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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm hoping that you experts can help me.
We have a beautiful high vaulted ceiling in our grand room that is natural wood tongue and groove panels. We are in the middle of a major kitchen remodel and recently took down the track lighting from the kitchen. The lighting doesn't work where it use to be in our new kitchen configuration. The wood was considerably lighter where the track lighting was located. The painter told us to sand it and try to stain match it. We did but it now looks worse and we can't seem to match the color of the wood. Where we sand is very light and the stain doesn't seem to take as well in that section. What can we do? I would like to fix this section and not sand the whole ceiling. Plus I'm afraid if we do that we may see dark lines between the grooves when we clear coat.

Your advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Are you sure that the now unhidden part is lighter, or is it possible that the part that was never hidden is just darker? If the original finish was just clear-coated, then it's probably the latter.
You can try masking off the entire ceiling except for the light lines, wait a few years for them to darken naturally - that's probably not an acceptable solution though.
You can try cleaning the entire ceiling with a mild-detergent and lots of rags - there's a good chance (especially in a kitchen) that a lot of that patina is dirt. Cleaning it will lighten it some, but not all.

If you're going to try and restain or color it, you need to feather it out to a rougher outline. Staining just a line with flat edges is never going to give you the desired look. You just can't get a 100% perfect match with a stain to reflect the light the same way as naturally darkened wood - from every angle. You may be able to get away with sanding everything in that area - between the beams, and having a pro stain it close or put a slightly tinted clearcoat over it. With that dark beam between areas you can be slightly off and the eyes won't catch it. You don't have to get exact perfection. Get it close and then get fresh eyes on it. You'll notice the flaws forever because you know they're there and it's bugging you. Get it close and a newcomer won't notice until you point it out.
 

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This is unquestionably a case of light (and possibly some grease) darkening the surrounding wood and as Joe said, you'll never get a perfect match. One possible solution would be to remount the base of the track lighting system but without the lights. Then you have a piece of metal strip on the ceiling that may be MORE obnoxious to you than the undarkened strip or it may be more acceptable. You are never going to get a really good match without a lot of sanding of the whole ceiling and that's quite a job, especially since it's not entirely flat (sanding those grooves makes it an even worse job).
 

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Look for a first class furniture repairman/patcher in your area, it will cost you, but it can be done by such, within in a reasonable amount of time. He would or should have, at his disposal, all that is necessary to perform the work or ready knowledge and access to anything he would not.

All the answers so far, are very good and helpful, but as a retired furniture finisher repairman, i know this is out of the bounds of the home owner to handle themselves, and ever be happy with the end results. :thumbsup: :yes:
 

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This is just a dumb thought that popped into my head, but could you possible mask off the darker areas, and shine UV light onto the lighter area for an extended period of time? This may accelerate the darkening of that wood. It may do nothing either, but just a thought.
 

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This is just a dumb thought that popped into my head, but could you possible mask off the darker areas, and shine UV light onto the lighter area for an extended period of time? This may accelerate the darkening of that wood. It may do nothing either, but just a thought.
That would work well if it were cherry or mahogany, but with pine i dont know how long it would take. cheaper than a pro doing it.
 
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