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Can one stain 'New' Red Oak to match 'Old' Red Oak?

Posted by jambx22 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 19, 07 at 15:07

I have an older Cape (1930s) with wide plank Red Oak Flooring. I love these floors. There is a nice soft glow to them with a lot of character. I am also in the midst of remodeling my entire kitchen and thought I would carry this "wide plank" look into my design. I went out and purchased (through a local saw mill) 5, 7 and 9 inch Red Oak. I let the wood breath in the house for two weeks and then had my contractor installed the flooring. It looked just great. Then I hired a company to sand and stain. Here is where the nightmare began.

I was told that they could (within reason) match the stain / color on my older floors. After they sanded - they put down various types of Min Wax Stain (Golden Oak, Golden Pecan, Puritan Pine etc) and it was decided that the Golden Pecan was "close". I then left for work when I returned I find my brand new floor RED!!!! I call the contractor and he agreed with me it didnt look very good (then why the ^%$# didnt you stop!!!). He said he would return and re-sand them and re-stainand of by the way "you" (meaning me) may want to go to the paint store and look at various stains (wait who is the floor expert here?!!!....).

To make a long story short the floors were redone with a "Golden Oak" stain from ZAR and they still are not right. When we do a sample on a single board it looks pretty good but it is evident that when the entire room is done (13x13) it comes out with a Red / Salmon like hue.

After I engaged with other floor refinish companies I was told it will be very very hard to match what is in the house since the older floors and their grain structure will not match the newer wood. However, I could play around with mixing stains and see if I can come up with a combination that may work.

Is there anyway I can stain a Red Oak floor and have the end result more of a soft golden color?.... I tried Min Wax "Golden Oak" stain and all it does is turn the floor more of a reddish brown. Or is there a way I can mix let say a min wax product and get gold yellow colors out of it?......

Any feedback from anyone with any experience with new and old flooring and matching stain is greatly appreciated.,

My very expensive Kitchen remodel is on hold until this is resolved


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Can one stain 'New' Red Oak to match 'Old' Red Oak?

Of course, this is no help to you...but I installed a red oak floor for a customer and I called it a 'bleeding' red oak floor it was so red.

Matching new oak flooring with that good old aged 'creamy-colored' stuff can be difficult, especially when the new stuff is way off color to start with.

Perhaps bleach the red out of the new stuff and then stain? Just a thought. Wood bleach is unbelievable dangerous stuff, so I don't mess with it much.

Hopefully a homeowner who has had sucess matching new to old with come in here with some good advice for you.


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RE: Can one stain 'New' Red Oak to match 'Old' Red Oak?

Thanks for the reply all the same. As you can tell I am extremely disappointed as I was only hoping to get the color close between floors (I knew it wouldnt be perfect) I spent a lot of money on custom cabinets and an issue like this can turn a project sour overnight.

I called Min Wax and the customer service person told me to use a water base "base coat" first, then follow it up with three coats of water based polyurethane. She went on to say that any "oil based" stain is going to bring out the tannins (spell?) of the wood which is why the red is coming through. If I use water based material it will give a soft amber look without the red.

Has anyone had experience with water based polyurethane on red oak?

Desperate in CT!


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RE: Can one stain 'New' Red Oak to match 'Old' Red Oak?

Jambx22,

Did you ever find a good solution to this? I am running into the same situation. Contractor told me he could match the existing. He put in Select oak(probably should have uses Clear oak), then he just put the poly down. Way to light and too much variation.

I want him to resand and stain the floor to match the rest of the house. I don't think he has a clue how to match it.


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