I would like to stain an oak railing (balustrade) to match (or at least
not clash with) a bloodwood floor. The railing is about 20 years old
and just has a varnish (or poly) finish. I've tried several reddish
stains, but I can't get anything remotely close to the floor. Any
suggestions? At this point I'm tempted to just paint it white.
General Finishes Water-Based stain Rosewood (available at Woodcraft)
will probably get you close. You can actually make multiple
applications and it will get darker.
See an example here. This is Red Oak w\lacquer.
I raise the grain first w\water. Then scuff sand off the raised fibers.
Then I put the water based stain on with a stiff brush and\or maroon
scuff pad and really grind it into the pores. I let it almost dry and
then wipe it down with a coarse rag\terry cloth.
Even so, the surface tension will leave little white lines where ever
you have deep grain lines. On Oak this will be on every inch of the
piece. So what I do is a thin coat of shellac (you could do sanding
sealer); then I do a grain fill. The easiest way is with a black or
dark brown gel stain but you can use typical grain filler if you want
to deal with it. The shellac keeps the filler from coloring the face of
the wood and just gets in the grain lines.
Wipe it down and you're good to go for a final finish coat of your
If you can get past the fact that Oak does not look Bloodwood when totally
disregarding the color and darkness difference, just keep experimenting.
That said however because the grain is so different between these two woods
you may not ever be happy.
Sometimes "getting close" clashes more than using a complementary color.
You might want to consider Black or another color to complement the Red.
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