Staining help

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Forum topic by FrogpondWoodworks posted 07-30-2013 01:35 PM 1455 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FrogpondWoodworks's profile


39 posts in 1812 days

07-30-2013 01:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing staining stain question ash oak

I have no finishing experience except what I’m working on right now. So as to staining wood. Does/should the wood get darker with more coats? Using Minwax to match a piece of flooring to existing hardwood flooring. Took sample pieces to the store and got a couple of small cans that matched the closest but when I stained my sample piece none of the stains really come close to matching. The wood is white oak, sanded and scraped.

So far I’ve used Dark Walnut, Ebony(accent pieces around the door), and Ipswitch Pine. My hardwood floor was titled Gunstock in Ash wood. Thinking of mixing the Dark Walnut and Ipswitch Pine together and trying that next.

And do I need to sand between stain coats? I’ll try to post pictures of my test piece when I get back home.

-- Rich, Kentucky

6 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2355 days

#1 posted 07-30-2013 01:52 PM

Just mix and match until you get the desired shade. Try ZAR brand; it’s better than MinWax.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View fredj's profile


186 posts in 1812 days

#2 posted 07-30-2013 01:56 PM

You don’t need or want to sand between coats of stain. More coats will make it darker, up to a point.

Good luck

-- Fredj

View Hammerthumb's profile


2844 posts in 1969 days

#3 posted 07-30-2013 04:51 PM

I agree with Clint that the Zar brand is better than Minwax. Gunstock is one of the harder colors to match. I recommend taking a sample of the existing flooring to Sherwin Williams or another paint store that will mix stains for you. Make sure you take a sample of the existing flooring and a raw piece of wood that they can use to match the stain to. We have only one Sherwin Williams store in Las Vegas that will do that. I do not recommend putting 2 coats of stain down on flooring. The more stain that is applied, the greater the chance to have adhesion problems with the finish.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View pintodeluxe's profile


5653 posts in 2807 days

#4 posted 07-30-2013 04:59 PM

Well, if you are trying to match stained ash, first and foremost start with ash.
Avoid Minwax stains – they are thin bodied stains high in dye content, and low in suspended solids. Choose a Rodda or Cabot oil based stain. Varathane brand is pretty good too.

Try to pick a color that hits the mark in one coat. Mix compatible stains to vary the color, and make a bunch of test boards. I have also had good luck tweaking stain colors with universal colorants like raw umber, and burnt umber available at any paint store. Sand the test boards just as you will the actual project, then stain. Let the test boards dry overnight, and then topcoat them with your intended finish. A finish looks different once the topcoat goes on.

Good luck.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2684 days

#5 posted 07-31-2013 12:51 AM

MinWax makes a Gunstock stain that I really like on oak and it was a perfect match for some Gunstock stained flooring (but I may have just been lucky).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Henry6's profile


36 posts in 2021 days

#6 posted 11-19-2013 12:37 PM

Seeing as you are mixing stains, why not throw my favorite new brand into the conversation? Has anyone else used Storm System exterior products? It was recommended by a buddy because the products are differentiated by weather and traffic conditions, which I needed. I know they have color stains as well. Hope this helps and best of luck.

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