Darkening the grain of oak..mission style finish


Old 05-08-17, 04:47 AM
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Darkening the grain of oak..mission style finish

Im trying to match as close as possible, the finish of our oak interior window trim in our 1924 craftsman home. I'm trying to get a close match, as I have the same colored finished wood very close to the trim and throughout the house. I discovered a few scraps of the original finished oak, while having bare unfinished wood on the back. I dropped off a few pieces to my local Sherwin-Williams to try and match. The piece which appears lighter is what they came up with. I applied one coat to the piece on the right, and immediately it is obvious it would be much closer with two, or maybe three applications. My question is, how do I also get the beautiful grain to pop out like the original piece? I'm not looking to get involved with shellacs, dyes, etc. or mixing alcohol and thinning stains before applying, just looking for an off the shelf product that I can maybe rub on, then rub/sand off, and apply my finish coat of polyurethane. Do not want to get involved with shellacs.

I did some research and it seems there are many different solutions to getting this "mission style" finish, all of which seem way to involved for me. Here's a discussion on another forum about the effect I'm trying to achieve:

Grain Darkening and Stain Recipe Match for Oak

As you can see, each person had their own answer. The easier I can achieve this the better.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 05-08-17, 05:33 AM
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I'm a little unclear as to what you are trying to do If the stain on the right is supposed to match the piece on the left - then the stain isn't even close and you [or SWP] need to work on getting it closer as it isn't red enough. New oak will never be an exact match for old oak - wood changes as it ages.
Old 05-08-17, 06:31 AM
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What's worked for me is use black Gel stain and wipe it off using a stiff sponge inside a ziplock bag wrapped with a soft cloth. (the ziploc bag is so the stain does not soak into the sponge)
What that should do is leave the low areas darker and wipe the stain off the high areas.
Let that dry for a day, next day I think I'd be using Aged Oak to match closer to what you have.
Once sealed with an oil based poly it should amber out over time.
Wood Stain Colors - Minwax Stain Colors & Wood Finish Guide | Minwax
Old 05-08-17, 06:40 AM
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Minwax Provincial should be a close match. Are you putting up new oak trim, or are you stripping the old trim, or what?
Old 05-08-17, 09:29 AM
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I applied one coat to the piece on the right, and immediately it is obvious it would be much closer with two, or maybe three applications.
Nope. Stains works generally by absorbing into the wood and once the first coat has done so, subsequent coats generally cannot. Hence, one coat of stain is the norm. If the color is not right with one coat, it's just plain not right.
Old 05-08-17, 12:00 PM
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Hi Guys,

I'm refinishing the existing wood, it's the old red oak. The sample on the left is exactly the color I'm looking for. I'm going to try another coat on the piece on the right to see if it darkens up. I have a few more pieces to play with. The color definitely isn't there, and it looked much closer when the guy showed it to me at SW.

Assuming I can get closer to the color, I'm interested in hearing about more techniques in darkening the grain. Any opinions there?

@joecaption, that sounds like an interesting method..do you have any pics you could post of how that worked out for you? I'm having trouble visualizing this..it sounds like it would stain everything and getting it off would be impossible.
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