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Stain pine to look like natural cherry

Joan1's picture

Hi,

I'm trying to find a stain that will make my pine trim go nicely with my natural cherry cabinets. I can't afford cherry for my window and door trim, and baseboards, so want to do something with pine that will look like the cherry after it has aged. I've tried lots of different minwax stains, and none of the ones I've tried look quite right. I haven't tried mixing them yet, but will if I have to - I'm hoping for something easier though! Does anyone have any suggestions on what to use?

Thanks!

Joan

(post #81389, reply #1 of 32)

Natural Cherry is not a color it is a stage of coloration.


To get an aged Cherry look ( which you will have eventually) use MinWax Red Mahog.


For the Cherry in new milled condition Fruitwood or Colonial Maple may be the ticket.


It depends on the age and UV exposure of the Cherry that you are matching. But it will darken.


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks


"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #81389, reply #11 of 32)

use MinWax Red Mahog


That was my thought, until I thought about the grain in the pine.  I'm not sure there's a good toner to bring down the "stripeyness' of the pine.


I'm thinking that the first thingto do is"kill" the grain; color match after that would be middling easy.


Of course, it now occurs to me that all we know is that this is "pine" trim, but not what kind.  FJ will be different than one of the "straight grains" different than the PG white pines wil lbe different than the "white woods" far to popular locally.


Guess it could be worse, could be trying to make vaguely sage-green poplar look like cherry <G> . . .


Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
I may not be able to help you Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)

(post #81389, reply #13 of 32)

Being as I do what I do..I hear this question more than you can imagine.


The only reason I didn't give my standard response to a face to face customer, is that this is being read by every Tom, Dick, and Harry that thinks that they know everything about woodfinishing and would shoot down my standard response of "No, you cannot make pine match cherry."


They'd pick apart every little nit and have some magic potion or process that has worked for them, or mimic a Cab.Fab shops steps .  All of which is more than likely beyond a H.O.s ability or desire or budget..so I keep it simple here.


Cherry color? Sure. Shoot a dyestain sealer and follow with a glaze, and finally a CAt Lac..thats how the big boys do it, and I have done it countless times..but a HO doing some trim?  Ain't gonna happen.


With a dye and glaze, the grain is not so much of an issue IF you select the appropriate cuts of pine to begin the project with, and premade "pine" could be about any of 3 pines, and the orientation of grain is random..hell I've had folks with finger Joint wanting stain..so, there ya go.


And the Poplar you mention is ACTUALLY the BEST , because that green ish hue, turns brown with enough age and oxidation..I have some that most folks can't tell from walnut..really.


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks


"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #81389, reply #29 of 32)

And the Poplar you mention is ACTUALLY the BEST , because that green ish hue, turns brown with enough age and oxidation..I have some that most folks can't tell from walnut..really


Well yeah, but not with a couple coats of on-sale Spainsh Oak & Red Mahogany put on "raw" <g>


Professional installation is so much the difference, as you did point out.


Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
I may not be able to help you Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)

(post #81389, reply #31 of 32)

So why do you have to cat your lac?  Isn't some of this nice waterborne lacquer like Oxford's Ultima Spray lacquer just as good? 


 

(post #81389, reply #32 of 32)

From what I have seen CatLac is the bomb..so good in fact, it is non-repairable. That keeps me away from it for certain apps.


I don't usually use it, what I was trying to convey is that is what most of the bigger manufacturerers had used when I was employed there. Furniture that  is, and Cabinetry. In guitar work we used polyester or Nitro lac over vinyl sealer.


If I am spraying trim or furniture for normal wear and tear, it has a 70% of chance of being Nitro and maybe 30% of the time I''ll use a waterbased product, it depends on final use, and what I am after in the finish..and temps I am working with..WB no good in cold temps..it has flow out problems, Nitro doesn't like high humidity..so..it varies.


I also use quite a bit of shellac and wax for certain pcs. I have some tables that I like Varnish on..I use whatever is best for the project at hand and don't fall into a hole of touting just one method or material. Or application technique.


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks


"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #81389, reply #2 of 32)

What sphere said. Besides, the graining and surface texture will never match.


Save on something else, like clothing allowance or something and go for the real stuff.

(post #81389, reply #3 of 32)

The company I get my cabinet doors from is Walzcraft, and they offer a number of different "stain" colors on white pine.  Here is one they call "dark honey."  You can go to their website and see all the others, if you like.



White pine is a wood that exhibits a blotchiness, if an ordinary oil-based wiping stain is applied.  The "blotch" comes from the wood having different levels of porosity across its surface.  Most everyone considers the "blotch" a very unacceptable look.  What Walzcraft uses to get a clear color on pine, without blotch, is a two-step spray-on finish, followed by a sprayed clearcoat.  That is what you see in the pic above.


That said, a lot of different colors can be done this way, and certainly one will satisfy your need to match your cherrywood cabinets.


Doing this by hand and using brushes and rags yourself, you'll first need to work with sample boards to perfect your technique, before you go after your built-in woodwork. 


First, use a shellac to prep and seal the pine.  Ask your paint store person to sell you unwaxed shellac flakes, plus denatured alcohol to use as a solvent.  Mix two pounds of flakes with one gallon of the alcohol to make a "two pound cut" shellac, and brush it on the pine.


The shellac should dry quickly, and it seals the pores of the surface so that the color to be applied will be even.


Now prepped (after curing), the pine can be colored with a solvent stain, or a dye.  Sometimes, depending on what is used, two applications are used to achieve the desired color.


If your cherry cabs have a glazed finish, you may need to use a wipe on (then wipe off) glaze to match what you have on the doors and drawerfronts.  A glaze (most often black) is used to leave color in grooves, corners, features of moldings, dings and cracks (if antique "distressed") and most of what gets wiped on gets wiped off pretty soon after the application.


After all your coloring is done to satisfaction, then it is time to clearcoat with something compatible to what was used to do the coloring.


Good luck!


 


Gene Davis


"A stripe is just as real as a goddamn flower."


Gene Davis        1920-1985

 

"A stripe is just as real as a dadgummed flower."

Gene Davis        1920-1985

(post #81389, reply #4 of 32)

well this is my opinion,first forget the minwax stain,it never stains anywhere near as dark as the samples indicate. i use it alot because i'm being lazy and just need to do a small pc,but if your doing a whole house i'd look elsewhere.


some stains that i have used that i like are sherwin williams,also my lumber yard sells ace brand stain,it is also a heavy type stain.like someone else mentioned with pine you have to use a preconditioner or it will be real blotchy. i have used minwax preconditioner with good luck.


if you take a pc of trim and your cabinet door s.w. will do a custom match for you at no charge.buy extra so you will have some left to other pieces with.


don't get your expectations to high,if you could make pine look like cherry ,everybody would build there cabinets out of pine.... larry


if a man speaks in the forest,and there's not a woman to hear him,is he still wrong?

the older i get ,

the more people tick me off

(post #81389, reply #5 of 32)

If you haven't already installed the pine, I'd suggest using poplar instead, especially if you are hoping to stain to match some nearby cabs.  If the pine is already up, my next suggestion is to bypass the minwax line and look for a higher quality stain.  I've found Cabot stains far superior and readily available.  It's really hard to say what flavors will work because "cherry" means a lot of different things.  There's real cherry, that changes (darkens) with age as it oxidizes.  Then there is the dark red/ox blood pigmented wood that a lot of cab and furniture companies call "cherry".  Best bet is to take one of your cabinet doors, and a large sample of trim material to a real paint store (not a big box).  They'll usually be happy to help you find a good match by opening cans right there in the store and sampling them with you.  Go on a weekday (when they are more apt to be slower than a Sat. morning) and during the day (when the light is better).  


 

(post #81389, reply #6 of 32)

Thanks! I have been using a pre-stain. Will the shellac/alcohol work better? In the past when I've done staining I've found that sanding really well with 220 or 320 grit then using the pre-stain does a pretty good job of eliminating the blotchiness.

I know that I'd be a lot happier with cherry if I could afford it, or even red birch, but that's out of the question - I've called around and priced both and they are just not in my budget. So, I'm trying to get pine as close as possible to the color that a natural (clear) stain on cherry is, after it has completely aged (my cabinets are almost a year old, and are still darkening a little).

I've tried Colonial Maple and it is close but a bit too orangey, and Fruitwood was not quite right either. I'll give Red Mahogany a try, though when I look at the store samples it looks more like a darkly stained cherry. I also will experiment with using Colonial Maple mixed with another stain if I have to, but really don't want to have to go that route! Any suggestions on color combinations that work?

I'll also give the Cabot and Sherwin William stains a try - good idea on getting them to match the color! I've never tried using poplar, but will pick up a piece to try out.

Joan

Edited 2/22/2008 4:40 pm ET by Joan1


Edited 2/22/2008 4:43 pm ET by Joan1

(post #81389, reply #7 of 32)

I made a pencil post bed out of cherry, but in order to match the rest of the store-bought bedroom furniture, I had to mix mohagony and walnut stains.  Several applications were required to achieve the desire effect.


The problem with cherry is, there is a range of colors that you could be trying to replicate, based on the wood's past exposure to sunlight.  Sooo, this is one of those times you may just have to go and buy a few pints of different stains and mix them up until you have a match that is acceptable to you. 


 


"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."  Invictus, by Henley.

(post #81389, reply #8 of 32)

Your real cherry will eventually look like darkly stained cherry--that's just what cherry does....

(post #81389, reply #14 of 32)

I'll agree with the type of wood comment.


But reeally, what you're trying to do is soooo dependant upon technique.


Get yerself a bunch of close colors and practice on a scrap board.  Don't believe the stuff about the paint store matching - they don't match your technique, rags, time, etc.


Example:  My house when I bought it.  I had to stain up some trim to match the old.  The only way I could was with a mix of 1 part of Minwax Colonial Maple and two parts of Minwax Golden Oak.  I had to blend for days before I was able to get the color I needed.


 

(post #81389, reply #9 of 32)

Have you considered thinking beyond the stain method and considered a cherry veneer rather than a solid peace.  May be one method to stay in your price range.


google cherry veneer for a place to start searching.  Good luck.


Just a thought....otherwise you can do like me (unless you are in a hurry) and buy exactly what you want just not all at once. I am doing it 1,2, sometimes 3 and 4 pieces of trim at a time. I will eventually get what I want.


Ebe

(post #81389, reply #10 of 32)

Finishing pine is a total pain unless you're trying to preserve the pine look . . . . . . which went out in the 1950's, didn't it?


Anyway, the unevenness or blotching of finishing pine is due to graining, sap content, lumber porosity, the phase of the moon . . . . well, you get the idea.


The use of a sealer coat such as sanding sealer or a "spit" coat of shellac, followed by a solvent based stain will give you your best chance of success.  You can get sanding sealer about anywhere you can find good wood stains.  A "spit" coat is nothing more than a 2 or 3 lb cut shellac.  Make certain that the shellac flakes are unwaxed.  Dissolve either 2 or 3 lbs. of shellac in a good quality denatured alcohol.  Obviously you can make smaller batches by reducing the amounts proportionately.


Since this mixture is primarily alcohol it will dry very quickly and give off lots of vapor so working in a well ventilated area goes without saying.  After the coating has dried, go over it with a very fine sand paper (e.g., 220 or finer) with a very light touch.  You just want to knock down any raised wood fibers & even out the surface.


You'll probably end up using a mixture and/or of stains to achieve the effect you're looking for.  Plan on doing plenty of samples before committing to your entire project.


  Stain goes on easy, coming off ain't so easy!

(post #81389, reply #12 of 32)

Joan1


  Minwax isn't what you should be using.  On pine it's too blotchy.  It's a two step process that no matter what you will be wrong.


 First shellac.. Buy Zinsslers bulls eye shellac.. and 2 cans of denatured alcohol..  That's very important.. don't use thinner or anything else.  Mix them together and apply a coat.. it will dry in 15 minutes!  Yeh isn't it wonderful?   Anyway as soon as it dries scuff off the little nubs and fuzz that are raised using a 220 3M sanding sponge. This is real lick and promise type sanding.. the nubs come off really quickly.  about a second to a second and a half of sanding time per sq.ft.  (12 inches by 12 inches)


   now go buy some stain and using plenty of trial pieces decide exactly what shade you want.. 


 One good thing even real cherry is usually painted not stained.. if it was stained.. as age (and sunlite) occurs real cherry turns darker  untill it's almost black. 


 So if this year you match exactly next year you'll be just a little lighter and eventually it will be a totally differant color..


 There are solutions..


  You can buy real cherry cheaply!


  Very cheap!


 Less than$2.00 a bd.ft. at currant prices.  (a bd.ft. is a piece of wood that adds up to 12"x12"x1 inch  so a 12 foot long one inch thick one inch wide board is 1 bd.ft.)


  But as I'm sure you know by now not at a lumberyard or hardwood supplier.


  You must go to a sawmill that saws cherry.. and buy it rough and green..  The green part is no problem, Mother nature will dry wood for you free all you need to do is sticker it up and strap it down someplace. (details if you ask) 


 the rough part doesn't matter either.. You can buy a planer/molder for as little as $725.  and then use it to make all the stuff you want and resell it Normal selling price is about 1/2 of original cost but if all you use it for is one house your costs would be even cheaper.


    To give you an idea of why this is so Wood goes thru a lot of middlemen's hands especially hardwood like cherry.


  I paid around $25,000 for all the wood to build my double timberframe 5500 sq.ft. house.. that's balck walnut timbers, white oak timbers hard Maple and yes cherry plus some really exotic woods.  Retail price would have been around $800,000+  for only $25,000 but it's work.. The only question is  do you want to do the work or make do with something cheaper and sorta make it look something like what you have..


 

(post #81389, reply #15 of 32)

"One good thing even real cherry is usually painted not stained.."

It looks like you have a real future in furniture finishing,

NOT!

.
.
A-holes. Hey every group has to have one. And I have been elected to be the one. I should make that my tagline.
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #81389, reply #18 of 32)

BillHartmann


 Looks like you found another nit to pick.. We could go on for days debating is this a stain or a paint and when you apply it do you spray it, brush it,  or wipe it,  sort of things..


 Let's see what else you disaggree on..


 Real cherry when exposed to sunlite will darken over time ultimately turning near black? 


   Shellac is a good sealer over pine to prevent blotchiness? 

(post #81389, reply #20 of 32)

No cherry won't keep geting darker for ever.

On my mantle I use BLO, put it out in direct sun for about 6 hours. Then finished with garnet shellac. That was about 10 years ago and has gotten that much darker.

When I did that I ran some test on cherry and pauduk and blood wood that I wanted to used for accents. Some I ran upto a week. I appeared that in 6 hours I got about 90% of what I would get after a week in DIRECT SUNLIGHT.

And my sister has a est 150 yo cherry pie case that is not much darker than my mantle.

"We could go on for days debating is this a stain or a paint and when you apply it do you spray it, brush it, or wipe it, sort of things.."

No a purpose of a paint is to OBSCURE THE SURFACE. And anyone that got a paint that performed like a stain would be back at the paint store in 30 second and raising h*ll.

.
.
A-holes. Hey every group has to have one. And I have been elected to be the one. I should make that my tagline.
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #81389, reply #22 of 32)

BillHartmann,


  Sigh,  as I said cherry get's darker untill nearly black.. Slow the exposure to UV light and you will slow the process.. but eventually it will arrive there..   The BLO doesn't retard the process very much, however shellac does.


  There are plenty of paints that are clear or nearly so or partially so.  Look at your car for an example.    Most modern paint jobs have a clear coat on them..


 There is clear house paint as well but I suppose then we get to debate if Varnish is a paint or a stain.. Shellac is that a paint or a stain? 

(post #81389, reply #16 of 32)

Frenchy, uh..there are MANY coatings that will keep Cherry looking pretty much the same as the day it was sawn.


Just a friendly FYI.


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks


"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #81389, reply #17 of 32)

Sphere,


  That's true except most of those coatings are a version of paint..  we really are talking semantics here..

(post #81389, reply #19 of 32)

No..a UV blocker CAN be and IS often clear..trust me.


Polyshield is an excellent example..available from Highland working among other sourses such as Hood finishing products.


 


see?


POLYSHIELD® CLEAR SUPERPOLY
The supreme finish of all, short of polyester. A super tough, super hard, non-yellowing    polyurethane that is UV stable to meet the most demanding wood surface protection, interior and exterior. Designed for finishing and refinishing of all interior and exterior wood furniture, kitchen cabinets, table tops, counter tops, office furniture, flooring, children's furniture and toys, school desks, pews, bathroom fixtures and above waterline marine woodwork. Highly versatile - apply by brush, spray or wipe on. Self-sealing (for exterior application), or seal with our Clear Wood Sealer (for interior application), if so desired.  


UV retarders,inhibitors and blockers , and stabilizers are in almost everything that is a polymer whether intended for outside use or not..


Would you call Armor All car shine a "Paint"?



Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks


"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"


Edited 2/23/2008 9:51 am ET by Sphere

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #81389, reply #21 of 32)

Sphere,


  I was reading all about products like that prior to my finishing my exterior black walnut timbers..  While I no longer have the list of all the companies I called that name does look familar. I am pretty sure they had a rep  at the log and timber show here when I started to look for a finishing product.  The most adament and absolute warrantee I recieved was half hearted at best.  Along the lines of Well we've never done that particular test but.....


    Eppiphanes is a well known marine spar varnish with UV blockers  that I put on my exterior black walnut timbers.. Of all the finishes they had the most universal acceptance for protection of wood from fading.. If I recall properly the Hydrocoat rep was pretty adament about it's ability to block UV rays but couldn't provide me with any long term examples..


  Today 6 years later the wood is pretty well bleached while the varnish itself has held up well. So much for UV blockers. 

(post #81389, reply #23 of 32)

I was a rep for Hydrocote and the reason why they couldn't grant your wishes is because the product has only on the market since 1989 or so..so there ya go.


I have examples here that I did in '90 and the UV blocker is just fine.


If Eppithanes failed your expectations, maybe you had the wrong product for your applications.


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks


"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #81389, reply #24 of 32)

Duane


I think Frenchy (he'll come along and tell me if I'm wrong) is talking about using the finish on the outside of the house, where as you are talking about the inside(at least I think you are).


There isn't a finish out there that will block UV on the outside of a house for any length of time, by any length I'm talking about 5 to 10 years. The sun will eventually cause some deterioration.


AT least that's my experience!


Doug


 


 

(post #81389, reply #26 of 32)

I am not gonna play along any more, he has his way, and I mine.


Whatever ways work for him is dandy with me..and I never expect the impossible from any finish or finisher,and I'm certainly not patient enough to go into a lengthy discourse on all of the merits and flaws of every known industrial coating.


I gotta know my limits of absurdity sometimes.


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks


"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com  

(post #81389, reply #25 of 32)

Sphere,


  About 2001 I started looking for a product which I could be assured would hold up to UV exposure..I came on this forum and asked and I got a couple of leads none of which stood up when I called their tech reps..   I'm reasonably sure I spoke to the rep for that product at a log and timberframe show here.  While he endorsed it highly he had no examples he could show me.. No testimonials I could call and confirm..  By that time the product had been out for 12 years so you'd think there would be some listing of satisfied users or photos of then and now..


   I did get plenty of local testimonials from Epiphanies about their product and Mahogany which was as close as I could get.. In fact several competitors suggested them when they couldn't meet my needs.  Nobody had any exposure of black walnut long term..


(I sure wish your product would have worked as I recall it was a tiny fraction of what I paid for my Epiphanes)

(post #81389, reply #27 of 32)

Well then..seems that when you dream the impossible dream, you have nightmares.

Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks


"Success is not spontaneous combustion, you have to set yourself on Fire"

www.richmondrenovationsandrestoration.com