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Wood stain challenge

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  • Wood stain challenge

    I'm sanding and refinishing a small patch of standard strip red oak flooring.
    The room hasn't been refinished in 40 years, so the small area of fresh sand/poly is going to stick out like a sore thumb.
    Does anyone know of a specific brand and color of wood stain that mimics the look of aged oak, so this fresh patch will blend in better?

  • #2
    Re: Wood stain challenge

    40 years, might as well refinish the whole floor. There are a lot of stain manufacturers and each has several Oak stains, Nearly impossible to match your old finish unless you can pull up an original board and take it with you for comparison.
    info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

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    • #3
      Re: Wood stain challenge

      I went over a floor that was older than that and it had bare spots etc. I used a product called Gym-seal (used by schools) Worked great. Check with your local school custodian

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      • #4
        Re: Wood stain challenge

        I think it's nearly impossible to recommend something to match your floor sight unseen. There's almost infinite variations of stains... and on top of the multitudes of stains, the wood itself has a lot of variation - red oak more than most - and the age and exposure to light has certainly affected it.

        On top of that I've had very poor luck matching pre-made stains to existing work. But, I've had very good luck mixing stains to match. Minwax in particular is very easy to mix and match. For a small area, that's what I would try. Experiment on samples of red oak, of course. Once you get the tone close, you can use "natural" (number 209, if I recall correctly) to lighten it up if needed. It's oil based, so let it dry real well before applying the clear.

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        • #5
          Re: Wood stain challenge

          I've never had good luck blending new poly into old. There's going to be lap marks. I would opt for refinishing the entire floor so it matches unless there is a good reason why you can't refinish the entire floor. Otherwise guaranteed it's gonna look like a patch job.

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          • #6
            Re: Wood stain challenge

            Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
            I think it's nearly impossible to recommend something to match your floor sight unseen. There's almost infinite variations of stains... and on top of the multitudes of stains, the wood itself has a lot of variation - red oak more than most - and the age and exposure to light has certainly affected it.

            On top of that I've had very poor luck matching pre-made stains to existing work. But, I've had very good luck mixing stains to match. Minwax in particular is very easy to mix and match. For a small area, that's what I would try. Experiment on samples of red oak, of course. Once you get the tone close, you can use "natural" (number 209, if I recall correctly) to lighten it up if needed. It's oil based, so let it dry real well before applying the clear.
            As I understand it, there's even more at play then just the tone of the stain, such as the type of stain, or even if a stain was used (maybe just a penetrating oil).

            Water based and oil based stains of the same supposed colour can differ in tone (although I'm told water based isn't often used on floors... but I know people that've done it). Stains and Dye's will differ in appearance (are dyes ever used in a floor application?).

            The top coat can change the appearance of the stain (yellowing/ambering, etc).

            Sometimes the grain is filled (esp. on red oak).

            I totally agree you're only hope is going to be in custom mixing, but I think you'll still be able to tell the difference in areas... just maybe not as much as if using an off-the-shelf mix.

            For whatever reason, I generally find it easier to match lighter colours... I figure the stains likely have less pigmentation and are that much closer to the woods original colour.

            --Jeff

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            • #7
              Re: Wood stain challenge

              Thanks for all the input.
              It's an investment property, so I don't want to put the time into doing the whole place. And the majority of the floors look great, just a few small spots that need attention.
              I know that the refinished areas will be noticeable, I just don't want them eye-catching.
              Since I'm sure this same thing has been done a million times, I was hoping that some manufacturer made "aged oak" or some generic color like that, but apparently not.
              Looks like I'll be playing alchemist.

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              • #8
                Re: Wood stain challenge

                If you can take a piece of the flooring up that has a good finish on it and take it to a local Sherwin-Williams store, they can usually to a good job of matching the old stain. A furniture company put me on to them for this very pupose a few years ago.

                Big G

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                • #9
                  Re: Wood stain challenge

                  I got lucky and found a near-perfect match on the first try.
                  Minwax "Golden Oak" matches so well that it must be formulated for this exact use.

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