Will stained Hemlock casings/trim give me the look I want?

thepondApril 20, 2009

Hi, My name is Lisa. I have been on Building a Home forums for a couple years. Now, we have the chance to do all new millwork, we want stained!

For cost, I am directed to Hemlock.

We like a med/deep brown stain look. Somewhat rustic/traditional profile.

I don't know what hemlock looks like with a brown stain. DH doesn't want oak or an oaky look. I love the smooth brownness of alder, stained. But that is much more expensive.

We've never had stained wookwork before. Am I heading the wrong direction?

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I think you need to do what professionals so. Buy an 8' board and run sample stains _and finish_ on it and see if they are to your liking. If not, keep trying or switch woods.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:54PM
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I did not see that you mentioned what your kitchen cabinets looked like. Are they painted or stained wood. That may influence the decision that you make when you choose your trim moulding.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:34AM
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(We are not going to stain the woodwork ourselves. But we are trying to decide what wood to use first.)

Bobsmyuncle: I did that, and it sort of looks like the tone we want. The pattern of the wood is prominant, but not like oak would be.

But I can only "hope" it will look right when it is hemlock with mahogany stain on all the doors, trim, base & windows. I don't want to walk in when it's done and think, "Why did I do this!"

Paprgypc: Ah, the kitchen cabinets. Not for sure, just starting to pull things together. Right now, we have them as Clear Alder (no knots), with med to deep brownish stain.

I think clear alder in brown stain is gorgeous, so smooth. But the hemlock in dark color is more, well, stripe-y. Looks like tiger stripes, I guess.

Does this info help?
And thank you so very much!!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 6:30PM
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Since you know what the cabinet stain looks like on the alder you can just compare the hemlock stained piece with it. Your cabinet maker would have a piece of alder that they would stain to your finish. Then have your hemlock piece its finish. Then you can see if you like it.

I sensed that you had a concern that the hemlock stained wood may be too much of a contrast to the softness of the alder wood. Then your overall affect would not be attained.

But comparing the stained wood side by side is the best way to see if you are going to like the end result.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 8:55AM
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We just are in the process of finishing a 1200 sq ft addition to our home consisting of a kitchen, dining and living space. Because the original part of the house is all wood, i.e. No Drywall , or as Americans call it , Sheetrock, we wanted to use as much wood as possible in the new part.
We opted for a compromise with walls being Drywall while the ceiling is Cedar vee groove boards and the floors are 3/4" wide plank Cherry. We chose clear Hemlock for our doors, casings, and baseboards. The Hemlock was stained with a Flecto gel stain in Cherry which gives it a nice warm glow. The finish was three coats of Flecto Diamond Elite Satin.
Although the kitchen cabinets are of Alder and Birch in a two tone scheme, the Hemlock blends nicely. I could send photos if I had an email address.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 5:37PM
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Thank you! This has been very helpful and appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 2:56AM
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