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Unread 12-30-2016, 09:39 AM   #1
netrate
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trying to match a stain to floor...any suggestions?

I have this flooring :

here :
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.a...000743480.html

better image here:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/241224123763482334/

I have a set of treads and risers that are 1/8 inch oak veneer (over particle board).

https://www.lowes.ca/interior-stair-..._g1374129.html

I am trying to stain the treads and risers to be close in colour to the laminate flooring:

1) I do realise that the laminate is artificial and coloured in layers AND I will never get it perfect.

2) I have tried Varathane's Early American & American Walnut - both look so-so in artifical light but really off in the day light.

3) Using scraps when I cut the treads, I tested out multiple coats of stain, but since it is only 1/8 oak veneer, multiple coats of stain does not seem to change much.

Does anyone, from looking at the pictures, have another idea of what stain to choose? Unfortunately, when going to Home Depot - they are eye-balling it as well and the paint people (although knowledgeable in paint) might not be as used to working with stains.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Unread 12-30-2016, 10:02 AM   #2
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It's really a trial and error process. You just have to try several different stains from different manufacturers until you get one close. You can also mix them from the same brands, as long as you write down the ratios of what you are mixing. Also, another important point is that the laminate has a sheen to it, so you have to apply the clear finish you plan to use to the oak you stained. The clear finish can really change the look, so that is a very important step.

Of course you also realize that the grain of the oak is going to be different than the laminate, even if you get the color right.
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Unread 12-30-2016, 10:12 AM   #3
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yeah I have tried a bunch of different stains at this point - I was hoping someone might say "yeah, that look like the stain xxxx"

The hard part for me is I have run out of pieces of wood to test!
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Unread 12-30-2016, 10:19 AM   #4
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Take a piece of your laminate to a real paint store, David. They should have at least one person on staff who can match a stain for you. It's as much art as science. And you'll need a sample of the stair tread for them to work with, too. If you hafta buy another tread to provide that, it's a bullet you'll need to bite.

In the alternative, go to your tool trailer and get your five-gallon bucket full of them little bitty cans of stains and start mixing 'till you get something you like. Do keep track of the proportions, though, or you'll be even more frustrated when you hit the perfect color and don't know how you got it.
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Unread 12-30-2016, 12:42 PM   #5
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What CX said. Sherwin-Williams stores around here deal with industry as well as consumers so will likely have some experience matching stain. I frequently do similar, but use a wholesale only supplier.
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Unread 12-30-2016, 01:47 PM   #6
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First off, thank you for the advice. I am not disregarding any of it, but I am giving a bit more background in this post, which I probably should have done from the start.

As usual, this is a project that has been ongoing for months and I am just getting my nerve back to tackling it.
  • Well, after Homedepot (and buying 4 different stains to test), I did go to Sherwin Williams and they said they could mix something with no guarantees of the colour ($30.00 + tax later). I did not take them up on the offer.
  • I then went to Benjamin Moore and the girl working the counter told me that they don't stain match.
  • The treads and risers are $25.00 a pair, so I am a bit reluctant (bite the bullet) to get a set just for stain testing - although I might have no choice in the matter).

I know I either have to find a way to get 1/8 red oak veneer from somewhere to test or buy a new tread/stair and go for it. Why does everything always come down to money?
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Unread 12-31-2016, 10:22 AM   #7
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If you need more scraps to try out stains, sand off the stained wood you don't want with a belt sander, or plane it off.
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Unread 01-01-2017, 01:52 AM   #8
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That's a fairly dark stain. Most box store stains won't have enough pigment and/or dye to stain red oak to that dark of a color.

I second and third the suggestion of Sherwin Williams color matching. I have never been charged $30 to do a match. If there's a second store in your city, try that one to see if they'll perform a match without the extra charge.

And while I'd ideally use a scrap of the exact wood to make a match, red oak is one of the more homogenous woods to take a stain evenly. As long as another sample of wood had approximately the same amount of early wood and late wood (the light and dark parts that make up the contrasting stripes), I'd have no problem giving them a chunk of wood other than your "tread scraps". While thin veneer (typically 1/40th of an inch or less) will stain differently than solid wood, your 1/8" thick veneer is thick enough where it will stain identically to 3/4" solid oak.

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Unread 01-06-2017, 10:44 AM   #9
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Well the stain is a mixture of three different colours and is OK in artificial light but off in natural light so....I will live with it.
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Unread 01-06-2017, 10:48 AM   #10
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Clear coat

I have to clear coat the stairs(risers and treads) I have some questions

1) should I use matte or satin finish? I was thinking Matte is better because as people walk on it I won't get some shiny spot where they have not worn down the finish, but im guessing that matte clear coat isn't as durable either. What would be the best way forward for heavy traffic stairs?

2) should I spray or brush the clear coat? It is stairs so I'm not sure it matters about smoothness.

3) not sure I should use water or oil based clear coat because oil based I heard leaves the wood amber. But will this be the case if something is already stained or just on natural coloured wood that the amber colour shows up with oil based clear coats?
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Unread 01-07-2017, 10:05 AM   #11
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I went with the water based stuff that is non-yellowing. I hope it turns out.
I also read you are supposed to sand it if left for 24 hours between coats - I wonder why?
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Unread 01-07-2017, 10:46 AM   #12
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Water based finishes don't "burn-in" to prior coats like solvent based. Thus they require a mechanical bond. This is facilitated by abrading the surface.

They can have a very hard surface, but touch-up can be a booger because of this property. The ambering of solvent based finishes actually enhances the look of wood in many cases. It imparts a warmth that most water based finishes can't.

I'd try a sample first to make sure it's what you want.
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Unread 01-07-2017, 01:43 PM   #13
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Yep, either add the next coat within the waterbourne finish's directions, or sand it to get the mechanical bond like Peter said.

The amber of oil based is nice and surely imparts warmth. But you need to plan for that if you're color matching due to the extra color. You thought color matching was hard...wait till you add amber finish that you forgot to account for.

When I am putting on multiple coats of waterbourne clear, I'll use gloss for all but the very last coat. The last coat will be the desired sheen of: gloss, semi-gloss, or matte. This method allows for the clearest build up of finish, as gloss is the crystal-clearest finish to see through. Contrary, if you were to apply 4 coats of matte finish, you'd end up with precisely the same matte sheen, but the clarity through the finish would be less.

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Unread 01-08-2017, 10:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tool Guy
Yep, either add the next coat within the waterbourne finish's directions, or sand it to get the mechanical bond like Peter said.

The amber of oil based is nice and surely imparts warmth. But you need to plan for that if you're color matching due to the extra color. You thought color matching was hard...wait till you add amber finish that you forgot to account for.

When I am putting on multiple coats of waterbourne clear, I'll use gloss for all but the very last coat. The last coat will be the desired sheen of: gloss, semi-gloss, or matte. This method allows for the clearest build up of finish, as gloss is the crystal-clearest finish to see through. Contrary, if you were to apply 4 coats of matte finish, you'd end up with precisely the same matte sheen, but the clarity through the finish would be less.

Clear finish adding extra color: That's why I mentioned this in post #2. When color matching, the clear finish needs to be taken into account as well.

If you need to sand in between coats, it only needs to be very light. 220-320 grit with a light touch is good for this. You don't want to sand through the coat. Unless it is shellac based, it won't "burn in", so an oil based finish would require sanding as well.

Multiple coats of matt can cloud finish: I've read a lot of discussion on this, and it has been determined to be mostly a myth. The few coats of matte finish we are talking about won't cloud the finish. Now maybe if it was 1/2" thick...
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Unread 01-08-2017, 10:02 PM   #15
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I found the multiple coats of matte finish problem from personal experience. If you haven't, that's good to hear. It wasn't cloudy. Just not clear.

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