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Old 01-12-2012, 07:18 PM   #1
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Mixing stain and polyurethane


I have a birch shelves with a clear finish that I want to match my kitchen cabinets. I have some stain the color of the cabinets. Cane I mix the stain with polyurethane and go over the existing shelves? If so, what proportion of stain to poly?

I've tried MINWAX polyshades and they don't have a color that comes close. Removing the existing finish would be too much trouble. Since I have stain that matches the kitchen cabinets I'd like to just mix this with poly and brush it on. Will that work?

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Old 01-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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Mixing stain and polyurethane


Yes and no... Hows that for clear?!

If you put the stain into the poly, you will have a mix that needs to be brushed so carefully, following all the ways of the grain- and it will be much subtler than just stain. I do this frequently- but it does have its quirks.
Do a test of your mix on something that doesn't count to get a feel. I would say no more than 1/1 - probably much less stain. It really depends on how much you are trying to move the color.
Also a couple of coats with less is easier than one heavily tinted coat.

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Old 01-12-2012, 09:45 PM   #3
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Mixing stain and polyurethane


Thanks for your reply brushjockey, I'll work carefully and give it a try.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:21 AM   #4
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Mixing stain and polyurethane


Always test a mix with a small amount- you don't want to ruin you whole supply by overdoing it. do it will a small measure then you can have a proportion.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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Mixing stain and polyurethane


Or you could take a sample of the color you want and a sample of raw wood you are using to your local paint store to be matched just don't go to the big box store also it may take then a day or so to match it up for you
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:41 AM   #6
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Mixing stain and polyurethane


You might find gel stains appropriate in this situation. Only a paint store or woodworking shop will have nice ones and be prepared for a bit of sticker shock. Some come with a mix of urethane.

I despise claims of products trying to be two things at once. You are trying to do too different things. Stain is supposed to seep into wood grain and urethanes, silicons and so forth are supposed to protect the surface. Just conceptually, you should not be trying to accomplish both tasks at the same time right?

You might try paint suspended in poly almost like a faux finish glaze. Definitely get your head around test sections. Of course stay out of box stores and talk with people at a real paint store.

Last edited by user1007; 01-16-2012 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:51 AM   #7
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Mixing stain and polyurethane


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushjockey View Post
Yes and no... Hows that for clear?!

If you put the stain into the poly, you will have a mix that needs to be brushed so carefully, following all the ways of the grain- and it will be much subtler than just stain. I do this frequently- but it does have its quirks.
Do a test of your mix on something that doesn't count to get a feel. I would say no more than 1/1 - probably much less stain. It really depends on how much you are trying to move the color.
Also a couple of coats with less is easier than one heavily tinted coat.
I have HAD to do this a time or two and it can work. I tended to walk from such work as clients insisting I match old stained cabinet color to anything ended well about 50 percent of the time. Unless I could strip everything and try for a match. Most, of course, will not pay for that.

As hinted, the suspension is temporary so you need a nice brush and you have to work fast and stir the suspension between near every brush stroke without forming bubbles. As with any poly application, you will not be able to go back over things whether the finish is water or oil based after a few minutes or it will show brush strokes. Less pigment and multiple coats is excellent advice. I would still look to paint rather than stain mixed into the urethane. Especially if you are seeing results you do not like with PolyShades or some similar products.


Last edited by user1007; 01-16-2012 at 07:00 AM.
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