Stain on identical drawers not matching

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Forum topic by tdwpgtp posted 09-06-2017 10:56 PM 1111 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tdwpgtp's profile


5 posts in 1034 days

09-06-2017 10:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut stain red brown

So I am doing sort of a resto-mod on an old walnut veneer dresser. A few months ago I sanded all of the drawers and tried a few different colors of stain on an extra drawer, and decided on minwax’s dark walnut. After picking the color, I got to making some new parts and staining them. After a few weeks, I tested on another spare drawer, and it came out quite a bit more red. Seeing this, I got worried and stained a 3rd, which ended up a dark brown, like the first drawer. I chalked the redish drawer up as a fluke. Next I got back to work on the custom parts for a few months. After all this time, I finally went to stain all of the original drawers the same color as the first, and they all ended up more red than the 1st and 3rd. They were all sanded in the same manner, and sat in the basement, away from direct sunlight.

Can anyone help suggest why they are not coming out the same, and possibly what I can do to get the nice, dark brown with minimal red that I got the first and third time?

ALL help is appreciated!

2 replies so far

View stellakelly's profile


6 posts in 1023 days

#1 posted 09-24-2017 09:10 AM

To darken the color of the stain, try adding another coat of stain after the first has dried.
go superdark by flooding stain onto the wood and letting it dry that way? Possibly. If your stain contains lots of pigment, brushing on a heavy coat and letting it dry about an hour will leave a layer of pigment solids on the wood’s surface. With careful, selective blotting and wiping, you can remove some of the thickened stain while leaving more color where you want it


View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 1305 days

#2 posted 09-24-2017 10:32 AM

Just a note,

not all walnut is equal, most of the material you buy from a large supplier will be kiln dryed and steamed. It is an even grayish brown and takes stain well,
air-dryed walnut is reddish brown and has a definite white sapwood. (very high quality but must remove the sap)

If you are mixing the 2 the red can be difficult to make go away.

a dilute dye wash helps, but should go on under the stain.
add a little brnt umber to the stain to give everything a reddish tint
also, a glaze can be used to even out the color once a sealer coat is applied (try brnt Umber or Vandyke Brn)

this is just a guess, I am not sure exactly what the problem is.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

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