Shades of Golden Oak


Hi! I'm trying to redo the finish on some of the stairs of an oak staircase. The staircase is finished in what I'd call the traditional golden oak look, but it's relatively light-colored compared to some golden oak pieces that I've stained on my own. So I'm just wondering if anyone has ever compared various maker's golden oak stain to see which are lighter vs. darker, as I think that something on the lighter side would be the best match for the existing stairs. Recommendations?
Thanks in advance! Tom in PA
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A single coat of MinWax Golden Oak will dry considerably lighter than it looks when first applied.
For a light color, I don't put it on with a brush and let it soak in. I apply it with a rag and only apply as much as it seems to take easily.
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You might try checking around a various paint supply stores. There will be at least one in your area that can match stain. Likely to save you hours and hours of toil and trouble.
Steve
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It could be that the older stain has faded over time. Even though most stains contain finely ground pigment, they can also contain a dye that may fade in sunlight. We've noticed this on our floors when we rolled back a carpet.
You might dilute the stain with solvent until you get close to the tone valus of the old work. The eye conpensates for small differences.
Joel Jacobson
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My very first project was a bookcase in oak. I spent a lot of time fussing to get it to match the 20 yo golden oak stair case. Surprise surprise; two years later it is too dark. Maybe no one but me notices it, but either the stairs have lightened (which seems unlikely considering its age) or the bookcase darkened.
In general, trying to match is a fool's errand. Not infrequently, two parts of the same piece of wood will stain differently. Good luck.
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Tom in PA wrote:

What *kind* of oak?
Have you tried no stain? The natural color of white oak is "golden". Additionally, most woods darken naturally after a few months of light exposure...which means if it matches now it won't in a few months.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
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If you simply sand red oak to 150 or 180, and apply a blonde shellac, or a slightly thinned varnish, without stain, you get a lovely golden oak. The natural ambering will get you what you want.
Minwax Natural Wood Finish is essentially uncolored thin varnish.
Staining is not a required step, and it's likely that the finisher of your stairs bypassed it. I would, on a floor, if possible. One more thing that has to dry undisturbed.
Patriarch, who has been having good experiences with McCloskey's varnish products lately.
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I'm confused.
I was asked to build something in "Golden Oak". I assumed (!) this meant white oak with something like Watco Danish Oil Golden Oak Finish.
Is that not correct? Is red oak the basis of "golden oak"-finished furniture?
Help!!
--jeff
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It is in my shop. White oak is purchased to do the Mission Oak thing, at a premium price, and toned dark brown in some manner, of which Larry almost certainly disapproves. ;-)
YMMV
Patriarch
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I posted the original question and the folks who are suggesting that I don't need a stain seem to be correct. I was mistaken in assuming that the wood was stained. I'm getting a nice match by just applying some Minwax wipe-on poly.
Thanks! Tom in PA
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