TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

Matching Up Old Stain With New

Concept or conceptual old vintage brown damaged paper texture ovI’ve seen a lot of people ask this question, and it’s likely you’ve pondered it yourself. I have an older stain that I need to match. I found a newer stain at the hardware store that’s similar, but it’s not as close as I want it to be. Is there a good method for matching up the older stain with the new?

There are a number of easy ways to change a commercial stain’s color. The simplest method is to combine multiple colors of the same brand and type in order to create the color you need. It’s important to use the same kind of stain so that the drying times and components are consistent with each other.

Stains can also be altered using a minor amount of a concentrated pigment paste. These are known as universal tinting colors. They can be purchased at most hardware stores and a number of craft shops, and are compatible with water-based stains and oil-based stains. Universal stains are extremely concentrated, which means adding to it won’t significantly alter the stain’s drying time.

When it comes to oil-based stains, there’s an additional tinting option: Japan colors and artist’s oil colors. You can pick up both of these at an art supply or craft shop. You’ll only need to add small amounts, which means there shouldn’t be any major changes to the drying time. With that said, oil colors tend to slightly slow down drying time, but Japan colors don’t.


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Ted Leger –


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Updated: December 21, 2014 — 10:38 pm
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