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Matching Original Cabinet Stain - 30-years Later

On a regular basis, I encounter Pros and DIYers who have original cabinets or woodwork that must be matched to complete their project.


Sometimes they're lucky and the original wood is available. Others, they are not and they have to match on new wood which is a different color from the original wood.


The trick is to look at both the body of the original wood as well as the grain ... then add the relative difference between the color of the original wood and the color of the new wood.


My customer Bill, who I write about frequently, provided this great example.


Matching Stain Color.jpgAbove, you see original finish and below you see the new.


When Bill brought his samples to The Paint Pit, we tried several combinations of colors.


We concluded that a 10-minute coat of Early American to re-create the medium brown body, followed by a 30-second coat of Jacobean to add a darker accent to the grain, would reproduce the original color almost exactly.


The refinished door (below) is original wood and must still be clear coated in an oil-based satin polyurethane to complete the project. But with this test door in-hand, Bill can rapidly process the remainder of this 24-cabinet set.


PERSONAL NOTE: The housewife that placed the order with Bill was emphatic about keeping the original color. You see, her husband hand-finished these cabinets more than 30-years earlier and she wouldn't settle for anything other than re-creating the original ... just as her husband had half a lifetime ago.


PRODUCTION NOTE: You'll notice that Bill uses painter's tape to number each door so he can replace them in their original opening after finishing. This provides the most exact fit, but also prevents having to drill new holes for hinges or other hardware ... taking away the guess-work as well as the opportunity for error, and ultimately saving several additional hours of labor per project. Very smart Bill!!!

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Posted 2012-07-31T18:47:35+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL Pat_HD_ATL