Still making slow progress on our kitchen remodel. We've decided we'd
like to have the baseboard and door trim look close to the color of the
cabinets we've ordered. Thought to call the cabinet company to ask for
a recommendation - they offer their own stain in quarts that will match
as close as possible given the cabinets are maple and the trims would be
pine. Sounds great, but the stain is $35 for a quart, about 4 times
the cost of those I passed in the paint aisle in the store. Is it worth
it to purchase from the cabinet manuf. or is there some way to get a
close match buying stain off the shelf, without buying many cans as test
runs? The cabinets are maple, and the stain is called Spice. It looks
like the color of honey to me, although they have a honey stain that
looks more like natural wood to me. If I do go with the manufacturer's
stain, how close would the color match be between maple and pine?
Thanks for any advice.
If you take a cabinet door or other representative stained part to a
paint store they can match the color. Take samples of the pine trim,
too. A good store will show you various results, dried, and let you
pick which you like best.
Note that the cabinets have a finish over the stain which changes the
appearance. For a quick approximation of this on your pine samples,
wipe with water or mineral spirits; or to be nearly certain apply
shellac, lacquer, or varnish and let dry.
If you read up on staining you'll also find the finish changes with
application technique, e.g., thinning or not thinning the stain, how
much it's thinned, how long stain sits before wiping, so you need to
factor technique into your comparisons.
Is the off-the-shelf stain price for pre-mixed or custom? It's
doubtfull you'll find an exact match in pre-mixed, though it may be
close enough - only way to tell is to buy some and try it. Around
these parts custom costs more and stores will only do gallons.
I don't know how much trim you have to do, but stain goes a long way,
so the cabinet maker's $35-a-quart stain may not be a bad deal,
depending on how you want to spend your time.
Just being persnickety here, but pine will never look like maple or
maple like pine unless they have an opaque or nearly opaque finish
Soft woods will take stain faster than harder woods.
Sometimes too fast. not giving enough time prior to wiping.
There are stain controllers that partially seal these soft woods prior
to stain app. giving you more time to work with them.
A asset sometimes to the DIY'er
I'd buy it. Sure you are getting screwed at that price. Look at the
alternatives. You buy three or four cans and find they are close, but not
quite. You already spent $40, drove 75 miles to different stores, and spent
two hours trying stains and it still does not match quite right.
So, in the scheme of a $20,000 or more kitchen remodel, what is the extra
$25 to have what you really want?
Keep in mind, or course, you are staining a different wood than the cabinet
manufacturer and still may get some different results. Experiment a bit.
If the trim and doors are pine, brush on some mineral spirits first to avoid
splotchiness. Or put on a spit coat of shellac for the same thing.
Some do, some don't, some are good, some are not so good. . You take a
chance. Different woods give different results also. Again, in the scheme
of things on a major kitchen remodel, $40 to get the EXACT stain is not such
a bad thing.
Of course, as someone else noted, a hand applied coat of the same stain
on a different wood isn't necessarily going to match or even come real
close depending on the actual finish process being used by the
close depending on the actual finish process being used by the
That's why I'd go to the paint store and get a match. Nothing is ever
going to match the cabinets exactly, so get it close.
Whatever you do, practice <first> to get the desired color and depth
before you start on the "real thing" (or you're likely to be stripping
or painting)... :)
As others noted, pine won't match maple when stained well owing to the
completely different textures between the two despite perhaps a similar
Also, someone else mentioned a pre-coat w/ the idea of longer
working/wiping time...right idea but real reason is to prevent/minimize
the "blotchiness" that is so common w/ pine. I would recomend just
buying a pre-mixed "sanding sealer" as the easiest solution for a
DIY'er. Also, you'll need to sand the moulding evenly to get an even
coloration--some experimentation here will be a good investment as well
as how much you need to sand will depend in large part on the quality of
the milling of the material--if there are noticeable mill marks (little
ripples), for example, you'll need quite a bit of sanding to remove them
to prevent them from showing excessively.
You are using the hardest and the softest woods, so the amount of stain
they absorb is likely to be very different. If you can purchase
matching molding from the cabinet co., that would be the way to go.
Next best option is to use their stain and plan not to use the pine
right up against the cabinets. $35 out of the budget for a kitchen
remodel is a drop in the bucket, and a quart goes a long way. Contact
the cabinet company and find out best prep for staining your pine, as it
will likely need a sealer. You may also (or) need to dilute the stain
used on the pine.
Thanks everyone! Both the point about the cost in the grand scheme, and
the possibility of the cabinet company also selling base moulding and
door trim had not occured to me. The stain is not listed in their
catalog or website, so possibly they do have the wood trims as well and
didn't list them, though I shudder what the cost might be for that. I
haven't looked beyond the big box stores, I wonder if there is someplace
to buy maple trim pieces, maybe that would solve the problem of the
different wood taking stain differently. I'd forgotten unless suggested
here that the trim wood usually isn't very pretty. We stained some base
for a bathroom in a golden oak, and one half looks very dark, the other
considerably lighter, and the demarkation line is where two pieces of
wood were clearly joined together to make one piece of base molding.
There is a sort of dovetail look to it, and to save on pine base
moulding would probably result in the same thing. We've got a bit of
time to decide on this, so I really appreciate all the varying viewpoints!
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