Plywood/Stain combo to simulate Padauk???

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Forum topic by JayinChicago posted 05-14-2014 10:17 PM 1302 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JayinChicago's profile


5 posts in 1499 days

05-14-2014 10:17 PM

I’m building out a wine cellar using Padauk for the racking (wanted something a bit more exotic and unusual), but I need to build a couple of cabinet/case type racks and I’m not sure if the solid wood route is the way to go (cost of materials, plus wood movement is a bit of a concern). I can build the cases out of plywood and edge band them with strips of Padauk, but I’m having a tough time finding a stain/wood combo that will match the red/orange look of the natural Padauk.

I don’t need an exact match because the areas I need to stain are primarily the inside of the cabinet and the shelf surfaces, but I’d like to get it pretty close. At this point I’ve just been experimenting with birch plywood and the big box Minwax line of stains, and I’m not that familiar with other options that might be out there.

Here’s the first rack I built that gives you an idea of the color I’m looking to match…...

6 replies so far

View Hammerthumb's profile


2853 posts in 2001 days

#1 posted 05-14-2014 10:21 PM

You might want to take a look at some water soluble dyes like Tran-Tint. I don’t think you’ll get close to that color with stains.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2624 days

#2 posted 05-14-2014 10:28 PM

It will be a moving target too, as Padauk tends to lose some of its red color over time. For cost, a maple or birch ply would be the cheapest. Although I imagine one could buy paduak veneer sheets. But it would be spendy.

View PtboJim's profile


10 posts in 2125 days

#3 posted 05-14-2014 10:28 PM

That is tough one! Padauk, as your picture shows, when freshly milled has that “Doritos” corn chip color. Over time it will darken to a rich warm brown even with little or no exposure to light. Personally I would stain the ply casework a mid to light brown and let the Paduak be the star atraction.
Apologies in advance for not being much help.

-- "Everything should be made as simple as possible...but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3005 days

#4 posted 05-14-2014 10:40 PM

I have had real good luck with this stain. I would also look for some mahogany ply or veneer. Maybe Jim is on to somthing by just going a completly different color. Nice looking project.
Best wishes

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View JayinChicago's profile


5 posts in 1499 days

#5 posted 05-14-2014 10:53 PM

Thanks everyone! The “moving target” aspect of the Padauk doesn’t seem to be as big of a problem with this one because the racks are in a room that’s essentially hermitically sealed, and is in 100% darkness except for the minute or two we’re down there pulling a bottle. The first rack has been in for almost a year and hasn’t changed much at all. In fact just out of curiosity I cut a piece of scrap and the “aged” wood rack was almost the same color as the fresh cut piece.

I thought about veneer, but that’s something I’ve never done, and the cost could really add up based on the pricing I’m seeing on the veneer sheets online.

I think I’ll give the dyes a try, looks like Rockler has a couple of different options and the guys at my local store have actually been fairly helpful in the past. I think I only have to build two case type racks that will require the staining, so if the rest of the room are the solid Padauk racks, I doubt the slight color different in the plywood pieces will be too noticeable, especially when they’re edge banded with solid Padauk anyway.

View AandCstyle's profile


3075 posts in 2283 days

#6 posted 05-14-2014 10:58 PM

As Paul suggested, take a look at the colors of the TransTint dyes, you can mix them with each other to get the color you want. I might start with equal parts of brown mahogany and red mahogany diluted and go from there.

-- Art

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