Match for olde maple stain?

jenswrensAugust 31, 2009

I know this is a long shot, but does anyone know of a good color match in a different brand of wood stain for Minwax's Olde Maple (polyshades)?

The color of the stain is a perfect match for the already-stained piece I'm trying to match, but I do not like the sheen of the pre-mixed poly - it doesn't penetrate the wood well and it's too shiny (even the satin).

I'm trying to avoid buying a jillion cans of stain because you can never trust those little stain cards - they're so inaccurate.


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You have three more variables
- the color of the wood
- the way the stain absorbs in the wood
- the color imparted by the finish.

Since Polyshades is a tinted finish, somewhat opaque and "sits on the wood", not in it, it will work much differently than a penetrating dye or pigment stain.

There's no silver bullet here. It's largely experience, supplemented with samples and an understanding of color theory.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 9:49PM
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If you're hoping for closest match, I'd start with anything Maple by Minwax - does Olde Maple come in a gel or penetrating stain? Haven't used Polyshades, but if it doesn't penetrate then a gel might be the closest thing? Is there a reason you want to go with a different manufacturer? If you have scrap pieces of wood and know the finish you want to use, you can experiment - I think every store will let you return an opened can if you've only touched a rag or brush in to sample, and not actually used a significant amount. I know Home Depot let me return opened cans or gel stain and poly after they opened them up again to make sure I hadn't used a quarter of it, when I told them it was the wrong color/sheen.

Is the new thing you're trying to stain made of the same type of wood as the thing you're trying to match?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 10:22PM
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The "new thing" are new maple cabinet doors - the "old thing" is a stained maple hood by QCC, picked up secondhand. No, I didn't try calling QCC to try to get a stain match b/c I didn't buy the thing from them and it's several years old. Maybe even has a glaze on it, IDK.

I'll try picking up other Maple shades by Minwax, maybe a gel. That Olde Maple color doesn't come in their gel or penetrating stain - just that awful Polyshades. Why would anyone want poly mixed in with stain? It makes no sense to me.

I guess there's really no way to avoid the week-long $100 stint of trial-and-error. :-( Hopefully they'll let me return some of the cans.

Thanks anyway.

Here's the piece I'm trying to match:

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 10:05AM
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So how do you know Polyshades Olde Maple is a match?

Were the cabinet doors custom? What about asking the cabinetmaker to match the stain for you using scraps of the maple?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 8:59PM
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I bought a piece of clear maple from the lumber store and used that. The best match I got was using penetrating minwax walnut stain, and then brushing over it with the olde maple. But again, it has that awful uneven shine. We're going to need to use the maple lumber for the trim pieces also so I have more to stain than just the doors. It really doesn't have to be "perfect" - just close, but I DO want the sheen to be right.

Got the doors from an online cabinet door place so can't have them try to match.

Here's the piece I played with already. (Ignore the white doors - they're just cheap temporaries.) It's hard to get a pic of the how different the minwax sheen looks when compared to the smooth finish of the hood.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 3:55PM
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The hood looks like a satin finish to me. Why don't you get the stain matched on your sample, then when it's dry go over it with a satin finish poly (would have to be waterbased to go over Polyshades and also won't yellow) and see how it compares?

I have used oil-based Wipeon poly, water-based Polycrylic, and shellac followed by oil-based poly over Minwax stains before, but have never used Polyshades so if you're stuck with that product to get the color you want you're going to have to experiment with finishes to get the sheen. Does the can say you can topcoat over the Polyshades for more protection (and change the sheen) without changing the color like you would if you used more Polyshades? I would think their Polycrylic water-based stuff would be compatible.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 8:14AM
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