Matching 3 different kinds of wood to ONE stain color


I am renovating a 100-years old house. I have three different kinds of woods to match to ONE same stain color.
1. 100-years old reddish brown wood - painted but stripped by now, old stains still left. A bit dark brown.
2. New red oak base moulding - no paint, no stain, new 3. New construction grade Douglas fir door trim - no paint, no stain, new
My painter told me that I should use the SAME oak for the door as a trim to yield the same stain color. Otherwise, he won't get the same stain color for all three different kinds. I do not want to paint.
Would you please help me getting ONE stain color from these three?
I would appreciate your help.
-Helen, Los Angeles
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Sure, wave your magic wand over them.
Trying to match materials, even if they are the same wood, is time consuming and difficult; and there is no assurance they will still match next year. Except for paint, there is no shortcut to experimentation.
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It's not going to happen. Color, absorption rates, porosity of the wood, will all prevent it from happening. Not to mention that they may all age a bit differently over the next year or so. You'll probably get closer using a dark color and putting a couple of applications on the lighter wood, but no guarantee of a match. Using the same stain on the same type of wood from two different trees will even give variation. As will quarter sawn versus flat cut.
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Helen wrote:

It's not going to happen, Helen.
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wrote:

As others have said, this is nearly impossible with stain alone. Furniture manufacturers use a series of glazes to even out the differences between woods, but it is really an art.
Your best bet might be to find a decorative artist that specializes in faux finishes. He or she will be able to do what you want, but it's not going to be cheap.
If you don't want to go that route, you might want to experiment with adding universal colors to the varnish of your choice and applying that. It's more like a glaze and will even out some differences, but won't be as nice a look as stain + topcoat.
If all else fails, Just keep repeating this to yourself until you're convinced: "wood is a natural substance and variations in grain and hue are what make it so beautiful". :-)
HTH,
Paul
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2006 15:16:38 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm, Paul

Shouldn't that be "Since all else will fail...", Paul?
2 points to you. Those variations are natural.
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"Helen" wrote in message

He's right, in that it's the cheap, easy way, but you're asking a "painter" to do something most are not prepared to do.

"Stain" is the operative word. There are "furniture/wood refinishers" who are experts at matching various woods with combinations of fillers, dyes, pigments, stains and other concoctions ... it all depends upon your budget.
Try:
All Things Wooden Paul Corry 1535 Tidelands Ave. National City CA 92050 (619) 477-1300
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The more opaque the stain is, the better the results will be, regardless of colour.
In dissimilar woods, you can achieve 'predominance' in colour by going to darker opaque stains..the extreme version of that would be called paint. One method a kitchen door manufacturer uses, he'll start with a 100% opaque stain, of a colour he is seeking. Then by thinning it and mixing it with a compatible clear finish, he can back away from that 'painted' look, in increments of his choice till the overall tone is acceptable. In his low-end doors, he can actually blend poplar, birch and soft maple with some pretty decent results.
The extreme differences between oak, fir and whatever makes this much more difficult as grain enters into the game as well as the fact that the stripped portions are mostly sealed already. A match would be nigh impossible. Paint and wash with other stains?
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This was a fairly common request at the paint store that I worked at for 14 years. I would work on the wood samples for hours trying to satisfy the customer. Using several products was usually not acceptable to the customer. If I found a way to match the color on the different woods the customer would usually be disappointed. Even though the color was close on the samples it would still look significantly different because the appearance of the grain varied between species of wood.
I have to ask. If your base was red oak why did you trim the doors in fir? Seems you created or at least increased your challenge right there.
Roger

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Someone told me that the original wood was Douglas Fir. So naturally I thought that I should use the fir for the trim (all the other trims are of the old wood).
So if I use the red oak for the door as a trim. Then, I will still have to match the old wood with oak. Would it be easier? (at least now it is down to 2 different kinds.)
I read somewhere, by using a preconditioner for softwood and get stain, I can achieve a color on a fir which can match a color on oak. Is that something worth experimenting with?
Thanks for the advice!!
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On 5 Feb 2006 10:43:24 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, "Helen"

Tell your husband he can't have them stained all one color. It just doesn't look good (tres gauche/ticky tacky), it's expensive to attempt, and impossible to do. (Check colors with fluorescent & incandescent lighting, then bright sunlight, then on a hazy day. They'll never match, period.)
He'll be understanding, I'm sure. <wink>
Forget the painter and hire a finish carpenter to get a good and harmonious blending of colors which allows each wood to shows its most attractive face. My vote is a non-poly, oil-based varnish whose amber tint will do that blending nicely.
Or, REPAINT, AND STAIN NO MORE, HELEN!
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