Wood that compliments Oak doors & trim

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Forum topic by Keith Kelly posted 02-11-2015 02:54 PM 707 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Keith Kelly

215 posts in 1081 days

02-11-2015 02:54 PM

Our house has nice solid oak doors and trim, as well as oak cabinets. I am “oaked out” but I appreciate it and won’t paint it. However I don’t really want to add more oak.

I have some built-in bookcases in the planning stages. Question is: which wood? I’d like to pick a secondary prominent wood type that I can use for built ins and things that are attached to the house. (For other furniture, a mix of whatever unmatching wood is fine, but for the permanent stuff I’d like to keep it somewhat tame for home resale value)

At this point I am thinking Mahogany. What have you seen go well with oak?

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri,

5 replies so far

View LiveEdge's profile


476 posts in 1037 days

#1 posted 02-11-2015 04:15 PM

I would think from an aesthetic point of view you could go with a wood that has a muted grain. Oak’s grain is so strong that contrasting it with another strong grain would be sort of like wearing checks and stripes.

Mahogany would fit that. Cherry would also.

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Keith Kelly

215 posts in 1081 days

#2 posted 02-11-2015 04:26 PM

Good point on the grain. I have some cherry, so I’ll have to give that a try. I love cherry, but am concerned about lack of contrast between cherry & oak.

Also, I have a whole bunch of Walnut (Claro I think) so I’ll give that a try too. The grain isn’t as muted as Cherry, but it’s definitely far different and more muted than Oak in a way that will probably do well.

Of course, I also have tons of oak, so maybe I could get over my pride and just dye it in a way that adds a secondary darker color to the house, without filling the pores with too much pigment. Or maybe I just get over it and do natural oak…?

Thanks for the tips.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri,

View pintodeluxe's profile


4824 posts in 2230 days

#3 posted 02-11-2015 04:45 PM

Have you considered rift sawn oak? It really looks nothing like the typical flatsawn oak commonly available. When stained to match it compliments the surroundings very well, and it is absolutely beautiful. Also, white oak is an option, either rift of quartersawn.

Cherry is fine. We have a sons bedroom furnished with cherry and white oak pieces. They are stained to match, and look really good together. If you get black cherry, it will darken significantly over time.

I don’t like mahogany and oak together. You can’t stain mahogany to look like anything else, it always has that distinctive look. The only luck I have had with matching mahogany to oak is by using a pre-stain conditioner.

Good luck.

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

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Keith Kelly

215 posts in 1081 days

#4 posted 02-11-2015 07:16 PM

I haven’t thought of riftsawn. The rails & stiles of our interior 6-panel doors are all rift sawn (with flat sawn panels), so I see what you’re saying.

Really, if anything needs staining, I’ll probably just use oak :)

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri,

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1720 posts in 1386 days

#5 posted 02-11-2015 07:22 PM

Walnut and red oak is one of my favorite combinations. That would look really nice in doors and trim

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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