Unfinished beadboard - different polys = different colors?

SheeshareeIINovember 22, 2009

I'm hoping someone can guide me in the right direction...

I just had unfinished/natural oak beadboard installed on my island. My cabinets are "natural" oak by Merillat. Both are red oak. The beadboard looks very light right now and I slapped a coat of Minwax fast drying polyurethane in clear semi gloss last night to a scrap piece. It darkened it a bit but now it's more brown than orange. I don't think it will look horrible on the island since it won't be right against the cabinets but am curious if that's what I should be using?

Do different brands of clear coats have different color finishes? The one I used is oil based. I thought about trying to stain it first and then put a poly on but figured it might just get even darker?

I don't know what type of clear coat is on my cabinets. I would assume it would be bad for them to amber over time if my island doesn't.

Suggestions? Here's a photo. You can see how light the beadboard is at the bottom. Looks pretty goofy on my island being that light.

Please excuse the mess.

On top of all that, I need to add corner pieces and base at the bottom. Someone will be making the corner pieces but the base I was planning on buying from Lowes because that's where I could find it. What I saw appeared to be really red and I'm concerned it's going to be yet another tone on the island.

I'm really hoping to wrap this up before Thanksgiving because I'm hosting.

Thanks in advance!

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Poly tends to amber more than most.

Alkyd varnishes such as Cabot 8000 series and Pratt & Lambert #38, less so.

Phenolic varnishes such as Waterlox Original and Behlen's Rockhard are a little darker.

Lacquers tend to be a little lighter, and CAB lacquers nearly clear.

Acrylic (water-borne) tend to be fairly clear, some even blue-ish, but others have a little amber additives.

Further complicating things is sometimes veneer and solids take the same finish differently. Sometimes one is darker and the other lighter, other times, vice-versa.

But given some light exposure the wood itself (and the finish) will change color.

The only way to tell is to run some test panels. Doesn't look good for Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:51PM
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Bobsmyuncle - Yeah, I agree Thanksgiving isn't going to happen. Ah, well.

So poly does in fact continues to amber as time goes on.

I did check out Merillat's site and it appears you can get quarts of their stain and sealer. I'm going to contact my builder tomorrow and see what we can do about that.

If you're using a stain and sealer does it need to be water on water and oil on oil?

Would you first just try a bunch of poly and varnishes or grab some stain too? My heads spinning from all the choices.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 10:51PM
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Another question, the lacquers... does the stain need to be water or oil based if I were to use the CAB?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 12:30AM
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I did check out Merillat's site and it appears you can get quarts of their stain and sealer.

Be aware that the factory finish on your cabinets was sprayed on, and is probably a conversion varnish which must be sprayed and is unhealthy to work with unless you've got professional-grade respirators and ventilation equipment. If this is what Merrilat is willing to sell you, you may not want it.

If you're using a stain and sealer does it need to be water on water and oil on oil?

Your 'natural finish' cabinets may not need any stain. I would try other clear finishes first. If you want to put a waterbased coating over an oil-based stain, the stain has be really, thoroughly dried before topcoating. Don't try to do it all in a day.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:04AM
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Jon - Oye, I didn't think of that. I'm sure they were sprayed. I called a builder (actually not the guy that built my house buy long story) and asked about the clear coat. He said he could probably order it and would find out.

Here's wording off their page. It just says provides the same results as our factories. Page 133 in the link.

"The listing represents the matching stains, paints, and glazes as well as clear sealer/topcoat available for Merillat cabinetry or for where ever finishes need to be reproduced. Available in quarts only. The stains are a "two-step" process, requiring first the application of the hand-wipe stain, followed by an application of the clear sealer/topcoat. Instructions and safety data sheets are packaged with each can of stain or clear sealer/topcoat.

Each stain has been developed for a specific wood specie, & is listed within the stain name, i.e cherry cider. Blah, blah, blah, etc.

For the same color "Natural", the sealer/topcoat provides the same results as our facilities. For optimum in-field color matches, it is recommended that the clear sealer/topcoat be applied following stain application."

I don't have a sprayer and that would be difficult to do already on the island. The thought of needing "professional-grade respirators and ventilation equipment" doesn't make me want to use that if that's the case.

I'll run out today and grab some other sealers. I didn't really think about the difficulty of THIS part when I made the change. ha *sigh* Maybe before Christmas . . .

Here is a link that might be useful: Pg. 133

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 10:52AM
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Have you inquired if Merillat sells stain to match your kitchen cabinets? That's what we did when we bought our new oak cabinets from Home Depot. We made our own crown molding from unfinished red oak and bought a quart of the exact color stain from our cabinet maker so the molding would match when we stained it. Also used stain on other trim pieces to match cabinets. It was a little pricey, about $20-$30 a quart (if I remember correctly) and ordered also through Home Depot, but well worth it since it's a direct match. Just a suggestion. I would inquire where you purchased the cabinets if this is an option. I believe most cabinet makers sell stain to match.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 7:46PM
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have you checked to see if Merillat sells pre-finished bead board?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:38PM
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Kaisermust - After checking out their site I'm pretty sure they do. Someone's looking into for me. If that's the case I'd think it'd be my best bet. Home Depot special ordered yours?

Bobsmyuncle - Never thought to even check that. I did have a heck of a time finding someone that had oak beadboard. I finally found a building supply company that was willing to order some. Since it's up I'm stuck with it for now. Hopefully I can get something to match.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:52PM
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