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Stain: Matching Old Polyurethane . . .

This is a discussion on Stain: Matching Old Polyurethane . . . within the The Finishing Touch forums, part of the General Woodworking category; Project: Refacing Kitchen Cabinets. Problem: Matching the new doors to the existing cabinet fronts. Wood ...


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Old 02-08-2010, 04:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stain: Matching Old Polyurethane . . .
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Project: Refacing Kitchen Cabinets.
Problem: Matching the new doors to the existing cabinet fronts.

Wood is pine veneered plywood. Cabinets have been in place 30 years. I believe they were never stained . . . just finished with multiple coats of urethane. They are a deep, yellowish, honey colour now.

I have tried to match this with several minwax stains but really have not even come close.

Incidentally, the sample chips in the store displays seem wildly inaccurate. I mean Puritan Pine#218 and Natural#209 are pretty much indistinguishable in the store display. You get 'em home and try 'em . . . they are totally different, supposedly on the same wood as the sample chips.

Sanding off the many coats or urethane is not an option. Veneering the old cabinets might be . . . but I really don't want to do it.

Every teensy can of stain I try costs me $8 . . . and then has to be disposed of if it doesn't match. I am going broke and creating a hazardous waste disposal problem while building my own frustration level. it's a lose, lose, lose situation.

Has anyone found a stain to closely match 30 year old polyurethane? I am not being overly picky here . . . I can't even get close.

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Old 02-08-2010, 06:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you use an oil based poly, they will eventually darken to a close shade as the present cabinets.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxlMyk View Post
If you use an oil based poly, they will eventually darken to a close shade as the present cabinets.
Thank-you, Mike.

Deciding that no, I have not had enough frustration yet and have a few dollars left, I tried two more stains. Minwax "Golden Pecan#245:" Another failure . . . another $8 thrown away . . . another mini can to take to recycling.

Then something a little different: Minwax Polyshades, "Stain and Urethane in 1 step" . . ."Honey Pine#410." Ahhhh . . . getting close now . . . FINALLY! This is a go. But, it is a gloss finish.
Still, I think I can get to where I need to be with this product.

Say, can you put water based urethane OVER oil base urethane? Is it wise? Or should I put a semi gloss, oil base urethane over the gloss finish?

(Actually, I've thought about this a bit since posting. While I do have the water based urethane on-hand, it would be better to put a semi gloss oil based urethane on top of the Polyshades product as it could use a little more darkening. There is just no need to tempt fate by applying water base over oil base and actually something to be gained if the oil base darkens a little with time.)

But, for future reference: Can you put water base urethane over an old oil base urethane?
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Last edited by dawziecat; 02-09-2010 at 01:10 PM.
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