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rjordan392 04-07-2009 06:18 PM

Stain Brochures vs Wood Samples
I went to a Benjamin Moore store to pick out a stain. They had no wood samples other then the brochure showing what the stain will look like on oak and pine. There were three stains that looked identical to me and matched my wood sample in color. But when I applied some to a piece of #1 pine, the color was off and did not match my existing trim. I even applied some polyurathane to another sample and it did not help. What happened? Is our lumber being imported? Or are the manufacturers using some kind of treatment?
The original stain I am trying to match was from MAB and was called Timber Stain. But it has been discontinued and MAB was bought by another company. The Ben Moore store only sells quarts and rather then waste money on quarts, I went to Home Depot and pick out two 1/2 pint cans of Minwax stain that when mixed to two parts to one, I was able to come very close to my sample.
Do the pro's have to do the same and mix two stains to get the desired result?

Bob Mariani 04-08-2009 05:47 AM

pine needs to have a pre-condioner applied first. A color sample will show color after a piece is finished correctly. This means pre-conditioner: stain: sealer: two top coats of clear poly.

rjordan392 04-08-2009 07:53 AM

Thanks, I'll do some test pieces with conditioner on them to see the effect. I normally use conditioner on pine to limit the undesirable marks. (blotch's) I did not know it also affects the color. What do you use for a sealer?

Bob Mariani 04-08-2009 08:26 AM

I use all industrial finishes. But the sealer should be the same type and brand of your stains and top coats. For polys I use Milesi products. The Italians make a much higher quality of products then you can but from any American manufacturer. In other words if going water based, use all water based. If oil use all oil.

slickshift 04-08-2009 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by rjordan392
Do the pro's have to do the same and mix two stains to get the desired result?


Matching stains is nothing like paints, where a color will look the same regardless of substrate
Getting the right stain look is often trial and error, on the specific wood and even age of wood, and even on the same batch
Stain can look different even on different parts of the same piece of wood

Sometimes the match may involve dying the wood before staining, or using an amber shellac after staining

Sometimes it involves a wipe-on/wipe-off of one, then a brush-on/let sit for X amount of time/wipe-off of the same or even another color stain

Sometimes a specific mix of stains, and/or a specific dwell time or application technique is required

Most quality pros experienced in stain matching will have to do a number of mixes before getting the right match, and will have an arsenal of 1/2 pints to mix together to get there
Even then, they only might get "as close as possible"

Chances of getting an actual match from a Stain Brochure are very slim indeed

rjordan392 04-08-2009 05:28 PM

I just applied the first coat and it came out much lighter then expected. I let it soak in for ten minutes and wiped gently. Tomorrow I will apply another coat to see effect. The wood was conditioned. I used a conditioned sample and a non conditioned sample and the nonconditioned sample gave me the color I wanted but it also gave me blotch marks. SO two coats might do it or I may have to add a darker stain over the lighter.

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