Raw wood built ins-want to finish two tones

zookeeper93July 2, 2010

New wood built-ins were installed in our master closet this week. I thought they were going to be Ash for all exposed planks and MDF adjustable shelves with a veneer on the edge.

Do to the size of the closet (not that big)the size and amount of shelving/drawers, and the color of carpet (going with what we put in three other bedrooms), I was thinking of putting clear coat on the wood to keep it lighter in there than to match the stained ash cabinets of the bathroom (medium golden brown)

I found a water based "Wood Sheen" by minwax. I applied "Natural" to the back of a drawer. LOVED the look. No yellowing. Accentuated the grain and gave a little deeper coloring, like it was wet. Pretty. So I did the whole drawer front. Looked amazing against the dark carpet.

I then applied it to the left panel (above the bench) and OMG, it was Yellow! Egad! Not what I wanted at all. Totally different than the drawer.

Now, I am thinking the cabinet maker used two different woods, as one is lighter with a yellow-er cast (all exposed sides/planks) while all the drawers and cabinet facings are pinker in tone (which took the natural wood sheen well). Is the lighter wood Ash and the pinker Oak?

I bought some more wood sheen in "plantation Walnut" and applied it to the bench. Yuck. I did not like how it applied at all (I think it's ash)and do not think it will be dark enough for what I want. I want rich brown and still show the beautiful grain. I have since sanded both the plank that went yellow and the bench.

The MDF shelves and cabinet backing will also be rich brown with the veneer on the shelves natural (it's the pinker wood).

What would you recommend for the wood I am keeping natural (oak?)that will be true clear and not yellow on me. Any ideas for the MDF and Ash? I realize they will not stain the exact same. Attached is a photo collage of what I have and I'm thinking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to all master closet built-in photos

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