HELP Fixing a Too-Dark Stain Job

jennynNovember 12, 2007

I am sick about the wood work in my house. I had my study, family room, kitchen island and bathroom stained and the color is way too dark. I wanted a rich dark espresso color and it came out mostly black. I approved the sample piece, but when it's all done, it look like it's been painted black. The wood is red oak and the painter sprayed it 1 coat of rosewood and 6 coat of ebony. I had to paid a premium because it was a dark stain and the number of time he had to sprayed it. Is there a way to fix this problem? I tried applying a red stain on top of it to give it some color, but it's just get darker. Please please give me some ideas on how fix it. The painter told me he can sand it down and start over, but it would cost a lot of $$$ to do it. I'm way over budget and can't afford to pay the painter to do it all over again. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.


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Rock and a hard place.

Best way is to simply replace the trim---staining/finishing would be less than sanding/staining/finishing. But sanding/staining/finishing may be less expensive than new/stain/finish.

Those are really the only two options you have.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 7:37PM
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I wish it was only the trim, but this color stain is in all of my built-ins for the study and the family room. Replacing it is not an option and I would hate to paint it. There gotta be another solution to this. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:54PM
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jennyn, I'm sorry for the situation your in. There really is no "fix" for your problem.
Putting a stain over the existing color is never the right solution and in your case it's way to dark to be able to get lighter. ( did that make sense ).

You say the painter "sprayed it on" . Are you sure he sprayed the stain on ? Then it's not really refered to as a stain , it's really a toner. By spraying it on your color becomes some what opaque and acts more like a paint than a stain that should penetrate the wood.

No disrepect to painters, but they should stick to painting and leave the staining and finishing to furniture refinishers. All to aften they take on a job like yours and honestly have no clue how to correctly handle it.

Yor going to have to live with it or start over ,by stripping the wood ,sanding it back to the raw wood and then applying a new STAIN , not a sprayed on color.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:40PM
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I know exactly what you are discribing. I agree with Stocky, the painter used a toner coat, not a true stain application. The color Expresso is one that I am familiar with and I can tell you that it is actually a two step process. The first step is to apply a dye stain, this step developes the majority of the color and usually is applied by spray application. The second step is a wipe stain used to blend in the final color. Sometimes, due to imperfections in the wood I will use a blend of dye stain, wipe stain and solvent to make a weak toner coat just to make the overall color more uniform. Unfortunatly you are in a spot where sanding back to almost wood grain is the only option. Yes, adding additional color will only send you darker. Stripping, if you choose to go that route will be a time consuming process not to mention messy, however, it would be worth it if you really hate the way it looks. If you plan to have someone redo the work for you, ask them to do a step panel before you agree to the job. A step panel is exactly what it sounds like. Each step is clearly identified, you begin by taking a sample of the wood, taping off a section of the wood, spraying out the primary color in dye stain, taping off another small section, applying the wipe stain taping off a section of that followed by sealer and topcoat. This sample is a good representation of what you are going to end up with and a good tool for you to check each step of the process before you get stuck with a color you do not like. Future reference.....

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 8:00PM
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