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Old 06-28-2022, 07:36 PM   #1
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Close stain match for Cherry wood work

I have been searching for 7 years now for a stain close to the dark cherry woodwork in my 2016 Forester. I have tried mixing various oil Minwax stains to match but nothing ever came close.
When making a wood trim back splash for my bathroom vanity and sink, I came across General Finishes Cabernet water based stain. I used poplar instead of cherry. I tested it with and without a preconditioner and found the preconditioner made it too light. I found not using the preconditioner but sand with 120 grit sand paper and a little moisture to raise the grain worked giving it two coats of the water based stain. It came out very close and thenI gave it 3 coats of Minwax water based wipe-on poly satin.
I know in the photo it looks a little dark, but it's not lite well. IT does come close to the vinyl wrapped particleboard used in the cabinetry.
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Old 06-29-2022, 10:14 AM   #2
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great info. thank you for posting
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:18 AM   #3
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Yea, I found the same on our '16 2250 Sunseeker. Mahogany seems to be the closest color. I mix a bit of mahogany with a pine to get the ligher colors, as ours has a 3 color palette - Cherry (more of a reddish light walnut), a medium brown-gray and a light but tasteful tan. I like the cherry & tan, but not a fan of the brown-gray.

Fortunately, I have spare pieces from the entertainment center & dinette removals, so it's easy to match the materials. I cut this panel from a door, and used dark walnut on the edges to match the original door edges:



It can be a challenge!

More pics: https://pbase.com/brucemac/2015sunseekeroverheadbunk
with a couple sub-galleries...
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by brucemc View Post
Yea, I found the same on our '16 2250 Sunseeker. Mahogany seems to be the closest color. I mix a bit of mahogany with a pine to get the ligher colors, as ours has a 3 color palette - Cherry (more of a reddish light walnut), a medium brown-gray and a light but tasteful tan. I like the cherry & tan, but not a fan of the brown-gray.

Fortunately, I have spare pieces from the entertainment center & dinette removals, so it's easy to match the materials. I cut this panel from a door, and used dark walnut on the edges to match the original door edges:



It can be a challenge!

More pics: https://pbase.com/brucemac/2015sunseekeroverheadbunk
with a couple sub-galleries...
I tried minwax mahogany and found it too red. Oil based stains made a mess. The General Finishes water based seems very close right out of the can. At $30 a can, I can't afford to buy 2 or 3 more cans of different colors to experiment and discard. I have no talent for mixing colors. What brand did you use?
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Old 07-05-2022, 10:06 AM   #5
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Minwax Walnut 606. It's pretty dark; I used it for the edges only. Like you, I'd struggle to match the surface finish.
I also found the profiles on the edges of the doors aren't the same as a quarter-round router bit, but it's fairly close.
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Old 08-03-2022, 08:35 AM   #6
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Good match for cherry stain

I had to replace some pieces on the front cabinet of my fridge area. I found the recommended General Finishes stain at Lee Valley Tools and used it on pieces of cherry and poplar. It is a great match, essentially perfect. I used a satin varathane to finish the wood. Looks great. Many thanks for suggesting this product. It saved me a lot of grief and aggravation.
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
At $30 a can, I can't afford to buy 2 or 3 more cans of different colors to experiment and discard. I have no talent for mixing colors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucemc View Post
Like you, I'd struggle to match the surface finish.
Trying to match colors should not be so troublesome. Mixing colors is an art and most of us don't have it. I sure don't.
There is a better way. Find a good - good - paint shop in your area and use them.

An important point to remember is that different woods take stains/finishes differently. So ( very important ) - - - take a piece of the wood you are using in your project AND a sample of what you want matched ( a drawer front, for example ) and let them match it. Ask them about the best product to produce the same finish that is on your sample. Ask them about application techniques. Ask them what happens if the stain they sell you doesn't actually match.
After the fact, keep in mind that on the next project, if you use a different wood that same stain may or may not be a good match. In that event you have two options - - use different wood or go thru the above process all over again.

I have a very, very good Sherwin-Williams in my town. I have used them many times for matches and have never been disappointed. I drop my samples off one day and go back a day or two later and pick up a great matching stain/finish. Easy-peasy.
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:08 AM   #8
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Smile Wood Stains

As one that builds custom furniture, paste stains are the easiest to work with. If it is too light, just wipe on another coat. As to colors, different woods will stain differently. One needs a sample of the piece of wood and use the trial and error method.

Another factor has to do with the porosity of the wood. Finishing with a 200+ grit of paper will leave the grain tighter and less prone to accept stain. Usually, a 100 grit gives most wood adequate room or porosity to accept stain. Once stained, finish with XXXX steel wool and then a protective coating of lacquer. Lacquer is fast drying, easy to work with, and can be recoated several times in a day. Again use XXXX steel wool between coats and a good tack cloth to remove any residue. If you don't end up with a mirror finish, the surface was not clean.

And finally, after you do this for a few years, you'll have enough experience and get the hang of it. There is NO one-stop formula for a good furniture finish. Time and experience are on your side.

Bob
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