve seen in the forum. Any suggestions from you experts would be greatly appreciated!


4 replies so far

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1747 days


#1 posted 05-28-2012 01:21 AM

I’d think that oak would be a better choice. I’ve never seen walnut that light in color and I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s even possible to make it match in color. I’d use white or red oak if it were me.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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jayess111

5 posts in 1650 days


#2 posted 05-28-2012 01:39 AM

Thanks for the comment!

I have just asked the wood turner to do the job in OAK.

Any suggestions as to what stains, oils or varnishes I should use to blend in the new work?

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1747 days


#3 posted 05-28-2012 01:45 AM

If you take the wood to a good paint store they should be able to match it up. The best way would be to hire a pro finisher in your area though. In fact even the choice of wood could be better if you had a pro look at it first. I suggest oak because it’s a very light color wood and can be darkened to your present wood tone, but lots of other wood could be used as well. It’s hard to see the grain in the picture but if possible use the same kind of wood. I’m sure one of the LJ’s will know what kind it is though.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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willie

533 posts in 1914 days


#4 posted 05-28-2012 01:52 AM

I would just leave it the natural color and use a clear finish. Walnut will get lighter in color as it ages. They may be darker now but eventually they will lighten and get closer to the color of the existing wood on their own. You could try putting them in the sunlight for several weeks and see if that helps.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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