Refinished old door looks awful, nothing like I expected! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By jclaire
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 Old 09-30-2020, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
View jclaire's Photo Album My Photos
Refinished old door looks awful, nothing like I expected!

I had my interior doors dipped a couple years ago and have been gradually staining them (using gel stain and gel varnish). They don't look perfect, but I think they're really pretty (see first two pics).

For my bathroom, the original door was long gone, so I purchased a painted door from a salvage place that looked like my other doors and stripped it myself. I used the lye type of stripper on one side, and a gentler type on the other.

The problem: The door I stripped myself looks much lighter than my other doors. I'm pretty sure it's the same kind of wood (fir?). But maybe it was made from newer wood, or the stripping process resulted in a lighter color, or it came out differently because it had been painted, while the other doors were originally varnished.

In any case, when I put the stain on, it looks much lighter and more orange than my others doors (and blotchy, but I can probably work on that by resanding). It does not have the rich, deep stained look of the dipped doors. (See last two photos.)

Is there any way I can get this door to look more like the other doors? I've been reading about tea staining and wondered if it would help make the door look a little darker before the gel stain, but I worry that it will turn the door too gray.

I have spent many weeks on this blasted door between buying, stripping, sanding, moving the hinges slightly, etc. and would welcome any advice to make it look better.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Door collage.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	341.3 KB
ID:	396217  

jclaire is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 09-30-2020, 05:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 26,146
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
The orange door will need to be stripped again and sanded. You will need to mix a different stain for that door than was used on the other doors. It may be there was something different penetrated in the doors that caused the color change and also it may be the orange door wasn't stripped as clean. You just need to think of the project like the doors are completely different wood and you are trying to make them match.

Incidentally the dipping process uses lye but it's heated and submerged for a couple hours. It's sodium hydroxide which is also called lye. By dipping they get much more exposure than you can do by hand. Then it's usually rinsed off with a power washer and sometimes treated with vinegar.

The dark blotches look like where the wood has gotten sanded better and allowed the stain to penetrate.
Steve Neul is online now  
post #3 of 14 Old 10-01-2020, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
View jclaire's Photo Album My Photos
Thank you, this is good advice. I'll sand it better and try mixing in some darker stain, but will accept that the doors are just not going to look at all the same.
jclaire is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 14 Old 10-01-2020, 09:52 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 26,146
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclaire View Post
Thank you, this is good advice. I'll sand it better and try mixing in some darker stain, but will accept that the doors are just not going to look at all the same.
Mixing and matching a stain is difficult even for an experience finisher. You might prepare the door and take it to a paint store such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. They mix and match stains all the time and have a good selection of pigment colors to choose from. You might also take the stain you used on the other door.

You can mix the stain yourself but it takes a lot of trial and error to do it. Then because of what is going on with the color now you can probably only test the stain on the back of the door itself. If you take a small container to a paint store they can usually dispense some pigment into the container for you. It's the same colorant in their machines to mix paint. It would probably take raw umber and black to modify the stain you have. Raw umber is a brown without the color red in it and something red in the stain is causing the orange.
Steve Neul is online now  
post #5 of 14 Old 10-01-2020, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
View jclaire's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Mixing and matching a stain is difficult even for an experience finisher. You might prepare the door and take it to a paint store such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. They mix and match stains all the time and have a good selection of pigment colors to choose from. You might also take the stain you used on the other door.

You can mix the stain yourself but it takes a lot of trial and error to do it. Then because of what is going on with the color now you can probably only test the stain on the back of the door itself. If you take a small container to a paint store they can usually dispense some pigment into the container for you. It's the same colorant in their machines to mix paint. It would probably take raw umber and black to modify the stain you have. Raw umber is a brown without the color red in it and something red in the stain is causing the orange.
The stain I'm using is General Finishes gel stain in "prairie wheat." I have a can of the same type in "nutmug" and will try a mixture of those two first and if it doesn't go well, I can go to a store. I know the old and new doors are never going to be a perfect match, though. Mainly I would like to get a less orange, deeper looking stain, so I figure sanding may also help. I used 150 (recommended for this stain) before but maybe I should go with 120?
jclaire is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 10-01-2020, 07:20 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 26,146
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclaire View Post
The stain I'm using is General Finishes gel stain in "prairie wheat." I have a can of the same type in "nutmug" and will try a mixture of those two first and if it doesn't go well, I can go to a store. I know the old and new doors are never going to be a perfect match, though. Mainly I would like to get a less orange, deeper looking stain, so I figure sanding may also help. I used 150 (recommended for this stain) before but maybe I should go with 120?
Sometimes when matching a color I will mix a stain and think I have it and after putting a coat or two of clear over the top I see it's not quite right. I then spray some green dye over the top if it's too red or a walnut dye over the top if it's not dark enough. Then sometimes I mix a toner using straight pigment and thinner if the grain needs to be subdued. A color can usually be matched but takes a lot of tinkering. This is what is going to make it especially difficult for you because you don't have a huge supply of products to fine tune the color. If you like you can post pictures as you go and I will give you as much hints as I can. It's difficult for me because pictures often come across the computer different than what it is in real life.
Steve Neul is online now  
post #7 of 14 Old 10-02-2020, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
View jclaire's Photo Album My Photos
I know the door is never going to match the other doors because it's not just the color; the stain is not penetrating as deeply for some reason. I'll do my best with the stains I have and will keep in mind your thoughts about adjusting as I go. Thanks much for the advice!
Onefreetexan likes this.
jclaire is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 10-02-2020, 12:35 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 27,702
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
How to make a stained wood darker ...

Bob Flexner is an established finishing expert and has written several books available on Amazon. Here's an article on how to make a stain darker:
https://www.woodshopnews.com/columns...-darker-finish


You may want to use a dye rather than a stain. It's about particle size, dyes having much small and finer particles:
https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/stain-or-dye#

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-02-2020 at 12:43 PM.
woodnthings is online now  
post #9 of 14 Old 10-02-2020, 09:47 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 26,146
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclaire View Post
I know the door is never going to match the other doors because it's not just the color; the stain is not penetrating as deeply for some reason. I'll do my best with the stains I have and will keep in mind your thoughts about adjusting as I go. Thanks much for the advice!
If the stain isn't penetrating then it's still sealed with the old finish. I know it's difficult now but it needs to be stripped better. Might see if you can find a refinishing shop to at least strip the old finish. They are still able to buy methylene chloride paint strippers.
Steve Neul is online now  
post #10 of 14 Old 10-06-2020, 04:25 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 50
View GCTony's Photo Album My Photos
For some of the finishing experts; How about dye? I've had pretty good success matching/toning with them but never used it to match a refinishing project.
GCTony is offline  
post #11 of 14 Old 10-07-2020, 05:22 AM
Senior Member
 
allpurpose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,730
View allpurpose's Photo Album My Photos
Yellow pine turned to this

using white vinegar and steel wool.
Use about a cup of good strong white vinegar and a fresh steel wool pad #00 or finer. Mix the two and let sit uncovered for 3-4 days then just brush onto bare wood. It'll look like fresh rust at first after it dries, but a good rub down with oil it looks great..
Experiment with scraps first.. It darkens up a bit over time..

The bottom side just to show the difference..same piece.. It's been sitting around in sawdust for awhile so that's where the light bits on the edge come from..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.

Last edited by allpurpose; 10-07-2020 at 05:29 AM.
allpurpose is offline  
post #12 of 14 Old 10-07-2020, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
View jclaire's Photo Album My Photos
I may give this a try. Thanks!
jclaire is offline  
post #13 of 14 Old 10-07-2020, 08:10 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 26,146
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
If you are trying to counteract a color look at the color wheel. The opposite of yellow is purple so if you are trying to make it more brown apply a very light purple dye to the wood. Enough to cancel the yellow but not enough to make the wood purple.
Steve Neul is online now  
post #14 of 14 Old 10-07-2020, 09:51 AM
Senior Member
 
allpurpose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,730
View allpurpose's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclaire View Post
I may give this a try. Thanks!
If you use white vinegar you may want to avoid some of the off brands with a lower acidity rate. I used a regular well known brand. I really don't know how much difference it makes, but the price of the cheap brand isn't significantly lower than the better known brands of vinegar.. I guess checking the label can't hurt, but I'd probably avoid any that just says deluted vinegar.
I guess steel wool is steel wool. Not sure if there's any significant differences.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.
allpurpose is offline  
Reply

Tags
refinishing, restoration, stain application, stain matching

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome