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Color Variations: Best Practices For A Solution

In a Private Message Asheanh asked for help with color variations in his refinished cabinets.

 

I am re-posting his inquiry here in hopes that it may help other members of The Community.

 

He said:

 

My wife took the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations workshop at Home Depot a few months ago. They actually used one of our cabinet doors for the class and she liked the results so much, we bought a kit. The bond coat was 'Quilters White'. Our cabinets are all dark oak. We re-did all three of our bathrooms and 95% of our kitchen with the first kit and it looks great. However, we had 3 cabinet doors left to do but we ran out of stain. We bought another kit from Home Depot, but when we applied the stain it looks totally different. The original stain was a warm light brown color. The new stain looks a dirty, dark brown. You can notice the difference the moment you brush the stain on to the cabinets so it's nothing to do with the stain being left on longer than the original stain was. We contacted Rustoleum and they gave us a new tin of stain. We tried it today but it still looks really dark compared to the original. We are panicking - we have 3 doors that now look quite different to the rest of our kitchen. Is there ANYTHING anyone can recommend? Is there any way we can take the rustoleum kits along with two of our doors (the original good color and the newly-stained bad color) to Home Depot to see if they can help?

 

Thank you!

 

My Reply:

 

Hello Asheanh!

 

Love that 95 percent of your Cabinet Transformations project looks great!

 

Concerned that those last three doors look different!

 

I took time to discuss your problem with Rust-Oleum and have several suggestions toward a solution.

 

BEFORE YOU START:

 

Check the lighting in your rooms to determine that you are viewing all of your cabinets under the same light conditions.

 

It is very common for my customers to perceive color differences when the real difference is simply different color lighting (ex. soft white vs. daylight).

 

MOST COMMON PROBLEM:

 

Among the most common problems Rust-Oleum has with color consistency kit-to-kit is glaze not mixed well in one kit and more thoroughly mixed in another.

 

It appears that you are using the word "stain" when you actually mean glaze ... in the third step glaze is applied over the bond coat.

 

When the glaze is thoroughly mixed (stirred up from the bottom), it is a darker color than when it is only briefly shaken ... much like the description you've given.

 

WHAT I RECOMMEND:

 

Since Rust-Oleum's most known problem is variation in how thorough the glaze is mixed, I would start there.

 

Take your kit to The Paint Pit and have them compare the glaze in your most recent kit to an unstirred/unshaken can of glaze from a new kit.

 

If you discover that your glaze is darker than the unstirred/unshaken glaze from a new kit, then you have discovered the problem.

 

Lightly shake the new glaze and apply to one of your doors to see if the color matches. If not, shake a tiny bit more and try again until you reach a match.

 

REMOVE GLAZE AND RECOAT:

 

Completing the last three doors to match the set requires that you remove the darker glaze.

 

Wet the surface with Krud Kutter and allow to soak for about three-minutes.

 

Use a terry towel and medium pressure to wipe off the glaze.

 

If the Krud Kutter dulls the bond coat sheen, I would recommend re-applying the bond coat before re-glazing.

 

ONE OTHER (remote) POSSIBILITY:

 

If you have not applied glaze over your bond coat throughout this project, another possibility might be the bond coat tinting.

 

According to Rust-Oleum, neither the tinting formulas nor the bond coat mixing base have changed.

 

So, if you did not apply glaze, your variation might be caused by unusual tinting of the bond coat.

 

Ask your Paint Associate to compare the Quilter's White bond coat formula on your can with the current computer formula for possible variations.

 

If the bond coat formulas are the same and you didn't use glaze on your project, one last possibility would be adjusting the formula for Quilter's White to tint a new can much lighter ... then increase the bond coat formula at small intervals until it matches your project color.

 

I want to repeat, this last option only applies if you did not use glaze on your project.

 

HOPE THIS HELPS:

 

WOW, That Was A Mouthful!

 

When you discover the problem, please come back and describe how you resolved this issue.

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Posted 2013-02-19T16:42:24+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL Pat_HD_ATL
 
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Posted 2015-06-04T17:05:37+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
 
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