Question on staining oak

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I am replacing a bathroom vanity with a new one made of red oak so that it will match some existing cabinets. In the past I made the mistake of putting golden oak stain right on sanded oak and you know what happened - the grain jumped out WAY too much (for my tastes anyway). A past contributor to this newsgroup, John Paquay, suggested mixing in stain with a wood filler. He had a very detailed posting which I won't repeat here. I bought some Benwood filler (it was one I saw in Bob Flexnors book) and mixed in 25% stain as mentioned on the can which was the max dilution. I did some test pieces - solid oak and oak plywood. The good news is that the stained grain isn't nearly as dark as when I applied it directly onto sanded oak with no wood filler. The bad news (for me anyway), is that the stained wood is more blonde than the cabinets I hope to match. Applying more stain won't help because the pores are filled. The only other option I can come up with is to mix a darker stain into the wood filler trying to come closer to the cabinets I am trying to match.
Do any of you have some ideas on what I might do?
TIA.
Dick Snyder
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On Sat, 24 Oct 2009 09:31:19 -0400, "Dick Snyder"

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pc843&catQ&ap=2
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Thanks but I don't think a sanding sealer is what I am looking for. The sanding sealer is more used for leveling a wood surface prior to putting on the finish I believe. I used a grain filler mixed with stain. It filled the grain as would a sanding sealer but I wanted the color mixed in as I would be unable to stain it once the pores of the grain were filled in. My results just came out too blonde and I wanted to see if anyone had other techniques they could share. By blonde I mean that it was a light golden brown whereas Golden Oak stain is darker if applied directly on oak.
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Dick Snyder wrote:

Hi Dick,
Try doing a Google search on "glazes and toners". They are both extremely useful in matching colors.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Hi Jack,
I did google and I also found a section on glazes in my Flexner book. That sounds like a better bet than trying to mix up some combinations of pigment stains hoping to get a good mix with the grain filler. Do you happen to know stores that carry them? I have a Rocklers near me and a Woodcraft sort of kind of near me.
Thanks.
Dick
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Dick Snyder wrote:

For toners I normally use Behlen's Master Toner. Rockler carries them. I know Woodcraft carries Behlen's products but I don't see the "Master Toner" listed on their web site.
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 682&cookietest=1
For glazes I mix my own, a combination of varnish and stain(s) applied over a barrier coat of dewaxed shellac. I'll play with them on scrap until I get the effect I want.
As always, experiment of scrap!
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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As to my knowledge of Famowood, I would not recommend using Famowood to fill the pores, then stain. I wasn't aware Famowood was a pore filler. I haven't used Famowood in ages, though.
I've toned shellac, itself, to the desired color, as the glazing-like technique. Worked well for my applications.
Sonny
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I had one other idea while following up on a post by Jack Novak. There is a product called Famowood that makes on a wood filler. It is actually made from wood flower so filling oak with Famowood Oak Filler would actually be sealing the pores with oak. That can then be stained. That might be another way for me to go. Has anyone had experience using this product followed up by staining?
Dick
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Dick Snyder wrote:

1. Apply a thin top coat (shellac, lacquer, varnish, whatever)
2. Sand it off
3. Stain the now raw wood as you will.
Filler fills up the holes in the wood but doesn't necesarily seal them; ergo, the top coat. Sanding off the top coat - gently - should leave the filler in the low spots.
Toners/glazes will darken everything including the filled areas.
--

dadiOH
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You can try (without any filler needed) a dye stain. It should color the wood more evenly (less dramatic grain) than a pigment stain.
Charles
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On Oct 24, 11:49am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I reread your original post and it wasn't clear to me if you were trying to alter something you've already stained or trying a new way of coloring wood from the beginning - my suggestion was for the latter.
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wrote:

I reread your original post and it wasn't clear to me if you were trying to alter something you've already stained or trying a new way of coloring wood from the beginning - my suggestion was for the latter.
I am coloring wood from the beginning but I am trying to match the newly finished wood to some existing oak cabinets that look like they were stained with Golden Oak pigment stain. I started by mixing Golden Oak pigment stain with grain filler but it is too light for a match. I am trying to find a way (or ways) to come closer to the cabinets.
Dick
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Dick Snyder wrote:

If you know who manufactured the cabinets you can try giving them a call. They often sell the stain they use just for purposes like yours.
Antoher option is to add a little bit of a darker stain to your Golden Oak/filler mix and try again. You may have to use a combination of different colored stains to get a match. Keep track of the ratios and keep trying until you get the desired shade (i.e. a mostly golden, a little brown, a dash of red).
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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I want to thank everyone in the group for being helpful to me as usual. I lucked out finding a blend of two stains mixed in with my grain filler to get a good match to my cabinets. Even though I have a match I am going to try the idea from dadiOH using shellac to fill the holes in the oak. I'm going to try Zinsser so I don't have to mix shellac from scratch.
Thanks again.
Dick
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Dick Snyder wrote:

I'd suggest Zinsser's Seal Coat as it's dewaxed. Hand applying the shellac with a clean rag and rubbing in a little "FFFF" pumice will greatly speed up the pore filling.
--
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On Sun, 25 Oct 2009 17:05:58 -0400, the infamous Nova

Jeeze, doesn't anyone like open pored wood any more? Why is everyone trying to make oak into a highly-polished, smooth piano finish?
--Puzzled in Oregon
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In my original post I mentioned that I needed to match the vanity I have built to an existing wood cabinet in the bathroom. That cabinet has the grain filled and is stained with Golden Oak stain. It was important to me to have the two pieces look similar.
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On Mon, 2 Nov 2009 17:54:44 -0500, the infamous "Dick Snyder"

Sorry, I missed that. You were actually matching previously abused oak. ;)
OK, now, the question stands for everyone else.
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Dick Snyder wrote:

Well, you could do that but it is going to take a *lot* of shellac...many, many, many coats. Did I mention it will take many coats?
I suggested applying a light clear coat to seal the filler which - presumably - is already filling the oak. Judiciously sanding that off should then allow you to add stain to the raw wood without it being absorbed by the filler and affecting its color.
--

dadiOH
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Oh thanks. I misunderstood your earlier post. Just to make sure I have it this time, you are saying to apply my grain filler with no colorization (pigment staint) in it. When dry I should put on a light clear coat of shellac. Then sand that coat enough to leave grain filler in the holes only and then stain it with my pigmented stain. Is that right? OK to use Zinsser clear so I don't have to mix any shellac myself?
Thanks.
Dick
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