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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
who has been having good experiences with McCloskey's varnish products
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
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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