Help getting this kind of result on knotty alder cabinets

avesmorJune 23, 2010

We are having knotty alder cabinets installed and finished onsite. They will be paired with white oak flooring, also finished onsite. I know it may take some creativity to get white oak to compliment a finish on alder, but we'll have the whole floor to play with. :)

I'm after a warm color, light enough that I can enjoy the alder wood underneath. I really like the finish pictured below. It's from the Schrock website, rustic alder wood with "Cider" finish. Unfortunately I have no idea what commercially available coloring would approximate their "Cider" and they do not sell just their stain.

The closest I've been able to get is with Minwax Early American, but it seems a bit too orangey. The guy at SW (our builder's main supplier for stain) suggested mixing just a drop or two of Jacobean in, around a 1:7 ratio, so I picked up a can of that tonight but haven't yet had time to play with it. Tomorrow... Wea lso played with some BAC colors while there, but they all went on kind of opaque and I definitely want a transparent finish, not semi opaque.

In the meantime, I was hoping someone here might be familiar enough with knotty alder and/or the way it stains to suggest something I or my builder can get ahold of, which might give comparable results to the door pictured above.

Thanks in advance for any insights or suggestions...!

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The picture looks pretty close to natural Alder color. Have you tried just using clear topcoats? I used to make lots of stuff from Alder, back when I worked for a southwestern-stlye cabinetmaker. We used primarily Minwax Natural or Provincial to color the Alder. I think a mix of about 3 parts natural to 1 part provincial may get the desired color. But make sure you top coat the sample. The stained wood will look very different once it's top coated. The topcoat will intensify the color, or may make it more amber. Each product will have a slightly different effect, so you should decide on the topcoat before you continue to experiment with stain colors. Make sure you let the stain dry completely before topcoating.

If the colors aren't going on evenly, if the wood gets blotchy patches of light and dark, the stain is not being absorbed evenly. This can be corrected by using a thinned coat of shellac, 1# cut, as a wood conditioner prior to staining.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 1:53PM
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If you want the most transparent color finish use aniline dye.

Make up sample pieces using scraps of wood and take them all the way to the final finish before judging color, and then judge it int he location it will be used.

Just about every coat alters the appearance and color of the finished article.

The water based polyurethanes have the least coloring affect.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 8:04AM
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Try 50/50 @ early american and puritan pine.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 2:41PM
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