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  • oak finish is too red

    I am having a built in bookshelf modified and the finish on the new oak is way too red compared to the old oak, which was never red to start with. I don't know if the elderly carpenter who is doing the work will be willing to redo it. He used one of the stain and finish products for the first time on this project. He matched oak for me before using the regular stain and it matched quite well. Help! I'm not very experienced at finishing and refinishing wood, but I will tackle this if I have to. (Carpenters/painters in this neck of the woods are few and far between.) Any tips would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: oak finish is too red

    IN the simple if the stain penetrated the wood to any depth your probably best to decide to live with it,

    If it is in the finish, and the finish can be striped off, then you may have some luck to repair the "damage".

    If the conversation was such that it was agreed to using a diffrnet product, and he did a switcheroo, on you then, some one has a problem, if nothing was totally agreed up on then more than likely you need to like red more.

    the simple of the situation no one is going to like the out come, and some one is going to lose money more than likely.

    stripping and getting down to original wood (especially to accept a stain properly after a finish has been on it is not easly), If it modern veneered sheet goods then very little sanding can be done.

    Depending on the difficulty of the piece, rebuilding may be the easiest option. striping and scraping and sanding is very time consuming, any old finish left in a crevice or corner, will show up like a search light in the new stain,

    the other option I could see is to use the "new" finish to re coat the rest of the bookshelves, and see if you can match the "old" to the "new". do on a unseen surface first, or some thing that was tore out, to test on. (DO not make it a bigger mess).
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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    • #3
      Re: oak finish is too red

      Over the years I have become something of alchemist when it comes to stains and wood finishs. I once worked six months to match a stain to a sample cabinet my wife found at HD, I finally got it perfect.

      Before you do anything get a piece of the wood used in the project and stain it with the product that was used. Let them completely dry. Do they look the same? If they do, you have your starting point.

      Now cut the sample into many pieces. Using various solvents see if you can remove the stain. Some solvents (alcohol, paint thinner, actetone, lacquer thinner, MEK, Naphatha and finally try a little clorine bleach) will remove some stains. I have managed at one time or another to remove most color stains from wood. Although it probably would have been easier and cheaper to just rebuild the project in some attempts.

      Don't mix the solvent chemicals!!!!!

      Two things don't expect total removal, open pores in the wood make it impossible to get all the color off in most cases. Make sure you do this with proper protection (rubber gloves and mask). If any of these lighten the color it may be enough to try recover from there. Also let the wood completely dry 48 hours or longer before you try to stain it again.

      If the chemicals don't work, you can try to sand the stain off. Careful here you can make bigger problems real fast doing this.

      In any case once you lighten the existing color stain, using the samples try to achieve your color match using various stains and oils. If I could lighten the existing stain enough I would first try a rubbing oil first. Watco and Minwax both make tinted rubbing oils that are the easiest to use for color matching. Repeat coats build color and darkness. Again take your time and let the product completely dry between coats 24-48 hours.

      If that doesn't work try various stains, Minwax makes a wide assortment of colors that you can mix or match to produce the color match you are looking for. Again repeat coats build color and darkness. Again remember to dry completely between coats.

      If all else fails coat a sample of the wood with shellac and try to color over it. The shellac will seal the old stain and wood pores Make sure the shellac is totally dry before you try to stain over it. You can also try mixing a small amount of stain into the shellac to see if you can match the color. Use DEWAXED shellac, a common market product is sold by Lowes and HD as Bullseye primer shellac.

      Lastly you can try wood dyes but frankly that requires time, patience and experience. Once the dye is on you will probably have to sand it to get it off. Wood dyes act like their name the dye the wood and once it dyed it is dyed.

      Remember you can mix stains, dyes and oils but don't mix solvents! Also remember to let the wood, the stains and oils dry between coats unless the instructions on the product tell you otherwise let the product dry at least 24 hours before you recoat or do to the next step. I have found that proper drying made the biggest difference between success and failure in finishing wood. Best to you.
      Rev Ed

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